DealerRater Online Reviews Convert to More Business

Shuman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Wins Dealer of the Year Award

Since enrolling in the in 2011, over­all 2013 Deal­er of the Year Win­ner Shu­man Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has built its online rep­u­ta­tion into a crit­i­cal com­pet­i­tive advan­tage in the Detroit Chrysler mar­ket. Cus­tomers now often walk into the show­room indi­cat­ing that they chose to work with Shu­man based on the reviews that they have read on Deal­er­Rater.

Sit­u­at­ed in Walled Lake, Michi­gan, Shu­man Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram plays in a high­ly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket with approx­i­mate­ly 50% of their con­sumer base rep­re­sent­ing employ­ees or friends/family of employ­ees at the neigh­bor­ing Chrysler man­u­fac­tur­ing plant. For years the deal­er­ship focused efforts on being a leader in SSI and CSI. How­ev­er, in ear­ly 2011 it real­ized that its online rep­u­ta­tion was tak­ing shape on its own by means of a hand­ful of unhap­py cus­tomers that were prone to pro­vide feed­back on third-par­ty online review sites.

Shu­man Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram became inter­est­ed in Deal­er­Rater because of its exclu­sive focus on reviews of auto deal­ers. It quick­ly enrolled in the with the goal of becom­ing the top rat­ed Chrysler deal­er in Michi­gan.  This was not with­out its chal­lenges; the deal­er­ship began with just four reviews on Deal­er­Rater, three of which described a neg­a­tive expe­ri­ence. “We had con­sis­tent­ly earned top rat­ings in SSI and CSI for years, yet our online con­sumer rat­ings were low since only a few dis­sat­is­fied cus­tomers were post­ing reviews,” said Bob Shu­man, Prin­ci­pal Own­er.

In order to help encour­age sales staff to inte­grate Deal­er­Rater into their sales process, Bob Shu­man and Shu­man Gen­er­al Man­ag­er, Joe Zei­gler, stressed the impor­tance of third-par­ty reviews at dai­ly sales meet­ings. “We set the expec­ta­tion that employ­ees should aim for a ver­bal agree­ment from the cus­tomer for a review on Deal­er­Rater after each sale. To reward pos­i­tive results, we began email­ing five-star reviews to the employ­ees tagged in that review, along with a per­son­al note rec­og­niz­ing the impor­tance of that achieve­ment. We copied all employ­ees on these emails, encour­ag­ing the team to strive for great reviews,” Shu­man stat­ed.

The next step was to reach out to cus­tomers to request reviews from mul­ti­ple angles. The deal­er­ship imple­ment­ed sev­er­al Deal­er­Rater tools, includ­ing the dis­play of Deal­er­Rater pro­mo­tion­al table tents and also hand­ed out rat­ing reminder cards to cus­tomers. Sales employ­ees were trained to share the dealership’s Deal­er­Rater Deal­er Review Page with cus­tomers dur­ing sales vis­its. The sales team also added a link to Shu­man Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram’s Review Page to their email sig­na­tures so that all fol­low-up cor­re­spon­dence includ­ed a sub­tle reminder to write a review.

The deal­er­ship also inte­grat­ed their Deal­er­Rater reviews and impres­sive online rat­ings into their mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy with a sim­ple mes­sage: “Don’t take our word for it, check us out on”

Shu­man Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram invites all cus­tomers to post on Deal­er­Rater, whether it reflects a pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive expe­ri­ence. “We firm­ly believe that our cred­i­bil­i­ty on Deal­er­Rater has grown because we are not afraid to have a neg­a­tive post here and there,” says Shu­man. “It only lends cred­i­bil­i­ty to the hun­dreds of pos­i­tive reviews that we have built.”  When neg­a­tive reviews appear on Deal­er­Rater, the deal­er­ship con­sis­tent­ly responds in a way that direct­ly address­es the customer’s com­plaint – find­ing that such respons­es turn a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of neg­a­tive reviews into pos­i­tive ones, and that their respons­es demon­strate to the pub­lic that they are seri­ous about address­ing cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion con­cerns.

Uti­liz­ing DealerRater’s Push™ tool, the deal­er­ship has grown its review count on oth­er third-par­ty review sites, in addi­tion to Deal­er­Rater.  Sat­is­fied cus­tomers have been shar­ing their Deal­er­Rater reviews on oth­er review sites like Google+ and, giv­ing the deal­er­ship an even greater online pres­ence with­out specif­i­cal­ly tar­get­ing those sites.

By lever­ag­ing the tools of the Deal­er­Rater Cer­ti­fied Deal­er Pro­gram, Shu­man Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram now has near­ly 1,000 life­time reviews and an over­all star rat­ing of 4.9. These results have earned Shu­man the sta­tus of Over­all 2013 Deal­er of the Year, as well as Deal­er of the Year nation­al sta­tus for all four of their brand cat­e­gories. Vis­it today for more infor­ma­tion.



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