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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Brian Pasch

Brian Pasch CEO

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Do Not Ask For Yelp Reviews

By Brian Pasch dont-ask-600

Dylan Swift from Yelp addressed the dealers at the 2013 DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES) and of course the room was packed.  Yelp impacts dealers in many ways especially since Yelp is integrated with Apple Maps, Siri, and even some OEM vehicles.  Yelp reviews often appears on Google Page One search results when a dealer name is searched. 

According to Dylan, dealers should not ask their customers for a review.  That means no kiosks in the dealership, and no direct requests to post a review online when they get home, from inside the dealership.  

Does this mean that every OEM Co-Op Reputation Management program that sends out emails asking for consumers to post reviews is violating Yelp terms of service, if they list Yelp as a link?

Dylan suggested that dealers could put Yelp stickers on their showroom windows.  This would be passive engagement with customers which basically says that the store has a listing on Yelp.

Yelp Believes In Organic Review Growth

Dylan felt that if dealers have hundreds of transactions a month, organically some of those customers will post a positive review on their own, without any prodding.  However nice that sounds, this is NOT the reality for so many dealers.

There are dealers that have service centers that perform THOUSANDS of repair orders every month, and their positive Yelp reviews do not budge.  If we would believe Dylan's hypothesis, dealers should see more positive reviews being posted each month.  Many do not!

Are customers of auto dealerships that different that Dylan's advice is not working?

I would like to hear what readers of DrivingSales have to say!  I would love for you to share how many service RO's your store does each month and how your Yelp reviews are increasing each month.


Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Consulting

Alan Krutsch
Our largest store does 5000 ROs per month. Our Yelp page is claimed. We don't ask for Yelp reviews (We do solicit other sites such as Google + and DealerRater). We have just 2 reviews on Yelp. Is Yelp waiting for us to pay before reviews appear or is it that Yelp adoption is weak in the Midwest? Perhaps Yelp is only being thought of/used by our customers as a restaurant tool?
Steve Bradshaw
I agree with Alan. Yelp equals restaurants. Understand the "passive engagement" comment, however unless you're doing it for them or giving them an incentive for doing it who takes time to help you advertise???
Brian Pasch
Alan, your data set means that 60,000 people are serviced by your store a year, and you have only 2 visible reviews. Seems like organic growth for car dealers is not a reality for this generation....
Joel Sesco
I just moved to Alaska to build a BDC department for a major dealer group. As a consumer, Yelp has been extremely useful to me since I am in a new place with no way of knowing a quality establishment from a horrible one. Dealerships that aren't pro-active with their Yelp reviews are an unknown quantity to people that are from out-of-town, and that's a pretty large portion of the population these days. My dealership's situation is slightly different due to our high concentration of rotating military personnel, but I know I certainly won't be changing our practices based on this information.
Earl Brown
years ago I was an internet sales and marketing manager for a Domestic/Import store in Michigan. When a lot of the review sites were still in their infancy, I can recall that we really didn't push the envelope with it either. It seemed like at that time, the customers who found the review sites on their own and invested the time to look into the dealership has more negative reviews than positive. It wasn't until we started asking to be rated on google or some other such website that we experiences MANY more positive reviews. So when I was on the dealership side, it was my experience that the customers we sold and directly referred to the review site...overwhelmingly posted positive things within days sometimes hours of taking delivery....whereas the "organic" spotty reviews...were getting posted by people who purchased months and in some cases years beforehand usually holding a grudge over something trivial...or complaining about needing a service repair etc.

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