Von Bibra Motor Group has been a mainstay in the Gold Coast of Australia for decades. They currently sell about 750 new and used cars and are responsible for 3,500 repairs each month. But Wade von Bibra, Group GM, knew that if the business was going to maintain its position, it needed to place more emphasis on its online reputation.
That is because the way car buyers find and choose which dealership to work with has changed. Now consumers are conducting most of their research online and reading reviews before ever stepping on a car lot. “When people get it in their mind that they want to buy a car, the first thing they do is jump online to see what kind of car they want and which local dealer they should work with,” said von Bibra. “They’re looking at reviews trying to ascertain whether or not the dealer is reputable and because of this, online reputation is one of our top priorities.”
Finding an Easier Way
Prior to implementing Podium, von Bibra did have a solution in place to help its dealerships collect reviews, but the process wasn’t as streamlined as it could be. The solution required them to input a number of details about the customer, take a photo of the vehicle, and forward that information onto their digital agency.
From there, the digital agency would send the customer an email with a link to leave a review. By that time, the experience with the dealership wasn’t top of mind, so as a result the conversion rate on invites wasn’t as good as they would like.
Additionally, the solution wasn’t ideal to use in their service department, which meant they were missing out on another 3,500 opportunities a month to collect reviews from their customers. “This process worked okay for us, but it was nowhere near as effective as Podium,” related von Bibra. “And the fact that it let us reach a wider base of our customers was a big win for us.”
“It’s not rocket science,” said von Bibra. “I’m not a rocket scientist when it comes to technology, so what I like most about Podium is how simple it is to use. When you have a customer in front of you, all you have to do is enter their name and number, hit send, and they’ve got the invite.”
von Bibra Auto Group has already seen the needle move with its online reputation. von Bibra boasts a 4.7 Google rating, on average, across all of its dealerships, while collecting 439 new reviews on all of the review sites it is monitoring.
With the business doing so well on Google, von Bibra is now shifting focus to ProductReview. In the short time since the switch, they have seen a .2 star increase in their rating and expect that number to continue to improve.
The dealership spends a lot of money on marketing and advertising to drive customers to their showrooms, but it has found that reviews, which are effectively free, have the most influence. Reviews will always be an integral part of the buying process and that’s why building and maintaining its online reputation with Podium is so important for von Bibra Auto Group.
“Podium is such a powerful tool,” concluded von Bibra. “It has made it very easy for us to collect reviews on Google. The minute you start adding more steps, the less reviews you’re going to receive, and Podium is so easy – both for our staff and our customers.”