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JD Rucker

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Exclusive Blog Posts

Stocking & Pricing Inventory: Interview With Brian Finkelmeyer

Stocking & Pricing Inventory: Interview With Brian Finkelmeyer

Brian Finkelmeyer, Direct of Business Development at vAuto, discusses the dos and don'ts of pricing and stocking inventory. …

How to Engage "Ready to Buy" Shoppers

How to Engage "Ready to Buy" Shoppers

The stakes are high: sales are slipping, your competition is stiff, and today’s shoppers are the most savvy yet. But there’s good news – there are a…

Upcoming Webinar: Use Your Showroom to Show, Not Sell

Upcoming Webinar: Use Your Showroom to Show, Not Sell

Ecommerce is on the rise, and today's customers walk into your showroom better-informed than ever before. 9 out of 10 customers are more likely to…

Interview with Shannon Crane: Building a Successful BDC

Interview with Shannon Crane: Building a Successful BDC

When Shannon Crane, founder of BDC PowerConsulting, started out as a BDC Manager at a local dealership, she was “as green as it gets.” Not only…

Why Security Is More Important than You Think for Your Business

Why Security Is More Important than You Think for Your Business

Having a business means that you’re likely going to have to keep security in mind. Whether you are looking to increase customer trust or you want to …

It’s the Words, Not the Stars, that Make Impactful Customer Reviews

Strong Review

I'm "that guy." You know, the one who thinks that 4-stars is an amazing review coming from me, the one who hasn't rated anything a 10 out of 10 since my wife's Mediterranean pasta, the guy who wonders why his kid only got an "A" and not an "A+" on a test. There are more of us out there than you think, but there's a benefit to what I call the "conscientious reviewer". You might only get 4 out of 5 stars from us, but we'll write a book and sing your praises.

That's the real key to reviews. It's the words. It's the sentiment. The stars are only important if you don't have them already.

I get discouraged when I see dealers sitting there squeezing every possible five-star review they can get. If you have 300 reviews and a 4.9 average score, you don't need more 5-star reviews. You need more quality reviews. On the surface, most dealers would say that they would want the bottom review more than the top one because it's 5-stars rather than 4. If you think about it from a customer's perspective, they will read and get more out of the top review than the bottom one. It wouldn't even be close.

Some dealers are pushing their sales team to get 5-star reviews. They are even offering spiffs to make it happen. In the example above, the person who acquired the 3-word 5-star review would get the bonus and the person who acquired the well-written, conscientious 4-star review would likely get rebuked for not prompting their customer appropriately. This is a mistake.

Reviews with less than 5 stars get read more than the others. People are waking up to the idea that these review sites are often gamed. They know. They've probably been asked at one time or another to leave a positive review for a business. They do not believe that any business can accumulate 300+ reviews and have them be almost 100% positive. That's not how the world works. As a result, when they visit a review site that's listed on the search under "ABC Motors Reviews" or whatever they type in, they're looking for the reviews that have less than 5-stars.

I'm not suggesting that you should be promoting the concept of getting 4-star reviews. I'm not saying that a 3-star review from a happy customer is better than a 4-star review. All I'm saying is that you should be encouraging your customers to write full reviews. You don't need more 5-star ratings with 3-word reviews. You need more reviews that actually tell the story about their experience. In the example above, the 4-star review will have more of an impact on a buyer's decision than the 5-star review below it. Keep that in mind as we continue the never-ending quest of review acquisition. Focus less on the stars than the sentiment.

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