For decade after decade, the saying “The customer is always right” has been used by countless businesses. And while it has been used for the purpose of customer service, I think it’s time to start looking at it from brand perception.

From a quick Google search, I found two reviews of the same dealership:

  • “I would not recommend this service department. They are either liars, incompetent, or both.” (The customer then explains the issue.)
  • “I have been to a lot of dealers and by far this is the best one ever. The people are friendly and the technicians are the best in the business.”

Whether it’s a potential customer looking for sales or for service, you should expect they will head to Google to see what previous customers thought about you. In fact, according to Vendasta:

  • 92% of consumers read online reviews.
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1 to 3 reviews.

When these potential buyers read the reviews, they will most likely believe that the customer was right, even with bad reviews.
You would think that bad reviews are, well, bad. But 95 percent of consumers suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see any negative ones.

What Is a Dealership to Do?

One of the best strategies is to respond to the feedback. A potential customer seeing that the business accepts the bad feedback and is willing to make it right means they are more trustworthy.

On top of that, the dealership can turn a publicly unhappy customer vowing never to return into one that will come back for sales and services.

It’s also a good idea to respond to the good feedback with a note of gratitude. This adds another level of engagement and shows that you are personalizing the entire customer experience.

As the automotive dealership industry shifts from a product-centric to a customer-centric model, reviews will become a larger part of business. And when customers leave a review, good or bad, they are always right. Proactively and positively engaging with the feedback will help drive customer retention and loyalty while showing that you are a business that cares – all of which helps in increasing revenue.

Paula Tompkins

Paula Tompkins

CEO and Founder at ChannelNet
Paula Tompkins

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