Google reviews provide car dealerships like yours with a cost-effective way to improve marketing efforts and even to facilitate a smoother sales process. These are independent comments posted online that may help your new customers to learn about your business, so positive comments can effectively build trust and differentiate you from the competitors. More than that, recently posted comments can bolster search engine ratings without any cost to you. You understandably want to maximize the many powerful benefits of Google reviews, but you do need to follow a few rules that Google has established. These are some of the Google rules that auto dealerships like yours need to know about and should follow carefully.
1. Do Not Cherry-Pick Consumer Comments
Cherry-picking is also known as review gating, and it is usually competed through specialized software programs. These programs enable companies like yours to pick out positive comments while weeding out negative comments. By doing so, you may present an unrealistic or false view of your business to potential consumers. Google’s guidelines specifically prohibit this type of manipulation.
2. Do Not Provide Financial Compensation for Online Feedback
Some companies have offered customers financial compensation for positive online feedback, but this a conflict of interest. The point of Google reviews is for consumers to have enough information available to create a well-rounded impression of the experience that they may have by doing business with the company. Keep in mind that specific punishments for violating this or other Google rules have not been outlined. However, it is possible to be banished from Google My Business altogether if you do not follow all rules outlined by Google.
3. Avoid a Mass Request for Customer Feedback
While you understandably want to obtain excellent online reviews from your customers in large numbers, the solicitation of their online comments in mass numbers is prohibited. One way that you may make a mass solicitation is by sending an email request out to all customers who have opted in to receive your marketing communications. One reason for this is because a mass solicitation may not yield comments from customers who have recently done business with you. Their perception of your company is based on dated experiences. The purpose of comments on Google My Business is for potential customers to obtain authentic, truthful and timely information about your company.
4. Do Not Review Your Business
It makes sense that auto dealerships like yours would want to maximize the number of comments posted and to control the message, but writing a review about your own dealership is not the answer. Writing your own feedback is strictly prohibited, and you likewise cannot ask your staff members or family members to create review posts on your behalf. Penalties for the violation of this rule are similar to those of other rules, but Google retains the right to dole out punishments as it deems necessary.
5. Do Not Review Competitors
Another way for auto dealerships and other businesses to manipulate customers’ perception of businesses is to write bogus reviews for competitors. For example, you may post negative comments about a competitor in order to deter customers from doing business with them. By doing so, your dealership main gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. However, this skews consumer perception in a manner that is not authentic or accurate. Some false reviews may simply be removed by Google, but there is a chance that your company may be blacklisted altogether. This can have detrimental consequences that could otherwise be avoided if you follow all posted Google rules.
As Customer Scout, we are aware of all rules related to Google My Business marketing efforts. More than that, we have experience and a track record of generating proven results on this and other platforms. Violating the rules may be one way to potentially gain a competitive advantage through online marketing efforts, but the consequences can be detrimental. Rather than violating the rules, it makes sense to engage the professional marketing services offered by Customer Scout. We specialize in online marketing services for car dealerships like yours, and we can help you to generate the results you desire through our proven approach and exceptional understanding of effective online marketing strategies. Contact Customer Scout today for assistance with your online marketing campaign.