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From: Jared Hamilton
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Anthony Levine

Anthony Levine Manager | Digital Marketing

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Customer Testimonials

Automotive dealers often struggle with the perception that dealerships are untrustworthy.  Therefore, a lot of effort is put into building trust on a dealership website.  One way customers assess trustworthiness is by seeing positive customer testimonials about the dealership.

Although sites like Yelp and Google Plus provide a public forum in which to post reviews, many dealerships also solicit their own customer testimonials. Research shows that the best time to ask for a review is when a shopper is at the peak of happiness regarding their purchase.  For an automobile, this is generally right after buying.

In order to build trust with future clients (and also gain some SEO value along the way), dealers should post their customer testimonials to their website. If possible, these reviews should then be framed in or otherwise routed onto the site's VDPs in the most unobtrusive way possible. Since most dealerships only have a minute or two to grab a shopper's attention once they are on the site, they need to build trust as soon as possible.  Being able to see or at least access customer testimonials on a VDP will help to quickly establish the trustworthiness of the dealership during the precious few seconds the shopper has to be influenced by the VDP.

Customer testimonials definitely help a dealership to appear less shady to a potential customer.  What are some ways you all are utilizing testimonials to build trust on dealer sites?

Alex Lau
Testimonials, those can be manipulated by the dealer. How about utilizing the APIs of groups like Edmunds, Car and Driver, Motor Trend, etc. by bringing in their reviews of the cars. Why not total transparency? Wouldn't that promote a dealer as being honest and more trustworthy, as you've alluded to in your article? http://developer.edmunds.com/api-documentation/vehicle/content_ratings_and_reviews/v2/02_by_styleid/api-description.html http://apigee.com/about/customer-story/carscom-using-apis-distribute-and-convey-data-efficient-consumable-manner
Anthony Levine
I actually recommend both. Dealer reviews that are kept by the dealer can serve one purpose, while reviews on vehicles might best be piped in from sites like Edmunds seeing as they already have the database
Alex Lau
There's little SEO value, either way. It's ok for building trust.

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