Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: Marketing, General Mgt

Do Reviews Really Sell?

By Paul Potratz on Feb 12, 2013

Do dealership reviews really sell cars? Are you confused about the discussions surrounding the importance of reviews? When you read reviews are you reading about the product or about where you are buying the product - Be Honest. This week on Think Tank Tuesday, learn the truth behind all the effort you've given to working on your dealership's reviews.



Want to learn about digital marketing strategies and how we can use them to help you? Then call us at 1-866-240-5492 or email thinktanktuesday@ppadv.com today!

Don't forget to sign up for Fact Finder Friday! We're just 10 days away from a spirited discussion you won't want to miss! Join Paul and his guest, Mark Tewart, author of "How to Be a Sales Superstar", as they deliberate the topic "Death of the Traditional Salesman".

Join us via Google Hangout on February 22, 2013 at 3pm EST!

Get An Invite | Invite A Friend

See you there!

Comments

Paul and I have been discussing this for a few days now on Twitter. The end result is that his opinion is derived from a Google Survey campaign, undefined "Dealer Surveys", and his personal experience and anecdotal stories of buying from Big Box National Retailers. I have nothing against Paul, but I do have something against misleading dealers, intentional or otherwise.

Please read what market research experts have to say about the reliability of Google Surveys for this kind of empirical research here: http://www.mpdailyfix.com/marketing-experts-speak-up-against-googles-consumer-survey-tool/ The abridged version is that the results net a.)Weak Data Presented as Fact, b.) a DIY Method that Leads to Misunderstood Results, and c.)Lack of Segmentation that Hampers Usability. Those are the words of experts in their field, not mine.

I think it is tremendously important that the community recognize that Paul represents an extreme minority position using his own research exclusively to support a position that is contrary to every other study on the topic.

Google's ZMOT, Nielsen Trust Index 2011, About.com Trust Factors July 2012, Harvard Business Review study on YELP ratings Oct 2011, eMarketer study dated Feb 7th 2013 on proliferation of reviews to name a few, and that is just a few. (Unfortunately I can't hyperlink to these well known studies)

Just this weekend at NADA, Automotive News covered industry research authority POLK at a press conference that used DealerRater data to authenticate a 25% greater lift in sales for dealers that average 4 stars as opposed to those that avg 2. Here is the coverage of the story that starts at the 1:47 mark: http://www.autonews.com/article/20130211/VIDEO/302119860/first-shift-plus-side-of-dealer-reviews&cciid=email-autonews-firstshift#axzz2KitivIUp

Mr. Bob Shuman of Shuman Chrysler Dodge Jeep in his own words echoed the findings. He is far from alone. I have had a handful of dealership owners and employees that have reached out to me since Paul began promoting his study with their own personal accounts of sales attributed exclusively to their reviews.

Consumers absolutely use 3rd party reviews of your business to determine where they will shop and buy. The idea that reviews matter less than coffee, carpet or toilet paper is preposterous, your online presence is an extension of your physical presence without distinction. None of those things matter at all if you are eliminated from the consumer's search because you believe the consumer isn't reading your reviews. They are equally who you are to the consumer.

I know my tone probably seems harsh. Please know that I have nothing against Paul personally, but I feel strongly that dealers need to research this on their own, there is plenty of data out there. No offense at all to Paul, but I totally disagree.

Feb 12, 2013

Based on my own personal experience both leveraging consumer reviews to sell cars while employed as the Director of Marketing and eCommerce at Acton Toyota in Massachusetts and then interacting with DealerRater clients while employed as the company's Vice President of Business Development, I can tell you with 100% certainly that yes, consumer reviews do indeed help to sell cars. Just my two cents.

Feb 13, 2013

Comments 1 - 2 of 2

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Paul Potratz's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Presidents Club 2014: Most Valuable Insight Competition

    This grouping of ten-minute presentations is intended to give speakers an opportunity to reveal new data and research techniques or findings germane to the automotive industry. Kevin Root, President of Driving Sales explained that, “Research, it’s a word that’s tossed out a lot and it means a lot of different things to different people.”Read post

  • Further Changes to Twitter Interface Looking A Lot Like Facebook

    The new Twitter profile look features a header photo that spans the width of the page, appearing very similar to the Facebook cover photo. The new profile also has an in-set user photo above the bio summary, which is also similar to the design of Facebook profiles. Read post

  • Help Your Dealership Bloom with Purchase Options

    Have you ever really explained to your customers the difference between leasing and purchasing a vehicle? Do your customers really understand all their purchasing options? Are your customers opting to purchase a more economical vehicle because they don’t understand they could pay practically the same monthly payment by leasing a higher quality vehicle? Well, don’t you think it is time to explain to them the difference between buying and leasing the vehicles on your lot? Today, you’ll learn some important things to communicate to customers to help them understand their purchasing options. Driving Style Another thing consumers don’t typically think about when purchasing or leasing a vehicle is their driving style. For consumers who will drive their vehicle to work and around town on the weekends, a lease is the perfect option for them. If the consumer wants to use their vehicle for vacation trips, weekend trips, or commutes a long distance to work, they’ll probably want to opt...Read post

  • Stealing Customers From Your Competitors Showroom

    Mobile is all around us, digital technologies are changing faster than we could ever imagine, and smart marketers are faced with the task of using this to our advantage! Along with the rise of smartphone usage, GPS enabled devices and location based services, smarter apps, and our seemingly overwhelming desire to share every move publicly (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare) has resulted in a massive amount of behavior-based-geographical-data. Let it be known, wherever there is big data in play, it’s not too long before it’s leveraged using the latest technology for marketing!Read post

  • Dealer Service & Loyalty Boost Highlights Importance of Customer Experience

    The recently released J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Customer Service Index Study produced some interesting, and very promising, results. The report concluded that customer satisfaction with dealer service has increased across the board with overall CSI increasing from an average score of 846 to 855 in luxury brands, and from 789 to 797 in mass-market brands. The study noted some especially impactful trends when it came to customers that have complimentary or prepaid maintenance programs. In mass-market brands, where complimentary maintenance programs are less common, the study found that buyers of prepaid maintenance jumped from 15% to 46% over the past 5 years. The study shows that customers are gravitating towards the convenience of worry-free maintenance costs. According to Chris Sutton, senior director of the U.S. Automotive Retail Practice at J.D. Power, “Maintenance packages – whether they’re complimentary or paid for by the owners – create a long-term relationship between the ...Read post

  • Improve Your Results with these Top 5 Best Practices for Following Up

    New month, new blog series. This is a topic that is near and dear to our hearts -- following up on leads. Sure, we deliver car buyers to you, but we that's as far as we can take it. Then we have to put these consumers into your capable hands and let your sales process take over from there. (Any sales rep will tell you that this is where the real magic happens.) We've come a long way from our humble beginnings as 1-800-CAR-LOAN in 1989, and during that time we've collected some recommendations for best practices that will give you, our dealer partner, the best results.Read post

  • Want the REAL Reasons Women Buy from their Salesperson?

    Welcome to Women’s Wednesday! Dealers who “get it” know that the key distinction in optimizing sales to women is having exceptional sales advisors who offer exceptional service. But what does that really look like? Women tell us directly through our car dealer review platform what works for them when interacting with a sales agent. Below are their top 5 reasons for buying a car from them: Trust 52.3% Being Respectful 52.1% Likeable 47.8% Knowledgeable 45.6% Understanding 40.6% These percentages add up to more than 100% because reviewers can submit multiple answers. NOTE: Coming in at 34% was the ‘price of the vehicle’. It is important, but ranks 6th overall. Clearly, connection and relationship are pivotal, outranking price. Trust: Women buy from those they trust. It’s essential to build trust – that rapport can take just a matter of minutes to create. The best way to build trust is to provide valuable and relevant information, quality guidance and advice. Be h...Read post

  • Top 5 Best Practices when posting to eBay classifieds

    With any new product and marketplace there’s a learning curve and we’ve recently gained more knowledge about what it takes to manage the “art” of posting to eBay classifieds. We want to share the Top 5 Best Practices we’ve learned over the last few weeks with you...Read post