Negative reviews are just a fact of life for any business. The key is to respond thoughtfully to negative reviews when you get them, but more importantly, make sure the voice of your happy customers far outweighs the voice of your unhappy customers.
Anthony Gilpin, Director of Digital Operations at NewRoads Auto Group understands this concept very well. That’s why he’s placed an emphasis on building up the Group’s online reputation on Google, Facebook, and DealerRater.
“Reviews are like anything in life,” said Gilpin. “You can make 99.5 percent of customers happy. It’s just that .5 percent is always going to yell the loudest. That’s why it’s important to collect reviews from all of your customers, so the happy ones drown out the unhappy ones.
Emphasizing the Right Sites
When Gilpin came across Podium, it seemed like a perfect fit. The solution was easy to use and it also let them focus on the review sites that were most important and would provide the most value to NewRoads. Right now, NewRoads is emphasizing Google and Facebook because they are the platforms that are most widely used and trusted by consumers.
Additionally, Gilpin liked that the invitations were delivered via text message, allowing him to diversify the channels he engages his customers with.“We like to save email for things like marketing offers,” related Gilpin. “Podium allows us to more effectively collect reviews, while still giving us the opportunity to reach a wide base of our customers with these marketing emails.”
Keep the Process Top of Mind
NewRoads had good success initially with Podium because all of the GMs made reviews a focal point of the sales process. According to Gilpin, if you want to maintain success over time, you need to keep reviews top of mind for your salespeople.
One way they are accomplishing this at NewRoads is by incentivizing staff with contests to keep them motivated to collect reviews.“Whenever we have a contest to collect more reviews, we will see a spike in the number of reviews coming in,” said Gilpin. “I’m sure we will continue to have contests a couple of times a year to ensure we always have recent reviews, which are important for online searchers.”
Hundreds of New Reviews
Since implementing Podium, the five NewRoads dealerships have collected 1,055 new reviews and are maintaining a 4.6 overall star rating. Gilpin’s goal is to continue to collect more reviews and ultimately have each location with more than a thousand reviews.
According to Gilpin, the more reviews his dealerships have, the less power and leverage customers have when leaving a negative review. Instead of getting bullied by those customers, he can now work with them to fix the problem in a way that is amenable to the customer and the business. At the end of the day collecting reviews is a numbers game, and Gilpin is just trying to get reviews from as many customers as possible so the voice of the satisfied customers drowns out the ones that are unsatisfied.
And Podium has been an excellent tool to help NewRoads do just that.“For the price, Podium is money well spent,” concluded Gilpin. “It gives us an easy way for our sales staff to ask for reviews and for customers to engage with us and leave feedback. We’re getting an excellent return on our investment.