In today’s climate, consumers increasingly turn to family, friends, peers and even strangers to help make their buying decisions – decisions as broad as who to do business with, or as specific as which item to purchase. Having a solid strategy for creating brand advocates is more important than ever before, as too many bad reviews cause a customer to start looking for an alternative business.
Creating brand advocates is not as simple as it used to be in our digital world. Negative reviews can cause you to lose business and your customers’ trust. Dealerships are increasingly sensitive to reviews and are monitoring and responding to them as needed. The prevailing theory is that unhappy customers are more likely to leave a negative review when they’ve had a bad experience than leave a positive one due to a good experience. But is that true?
According to an article by Entrepreneur, companies who deliver a positive customer experience enjoy revenue growth up to eight percent higher than the market average. While customers with a negative experience will relay their thoughts to multiple people, they tend to do so only once they’ve written off the company and moved on to a different one.
Meanwhile, customers with positive experiences tend to keep coming back and with each positive experience, tend to tell more people over time. The research revealed that over the course of a happy customer’s lifetime, they turn into brand advocates. These customers create more than 14 times the value of those with negative experiences.
So, what’s the take away when referring to reputation management and monitoring reviews in general?
Overall, dealerships tend to focus on and react to negative reviews. Nobody wants an unhappy customer – especially one that has taken to the internet to share that negative experience with potential customers.
The dealership’s first line of defense when faced with a negative review is the team member tasked with responding to comments and dissolving the issue. This will ideally accomplish three things: Give the customer a reason to return for a better experience, demonstrate the level at which you value your customers, and attract future business.
Thus, what does a dealership do with a positive review? Generally, nothing.
Perhaps, if an employee is mentioned, he or she will get a “good job” from management. Everyone will be grateful for the positive review. But what about the customer? It’s just as important to acknowledge positive reviews as it is to respond to the negative ones. Customers with positive experiences can ultimately increase revenue and spread positive messages with word-of-mouth recommendations.
Recognizing a positive review indicates to happy customers that you are hearing them and appreciate their business. Acknowledging them reinforces the type of behavior you want to continue. These customers continue to share positive messages to their networks, which ultimately creates brand advocates.
In the end, responding appropriately to all consumer feedback, good or bad, is significant to your dealership’s reputation. It all ends up as part of each individual customer’s experience with you. Even if you can’t resolve every customer’s problem, you can try, and others will recognize that you did.
For those happy customers, a simple token of appreciation adds another high note to the experience, and your dealership will collect more wins than losses.