Unless your car dealership ratings are five stars across the board, you can’t afford to ignore these tips for improving online reviews.

Your auto dealership seems to be well-liked within your community — after all, you receive great feedback in person all the time, and most of your new customers are referred by past buyers.

But what is your dealership’s reputation online?

According to the Mintel flagship report American Lifestyles 2015, 69 percent of Americans seek out advice and opinions on goods and services before purchasing. Of those people, 70 percent are likely to visit user review sites before making a purchase, and 57 percent will take to social media for recommendations.

When potential customers in your area are looking to buy a vehicle, what kind of car dealership ratings will they encounter online for your business? Will they easily find you on sites like Yelp and Edmunds with four or five stars? Does your dealership’s Facebook page have tons of great reviews? If you can’t answer “yes” to those questions, it’s time to think about improving your car dealership ratings online.

Tips for improving your car dealership ratings

First and foremost, you need to make sure your dealership has pages on key review and social media sites — if you build it, they will come. If you don’t have pages, one of two different scenarios will likely occur: someone who wanted to leave you a positive review will get annoyed and give up, or someone who wanted to leave you a negative review will take the time to create the page for you (just so they can share their negative thoughts). Take control of your brand and your dealership’s online reputation and create the business pages yourself.

Once those pages are created, here are a few ways you can fill them with great car dealership ratings.

1. Make it easy to share a review

After a sale, when you send out your auto dealer satisfaction survey via e-mail, include links to a few key review websites and simply ask the customer to review your service.

Absolutely do not ask them to leave a positive review — just ask for a review. Asking for positive reviews is generally frowned upon, and the blatant ask may not sit well with otherwise satisfied customers. Keep it short and sweet and include very little information other than the links. They know what to do.

2. Develop your social media presence

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are where you can really start to create a personality for your dealership online. Post regularly, share great new vehicles, run small contests, and hey, you could even tell a few jokes once in a while. This is a way to create positive feelings about your car dealership and even make potential customers feel more comfortable before they ever set foot in your showroom.

By staying active on social media and engaging with consumers, you are creating a space online to show prospects that you’re different — in a good way. Knowing you’re actively involved on your pages will also make it more likely that customers will leave positive comments and reviews for the whole world to see.

3. Share positive reviews

Once you start to get good reviews on different websites, share them. Send out an e-newsletter and have a section that highlights some of your recent great car dealership reviews. Post screenshots from those reviews on social media. Put a few on your dealership’s website.

Remember that while you may constantly be thinking about how to get amazing reviews, that is one of the last things on your customers’ minds. By strategically sharing positive reviews, you’re subtly (or not-so-subtly) reminding the customer of their exceptional experience, and hopefully, they’ll feel inclined to write up their own review as well.

Focusing on your online car dealership ratings is extremely important, but at the end of the day, you need to remember one key fact: if you provide outstanding, extraordinary customer service, you’re going to get positive online reviews. If your dealership always makes customer needs the number one priority, the customers will feel that and respond accordingly by sharing the love.

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