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 22, 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

  • 15 Tips to Make Blogging Easy

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Blogging is one of the most powerful things you can do for inbound and content marketing. Effective blogging can increase organic traffic to your website, but can also generate high-quality leads for your dealership. That's because people are going online every day (multiple times per day) to find information that will enrich and empower them. Whether they are looking for answers to questions or trying to decide on a place to eat, the whole idea behind the internet is to gain access to information. But despite its importance, many businesses find it to be a daunting task. If you're one of them, I understand the struggle. It's real. I've spent countless hours watching the cursor blink on my word processor hoping that a spark of inspiration would help me pound out two thousand words of genius. While those strokes of genius didn't happen very often, I've learned some tips about blogging along the way that have streamlined the process for ...Read post

  • How Having a Good Used Cars Selection Can Help Boost Your New Car Sales

    Some dealerships have found a good way to attract new car buyers to the dealership is to make sure they have a good selection of used cars that draw buyers to the lot which then gives their salespeople an opportunity to sell them a new car. It's a fact. Low prices will bring customers into your dealership. Often when people drive by a dealership and see good used cars at affordable prices they’ll stop in and look around just because they see cars they think are within their budget. Once they're in the dealership, it’s common for many of them to take the short walk from the used car area to the new cars section. That gives your salespeople a golden opportunity to make more new car sales. Another way a good used car selection helps new car sales is by giving buyers a chance to compare good used cars to great new cars. For the average car buyer, the choice is clear. New cars just look, smell, have better features, and drive better than used cars. Once a person is serious about buying a car, if you can show them how they can get a great new car for just a little more than a good used car, many of them will buy the new car. The key is to give them a clear comparison they can see and respond to. Read post

  • Show Love to Build Loyalty

    Earning, maintaining, and fostering relationships with customers is a large endeavor. You have to find new and inventive ways to keep your dealership top-of-mind to ensure they return to you for future vehicle needs. This month, OneCommand is promoting many ways to show love to customers. Here are three simple ideas for you to demonstrate your thanks and appreciation to customers to build loyalty. Make Your Dealership Personal Has anyone ever told you that it’s the little things that count? When building customer loyalty, it is absolutely true. Find ways to motivate your employees to make every interaction with customers personal, from how they approach a new customer on the lot to greeting a customer driving into your service drive, from spending time explaining a specific service to a customer to having fresh coffee in your waiting lounge. Each time there is an opportunity for your dealership to make a positive impression on a customer, encourage them to do so. It will go a long w...Read post

  • Recalls and the Connected Car: Is In-Vehicle Technology the Answer?

    Today’s cars come with very sophisticated technology, including live navigation with traffic and obstacle reports, collision avoidance systems, cell phone integration and wireless connectivity. Automakers are now investigating how they can leverage this technology to communicate any vehicle issues to vehicle owners. The OnStar system already reports vehicle concerns. These are collected from the vehicle itself and relayed via e-mail to both the owner and the dealership. These reports serve as a warning device to vehicle owners that their vehicle needs attention. Typically, these notifications revolve around regular maintenance, triggered by odometer readings, tire inflation pressures and other common indicators. But what if these connected cars could actually serve as notification centers? Or, better yet, receive actual updates to correct problems? The answer is -- they can. Tesla already does this.   One of the biggest challenges in implementing a recall is identifying and noti...Read post

  • News for the Week of 2.4

    Consumers want to engage with brands they share a connection with. Just like forming any relationship, we gravitate toward those who share similar interests, likes, and causes—and that means your dealership will need to open up and show its personal side in order for consumers to get a sense of who you truly are. There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you reach out to online consumers and share your dealership’s personality...Read post

  • Know your Competition! What Independents Are Doing to Retain Customers

    There is a constant stream of advice from industry experts concerning customer loyalty and retention. While most of the advice is on point, a large piece is typically missing in the bigger picture. In order to increase market share, businesses must be aware of what their competition is doing. Turning a blind eye to pricing and marketing tactics of the dealership down the road can easily cost sales or service business. Savvy dealers check out what their competition is doing. But, these mystery shops or research data is usually limited to their franchised competitors, not independent repair facilities, which is a mistake.   A recent roundtable discussion published by Loyalty360 included key executives of some large independent repair franchises. It provides interesting insight into the mindsets and strategies they are using to build customer loyalty and keep customers coming back.   The roundtable included Robert Falconi, CEO and John Wiegand, SVP of Operations with Precision Tun...Read post

  • How Lexus Gets Results Using Big Data

    Big data. Big deal? You bet!! Advertising technologies can enable greater alignment between OEM’s and dealers. That’s not in question. When used correctly, these technologies can create a more seamless, personalized, and differentiated brand experience in a very competitive marketplace. Just ask Lexus.Read post

  • Auto Dealers Spend Too Much on Multiple Marketing Companies AutoLoop Finds

    A majority of auto dealers are spending their marketing budgets inefficiently, according to AutoLoop, LLC. The leading provider of auto industry marketing and customer relationship management solutions found that dealers are spending too much money due to overlap in vendor services. “Using multiple marketing vendors, all with overlapping services and all communicating with your customers, is not a good strategy,” said John Bottone, Vice President of National Sales, AutoLoop. “More importantly, it leads to a frustrated customer base hit with a barrage of redundant and mixed messages.” “Trying to manage and integrate multiple marketing vendors also creates very inefficient dealership operations,” Bottone continued. “Many dealers I know are working with 2, 3, or even 4 (or more) vendors. Each one represents a software product that is communicating in some way with the dealer’s customers, sending multiple, uncoordinated messages. This type of overlap can cost thousands of dollars each month and inevitably results in contradictive messaging.” Read post