Scoring Big with Dealer Reviews

Jack Simmons

When Ricky Lopez joined Green­way Dodge in Orlan­do, Fla., in 2009 as Inter­net Sales Direc­tor, Gen­er­al Man­ag­er Con­rad Let­son asked him what the store need­ed to do to step up its game. Cus­tomer reviews were at the top of Lopez’s list giv­en their poten­tial to dif­fer­en­ti­ate Green­way in the mar­ket­place and dri­ve more busi­ness. Green­way has set a goal of acquir­ing 1,000 Deal­er Reviews by the end of 2012, and they’re well on their way.

Here are a few of the most impor­tant com­po­nents of their suc­cess:

• Get man­age­ment buy-in. “Poten­tial cus­tomers want to know how you’ll treat them in ser­vice, in the F&I depart­ment, on the show­room floor – every­where,” said Lopez. “Con­rad got behind me 100%, and that real­ly set the tone.”

Per­haps the most impor­tant com­mit­ment from Let­son, Lopez says, was his will­ing­ness to tie rep­u­ta­tion man­age­ment to com­pen­sa­tion.

• Reward review acqui­si­tion. In order to receive a bonus, each sales­per­son at Green­way must obtain three reviews per month – one of which must be on Ser­vice depart­ment bonus­es tied to ROs are released only when the depart­ment makes its reviews quo­ta. Lopez also insti­tut­ed spiff pro­grams to get cus­tomers engaged in the suc­cess of their favorite Green­way per­son­nel; one month, the deal­er­ship ran a con­test that offered din­ner for two at a nice restau­rant to the sales or ser­vice asso­ciate who got the most reviews.

•Han­dle neg­a­tive reviews. When one cus­tomer missed out on a used van he was inter­est­ed in, he took to Greenway’s reviews pages to com­mu­ni­cate his dis­ap­point­ment.

“He was angry that the vehi­cle was sold, and he warned oth­er cus­tomers in his review not to shop with us,” said Lopez. “It wasn’t true, but we still reached out to him imme­di­ate­ly and offered to put him in a bet­ter vehi­cle to make up for any mis­un­der­stand­ing.”

The customer’s sis­ter came with him on his return vis­it; Greenway’s response to her brother’s com­plaint and the store’s com­mit­ment to cus­tomer ser­vice gave her con­fi­dence to pur­chase a new vehi­cle as well.

“In our mar­ket, poten­tial cus­tomers can buy the vehi­cles on our lot in five oth­er places at about the same price – we all buy them from the same place, after all,” Lopez said. “The thing that sets us apart the most is our reviews.”

Check out theabout Greenway’s suc­cess with Deal­er Reviews to learn more about what the deal­er­ship is doing to suc­cess­ful­ly man­age their online rep­u­ta­tion and engage cus­tomers.

Jack Sim­mons, Deal­er Train­ing Man­ag­er at , can be reached at 800.298.1460 or [email protected].




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