How Important is the “Dealership Experience”?

Reputation Management

Nowa­days with the inter­net, most cus­tomers can do all the research they need to buy a car online and via car deal­ers web­sites. How­ev­er many deal­ers still under­stand that the car deal­er­ship expe­ri­ence still mat­ters. With so many peo­ple on social media sites, mes­sage boards and access to infor­ma­tion at all times, it’s more impor­tant than ever to make sure each cus­tomer that leaves your deal­er­ship has a good expe­ri­ence. One unsat­is­fied cus­tomer can eas­i­ly share their bad expe­ri­ence with thou­sands of peo­ple by post­ing on social media sites and mes­sage boards.

Here are three ways to save your deal­er­ship from a social media cri­sis:

1. Have a cri­sis man­age­ment plan. Who will be respon­si­ble for respond­ing to the bad review? What will you do to address the issue? It’s impor­tant to have a cri­sis man­age­ment plan and a spe­cif­ic per­son appoint­ed for the job. Much like an emer­gency evac­u­a­tion plan, some­one has to get you out of the mess when a bad review strikes.

 2. Save the day. When peo­ple post neg­a­tive reviews about a com­pa­ny, most often than not they’re fish­ing for a response. How will you save the day? Will you invite them back for anoth­er vis­it or send them a gift card? Com­plaints need respons­es – quick respons­es. Try not to let an issue drag out more than 72-hours – respond with­in 24-hours if you can.

3. Secure your rep­u­ta­tion. When dia­log like this occurs in the pub­lic eye, oth­er users are active­ly watch­ing to see how a com­pa­ny responds to a com­plaint and what mea­sures are tak­en to cor­rect the prob­lem. The good news is that if you have loy­al cus­tomers, they’ll remain loy­al if they see that you respond­ed to oth­er cus­tomers well and always put the cus­tomers first.

The biggest chal­lenge for car deal­er­ships is and will con­tin­ue to be attract­ing sales staff that are, “cus­tomer-focused, inter­net savvy and knowl­edge­able about prod­uct”. Does every­one in your deal­er­ship know the val­ue of the deal­er­ship expe­ri­ence? Ensure every­one knows the effects of a bad review, and have a plan in place that every­one can under­stand exe­cute under pres­sure. Take nec­es­sary mea­sures to ensure that every cus­tomer that walks through your door leaves hap­pi­er than when they arrived.

Con­tact the experts at Now­com for more tips on the deal­er­ship expe­ri­ence: 888-NOWCOM9 (669‑2669) or



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