Why are the majority of 3rd party consumer reviews negative?

Matt Lamoureux
In my opinion, the large majority of 3rd party consumer reviews are negative because not enough dealerships are savvy enough to be proactive in requesting that their happy customers write reviews. Even at a store in which 99 out of 100 customers leaves with the dealership having exceeded expectations, it's the 1 unhappy customer taking time to spew venum on the web. After all, it is the unhappy customer who goes looking for a place to retaliate. Happy customers don't even think to get online and write about a great experience. That is, unless their salesperson requests it.
Jared Hamilton
A few things come to mind: 1. Its important to note that dealer reviews don't follow the same trend as consumer reviews in general. In a survey of reviews on Amazon.com it found that 80% of the reviews were positive. So its not that consumer reviews are negative, its why are consumer reviews negative towards dealers?? http://www.forrester.com/Research/Docum ... 49,00.html 2. Frustrated customers tend to be more emotionally charged than satisfied ones. This is amplified when their frustrations are not addressed (see the next point). Hence the saying a happy customer will tell a friend or two, a pissed one will tell 9. 3.Most dealerships serve customers as if once the deal is done its done! (After survey collected, or the survey is sent to the wrong address... RDR type-o oops) Its not right, but that's the way it is. If dealers want positive reviews they need to do a better job
Philip Zelinger
My first answer mirrors Jared's third one - unhappy customers are more vocal than happy ones! Human nature survivies in the real world and we all know that a satisfied customer will tell three people while an unhappy one will tell 10! The problem is that those complaints used to be limited to word of mouth or letters to the BBB. Now, they are easier to distribute through the world wide web and the satisfaction of venting online gives the customer the feeling of empowerment that they have as large a pltaform as the dealership! It may not be directly to your point -although I think my first response answered it - but my real reply is - THAT IS THE GOOD NEWS! Complaints allow dealers to find customers that almost got away and then find more customers by solving their problems in the same public a forum they posted them in! Turning lemons into lemonade was also limited to word of mouth advertising before so when we fixed a problem the opportunity was limited to the customer and his/her sphere of influence.
Bart Wilson
I like number 4. We coach our sales consultants to let their guest know that the survey is their report card. Now instead of the dealership and the salesperson seeing the report card, future clients can see it. If the guests was satisfied they could really help the salesperson by posting a positive 3rd party review. I think a lot of happy customers would do that if they knew where to go and knew how important it was.
Paul Rushing
To further amplify what Jared stated you have to remember sites like Amazon and Ebay build the reviews in as part of the sales process and reviews are part of the culture that these sites have built. Another thing is the smaller tickets that are sold via these venues encourage people to return to the sites more often. Thus being reminded that they "owe" feedback. It is a give and take in those environments, while automotive consumer find the third party review sites unless they are directed to them via search engines or dealers. A car customer that is an Ebay or Amazon user is probably very likely to embrace giving no holes barred feedback on a third party rating site, good or bad. Truth be known the demographic of the negative reviews at these sites are probably those types of consumers. Maybe that is a good exit survey for car customers. Do you "Yelp" or buy products on ebay and amazon? Then you know if you have a consumer that is predisposed to giving reviews, if they "yelp
Andrew DiFeo
I feel you really have to "wow" a customer for them to take the time to go online and review your dealership. They have certain expectations of customer service and just meeting those expectations is not enough, in my opinion, to warrant them taking time out of their busy day to spread the word about their "OK" experience. If you exceed their expectations, along with letting them know that there are these 3rd party review sites out there, I think you will see a dramatic increase in the number of customers reviewing your dealership.

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