Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

New Study Reveals Reviews are The Tipping Point in the Buying Process

By Mary-Kelly Gaebel on Mar 21, 2012

New Study Reveals Reviews are The Tipping Point in the Buying Process
Proliferation of Mobile and Down Economy Cause Reviews to Gain Traction

 

We all know reviews are critical to the modern consumersbuying process, but according to a study by Cone Communications (http://www.coneinc.com/consumers-confirm-recommendations-online) reviews are more important than ever. The study showed that four-out-of-five consumers changed their mind about a recommended purchase based solely on negative reviews. Your customers are savvier than ever; with advancements in technology and online communities controlling the conversation about your business, you can’t afford to ignore the fact that “…personal recommendations alone are no longer enough to guarantee a purchase, as three-quarters of consumers (77%) agree they are more likely to purchase products or services when they can find additional recommendations about them online.”

Two Reasons Dealership Reviews Are Gaining Momentum

  • The mobile phenomenon is only adding fuel to the fire. With so many consumers relying on tablets and mobile phones as their shopping device of choice, reviews are more easily accessible than ever. According to the study, “Survey data suggest this year-over-year increase in online verification may be attributed to near-universal access to the Internet and the pervasiveness of the smartphone. Today, online product or service information is literally at consumers’ fingertips with nearly three-out-of-five (59%) reporting that they are more likely to research recommended products online because they can easily access applications on their mobile phones, and 81 percent crediting wide-spread access to the Internet.”

     
  • The second reason is that, due to a depressed economy, consumers are relying more heavily on reviews for large-scale purchases, like cars!  “The increase in online purchase verification may also be attributed to careful spending. Americans are nearly 25 percent more likely to verify recommendations for high-cost purchases, such as cars, today than they were in 2010 (89% today vs. 72%), while moderate- and low-cost purchases did not experience the same jump.”

There’s always a silver lining however; just as a bad review can be a deal-breaker, it can also be the zero moment of truth:  The same study shows that 87 percent of consumers agree that a favorable review has confirmed their decision to purchase.


As a Reputation Management Specialist for ADP/Cobalt I work with my clients to turn negative reviews in to positives for their business, staff and their bottom line. How you handle negative feedback says a lot about your business and your people. So with that in mind, remember that when it comes to responding to unhappy customers via online channels… the customer is always right. With-four-out-of-five consumers basing their purchasing decision on negative reviews, you can’t afford not to take the high road. In some cases, depending on how you handle the situation, you can ask a customer to retract their negative review if the dealership was able to resolve the issue in question. But being proactive will always win the day– it’s all about great customer service, more great customer service and then asking your happy customers to tell the world how you did.

 

Mary Kelly Gaebel is a Reputation Management Specialist at ADP Digital Marketing Cobalt. She works with dealers to increase dealership awareness and branding via social media outlets. She has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Washington.

 

Comments

Great post Mary. Thanks for sharing.

Mar 21, 2012

Yes! - Great stats Mary!

Shoppers are tired of hearing the same tired pitches from brands & their sales teams - bake the value in and your customers will sell for you in the form of positive reviews.

Mar 21, 2012

Of course I have to agree with it being a great post. One thing that cars.com found in their study was that new car buyers are looking at service related reviews, not the buying process reviews. They want to see how they will be treated after the sale which I thought was very interesting.

Mar 21, 2012

Comments 1 - 3 of 0

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Mary-Kelly Gaebel's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • DMEautomotive Named a Finalist for B2B Brand of the Year

    DMEautomotive recognized by MarketingProfs Bright Bulb Awards for innovation and for pushing the boundaries of traditional B2B marketing   Jacksonville, FL–July 29, 2015 – DMEautomotive (DMEa) today announced that the company has been named a finalist for 2015 B2B Brand of the Year by MarketingProfs Bright Bulb B2B Awards. The Brand of the Year award recognizes a B2B brand, product, or service that breaks out of the humdrum and demonstrates innovation by pushing the boundaries of traditional B2B marketing. This is one in a series of accolades DMEautomotive has received in 2015, including the prestigious Automotive Website Award and Digital Edge 25 Award, as well as finalist for 2015 DrivingSales Most Valuable Insights Award and a 2015 American Business (“Stevie”) Award.   “We are especially proud of this recognition because it comprises all the innovative services that make up our brand, from MasterCall to Journey NXT to Driver Connect,” said Mike Walther, Managing Di...Read post

  • Why Are You in Business? Hint: "To Make Money" is the Wrong Answer.

    As a business leader, what motivates you to wake up and go to work every day? If you ask many people why they start a business or why they go to work every day, the answer is "to make money." But making money is the result of being in business; it's not the Why you are in business. To be a great leader or manager, you need to know your Why and you need to articulate it to employees and customers, so that they are inspired and motivated as well.   Apple Computers is one of the most successful companies in the world. In 1984 Steve Jobs introduced the first Macintosh computer and it's clear that his Why was to disrupt the status quo. To launch his new product, he ran this award-winning commercial during the 1984 Superbowl. The ad explains why Apple is in business and is as relevant today as it was then.   In his book Start with Why, Simon Sinek explains how great organizations align their Why, How and What:   Your What is selling and servicing vehicles Your How is your unique se...Read post

  • New PostFacebook, YouTube and Instagram Upgrades

    Social Media News for the Week of July 27, 2015 New Facebook Video Tools for Businesses This week Facebook delivered updates to make up for some of the limitations released earlier in the year. The new video library gives users a centralized location to store and organize videos.   Improved upload flow now offers users the ability to customize video distribution options in order to reach a more targeted audience. For automotive dealerships, this offers yet another opportunity to reach a specific audience when it comes to sharing straight-off-the-lot news and updates. Facebook Secret Videos Users now have the added capability to add secret videos accessible only through a direct URL and aren’t searchable on Facebook. This is great for users who want to use Facebook to host videos to embed on third-party site, or share them with anyone who has the URL.  Direct your audience to a private video containing special offers or upcoming events without having to post it anywhere ...Read post

  • Use Data to Create Better Content

    According to a recent article in The Atlantic, soon reporters at two of the country’s leading newspapers will have access to the most basic type of digital analytics: They will be able to see web-traffic data for their own stories. That is, they will at least know how many people clicked on them, where they came from, and how long they lingered.   The Washington Post—in a concession to its reporters’ union—told journalists they would soon have access to this data, which they had long demanded. It also recently emerged that The New York Times would follow suit.   The crux of the argument was that the inability to view data on pieces they had previously written, prevented journalists from tailoring future content based on empirical data about the types of content their audience wanted. In addition, some suspected that the performance of their pieces could contribute to their compensation, future promotions and other job advancement opportunities.   Knowing your audie...Read post

  • Dealers, It's Time to Get 'Touchy-Feely' with Your Website Content

    The year was 2009. We were working on building out website content for a client and we wanted to get to know the different departments in order to personalize the content to make the visitors more likely to do business with them. A savvy General Manager taught me a lesson that stuck with me throughout my career. "We don't need to sell the dealership. We need to sell our website to Google," she said. "There may come a time when people read the crap we put on the pages, but that's not today." I didn't fully agree then, but I understood the point. It wasn't until very recently that I realized how right she was, particularly the last line. I was aware that website visitors do tend to go straight to inventory or specials, but I was always aware from testing that 14% of the visitors lingered on videos or read through content before moving on from or to the inventory. This 14% was why I didn't fully agree. Now, I realize how right she was. 14% is a drop in the bucket. Today, that number ...Read post

  • Navigating SEO: How to Improve a Content Page in 30 Minutes or Less

    ​​ Navigating SEO is a DrivingSales.com exclusive series by Timothy Martell, CEO of Wikimotive. In this series, Tim breaks down ways that car dealers can improve their SEO and offers insight into how it will benefit business.   One of the problems most dealership websites suffer from is a lack of truly unique content. I don't just mean the words on the page, though. I'm talking about the things that really sell people on your dealership, its service, and your product line.   Unfortunately, most website providers come with cookie-cutter designs, content, and page formatting.  So how do you improve upon that and make your pages stand out to visitors? In this post, I'll show you five ways you can take a page from zero to hero in 30 minutes or less.   Add Images and Video   It sounds like such an obvious answer, but images and video can be crucial components when creating content.   For instance, if you're looking to improve your service department's page, adding a...Read post

  • Why Every OEM Needs a “Me First” Relationship Management Strategy

    The relationship management trend among OEMs today is to drive positive review count on 3rd party sites such as Yelp in what we call a “spend to send” model. In this scenario, OEMs, either directly or through their franchised dealerships refer customers to these sites to write and read reviews. This makes sense, right? After all, consumers love these review sites and recent surveys have found that up to 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. But there’s a problem. In this strategy the OEM is paying (in marketing dollars) to send people away from its own consumer website and their franchised dealership websites to a 3rd party site where captive consumers are exposed to competitors’ reviews, new and used inventory, and competitor advertisements. While it’s a good idea for OEMs and dealers to be involved in reputation management related to 3rd party sites, there’s another strategy that will move the reputation needle faster, easier, and mor...Read post

  • How to Help Your Employees Win

    The development and training of your team can not be a one size fits all strategy.  As managers we hire green peas, show them a thing or two and send them off to learn from others whose numbers are below average.  Even worse is that we take the top 25 – 30 salespeople at the end of one month and promote them to manager the following month. We know they can sell a lot of cars, we think they'll do a great job as a leader, developer and motivator, however we often fail to give them the guidance to properly lead a team of sales professionals. Here are four suggestions to help you and your dealership move the needle. 1.       Ranking system. Not all sales people and managers require the same level of training. Develop a system that not only rewards your staff, but motivates them to advance to different levels of certification. I use the Bronze, Gold and Platinum levels inside our dealer group. By learning which level each team member is on allows me to devise a specific pla...Read post