It’s hard enough for any business to stand out from the competition. It gets even harder when you work in an industry that prides itself on delivering both a quality product and experience.


That’s the situation Jeff Garris of Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead, faced when he became the Director of Business Development in 2013. In order to attract more car buyers in the crowded luxury car market in the Atlanta metropolitan area, the dealership needed to drastically improve its online reputation.


The dealership’s goal was to become the top-rated luxury car dealer in the area, which was lofty considering where they were when Garris started.


“When we started our ratings were in the high twos and low threes,” said Garris. “You can’t be average in the market that we’re in and succeed, you just can’t.”


At the time, Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead was using a home-grown solution to build its online reputation that wasn’t very effective. Because Garris had a background in technology, he began looking for a better tool. That’s when he came across Podium.


“In my judgment, Podium was the best tool we came across,” stated Garris. “It certainly was cost-effective, but it was also process-effective, which was very important to me because I’m a process-driven person.”


Since implementing Podium in November of 2017, Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead has increased its total number of Google reviews by nearly 300%, collecting more than 800 reviews during that span. They’ve also grown their star rating to 4.3 stars.


Once the dealership got its online reputation under control, it wanted to focus on overall customer satisfaction, especially for the large number of vehicles serviced at the dealership each year, the Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead decided to implement Podium Feedback.


What Garris likes most is how immediate the feedback is compared to other methods they’ve used. With Podium, they’re getting feedback in minutes as opposed to days.


“Today’s consumer might be hesitant to complete a long survey,” related Garris. “But Feedback is almost like instant gratification. We’re able to quickly figure out how happy our customers are and what we did to make them happy, or how unhappy our customer is and then formulate a plan to make it better.”


One of the reasons Garris and his team are so focused on customer satisfaction is that it’s a major success factor they are measured by, along with total sales volume.


“Dealerships get rewarded based on how happy we make our customers and how many cars we sell,” concluded Garris. “And Podium helps us achieve both of these goals. It’s just that simple.”