The Challenge


Van Horn Automotive Group owns 15 locations in Wisconsin and Iowa—making it a convenient choice for many car buyers. However, Van Horn Automotive Group needed to improve its online presence to adjust to changing customer preferences.


“People don’t want to spend a whole day in a dealership,” says Tina Tasche, customer relations manager at Van Horn Automotive Group. “And the digital retailing components that are coming out in the industry are allowing customers to get a lot more homework done before they enter our showroom.”


To achieve this goal, Van Horn Automotive Group realized it needed to increase its digital presence by translating positive in-person feedback into powerful online reviews. Although, this seemed easier in theory than in actuality. “How do we get people who are happy to leave reviews?” Tasche says. “Because it’s easy to get angry people to leave reviews.” All that changed when the business implemented Podium.


The Solution


Van Horn Automotive Group did a trial run with Podium at a few of its dealerships before expanding Podium’s coverage to every location. “We just started to add it everywhere,” says Tasche. “It’s just incredible what our partnership in Podium has done to bring reviews into our dealerships.”


Beyond cultivating more positive online reviews, Podium also proved to be a convenient option for both staff and customers. Tasche says “Not only is it simple for my sales and service staff to send out an invitation, but it’s just as easy on the customer than for them to receive direct links to all of our review sites and not have to go out and try to find them.”


The Result


Van Horn Automotive Group has enjoyed the reviews it receives through Podium’s service. “I know that we would not be where we are today on our Google pages or on any other respective review pages if we did not have this partnership with Podium,” says Tasche.


The reviews also serve as a valuable tool to motivate staff. “I do a leaderboard report for each dealership,” says Tasche. “And then we kind of combine everybody’s results together and each month I send out an email with our top performers. I think that has also helped with our success. Who doesn’t want to see their name on that report that you know that the owners are gonna be looking at?”


As the automotive market continues to evolve, Van Horn Automotive Group aims to stay ahead of the curve. “We’re trying to be as engaged in being an early adopter in this new space as we can,” Tasche says.