I was copied on an email from our Internet Reputation Management
(IRM) manager to one of our clients today. The email struck me how helpful a consistent monthly reputation management program can be for car dealers.
By contacting a dealership's customers as a third party, my staff has the ability to be an agent for building customer satisfaction and also to "hear
" and document
what their customers are saying.
Take a moment to read an excerpt of an email that Jessica wrote to one of our clients after her calls from the previous night:
On another note there was one customer that seems to be a loyal customer to you (purchased 3 cars from you) but mentioned a few things to me that could cause him not to write a totally positive review at this time - I did not send him details on how to post as a result. Here are the details of his comments:
I spoke to a gentleman named David, who was with Jennifer _______ during her purchasing experience - Jennifer is the name on the customer list you provided to me. First, David mentioned that he felt as though the Sales Manager over-estimated things during the process, even after they were already finishing up the contract.
Second, they are still waiting for a new key remote for the vehicle because the original key remote doesn't seem to work all the time - he mentioned 8 out of 10 times it doesn't work. After a couple weeks now, they still never got the other key and the one time they went in to get the service done they were told that they didn't have the key. David dealt with John, the service manager - red team, that day.
David did not seem extremely angry, just concerned as to why this hasn't been taken care of yet. I felt as though he would not be able to give you the high rating we are looking for in this IRM campaign, at this time. However, if things get settled with David please let me know because a 3-time customer is always a great candidate to write a review.
Intercepting Negative Reviews
The beauty of a monthly IRM process
, that we provide for car dealers, is that in addition to getting customers to post positive reviews on websites like Google Maps, InsiderPages, DealerRater, Yelp and CitySearch our clients get feedback
, if there are problems.
This customer felt comfortable to share their frustration with an independent agency
because we made them feel that their opinion was important. We asked them about their experience and they told us their concerns. This issue most likely would never have been escalated to the General Manager of the dealership. Worst, this could have resulted in a negative review being posted or the dealership losing the confidence and business of a loyal customer.
Now the dealership can respond and resolve the concerns of a multiple purchase customer.
IRM Must Be Part of Your 2010 Internet Marketing Budget
I bring this up because in 2010 the power of the consumer
will continue to dominate automotive digital marketing articles and strategies. Car dealers should be implementing an IRM strategy that utilizes defensive and offensive reputation management strategies. Social media strategies and IRM strategies have to be tied together in the coming year if not already.
Ignore this part of your 2010 Internet Marketing strategy and any disgruntled customer will go online and light your dealership on fire! If you have not invested in a good IRM strategy, those negative posts will be all that consumers see and you will be missing valuable sales.
Google Maps is one of the most powerful sources for dealership phone calls.
How many positive reviews are showing on your Google Map listing? Negative? That's your PUBLIC billboard and that's only one billboard
If you don't like what you see, get the help from an IRM professional and don't forget to clean up your internal processes at the same time.
Happy New Year!
Brian Pasch, CEO
Pasch Consulting Group