Generate Lots Of Positive Online Reviews

Mike Stoner
Big topic at NADA this year. This is my answer to how to get online reviews from satisfied buyers.
Mike Stoner
I've spent some time thinking about how to generate reviews for dealership websites. We all know that dissatisfied customers will complete and send in factory surveys and more and more they wil post reviews on publicly accesible websites. We also know many buyers will check for reviews on the dealerships they are considering. With this in mind the question becomes how do we get the satisfied customer to post a review? With factory surveys most dealerships make a concerted effort to get surveys completed by their buyers. Factory surveys are not something the consumer can go online and read. I have never had a customer tell me they bought because of our outstanding CSI scores. On the other hand I have had them tell me they bought from us because of positive online reviews and testimonials. Here's my take on one way to get reviews. You can see it by clicking this link I know of several stores that will be implementing this program as soon as they can. What do you think?
Brian Pasch
Mike The fastest way today to get consumers to post highly visible reviews on Google Places, which is the most visible aggregator of reviews, is the Google Places App which can be done while they are in the store. This can generate hundreds of reviews a month in active service departments. Once on in-store Google Places process is implemented, dealers can use emails or IRM portals to get consumers to post online reviews, but adoption rates are low via email. Once customers are out of the store, it's hard to get them to invest in a click and post. It works, but a fraction of what in-store posts can generate. All existing follow-up and retention processes that include emails, letters, and calls should be modified to ask customers to post reviews. Since most dealers already have thank you emails, retention emails, or CSI emails in play, these should be edited to add an review call to action element. Adding new calls or more emails may be just too much.
Mike Stoner
Our experience with emails like this is open rates of 45% and higher. With the right message in video from the right person at the dealership in my opinion will result in more reviews being given. There are 7 assignable links available on the template and any sites you choose can be linked. One site in this area is Make the link directly to the dealers page on dealerrater. Offering something special to these receipients regardless of whether they post or not (make it clear in the message) should increase follow through. It is a thank you message with a sub message to please rate us. We'll be implementing this process in a couple of stores in the next week or so and I'll be sure to post our results with that test.

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