When Julie Woods was promoted to Digital Marketing Manager at Taylor Automotive in late 2015, she knew the business had an online review problem. Despite delivering stellar service to its customers, Taylor Automotive’s overall rating on Google was under 3 stars. This was a problem because the dealership was spending thousands of dollars on traditional advertising to attract new customers, only to turn them off with bad reviews.
Woods made improving the business’ online reviews a point of emphasis and set out to find a solution to help her do just that. At that time, Taylor Automotive didn’t have a set process in place for its sales staff to solicit reviews from customers. They did invite customers to leave a review as part of a survey they were sending out through Calendar Systems, but that wasn’t yielding the results they were looking for.
When Woods came across Podium, she knew from the get-go that it was the solution she was looking for. “I immediately saw value in it and knew that it would make collecting reviews so easy for our salespeople and our customers,” recalled Woods. Besides ease of use, what really drew Woods to Podium were the analytics on the back end — especially the ability to have all of the dealership’s reviews aggregated into a single dashboard.
“I love how you can see how many reviews you have by site and what your rankings are all in one place,” said Woods. “Because we have eight stores, it would be very time-consuming for me if I had to go to eight different places at eight different times just to get all the information that I can get from the analytics tab in Podium.”
Additionally, she was able to show them how their online reviews could help them build their personal brand and even help them sell cars. “This is a selling tool,” related Woods. “I told our salespeople if they show customers all of their reviews, the customer will be put at ease with the knowledge others have had a good experience buying from them.”
Since implementing Podium in late January 2016 as part of an overall effort to improve the dealership’s digital marketing efforts, Taylor Automotive has seen impressive results. Most notably in the number of reviews they are able to bring in on a regular basis. Prior to implementing, the dealership had 153 reviews on Google across its eight locations, but in less than a year of usage that number increased to 2,647. They have also seen their overall star rating increase from 2.97 to 4.76. The increase in online reviews has also had a positive influence on Taylor Automotive’s web traffic, which saw a 21 percent increase. They also saw a 62 percent increase in internet leads and a 224 percent increase in online reputation from February to April. But most impressive is how much that increase in traffic and leads has led to more car sales. Taylor Automotive sold nearly 1,000 cars in April, which is the most they had ever sold in that month. “Things are going really great for us and I think things are only going to get better,” concluded Woods. “We are really starting to get into a groove with Podium and we are expecting great things in the future.”
One of the features that has proven to be most useful for the sales staff at Taylor Automotive is the mobile app. It makes it easy for them to send out a review invitation when the timing is right, regardless of whether they are at their desk or not. This has helped the dealership to maintain high click-through rates and keep a large number of reviews rolling in.
Additionally, Woods has been able to use individual reviews to highlight instances of exceptional customer service. “We have a program at the dealership called ‘Weekly Wows’ where we recognize employees who go above and beyond to help a customer,” stated Woods. “And having all of the reviews in one place has made it much easier for us to identify these instances among our sales team.”