Few people walk out of a car dealership completely satisfied. The same is true of truck, motorcycle and any other dealerships.
Often the following scenario unfolds: after viewing an ad, you go to the dealership only to be told that the car you were looking for has already been sold or any other excuse for why it’s not available.
The salesperson then steers you toward a vehicle that would be ideally suited to your needs at some increase in cost. These are called the bait and switch approach. The auto industry has shot itself in the foot by continuing to use them.
Don’t Bait and Switch
Reputation management starts as simple as that. Conducting business by using bait or deceiving promotions is sure to drive away potential customers. Ensure that your sales representatives are well trained and that your company is run in an ethical manner.
The face of your company is mainly composed of the reputation of your sales personnel. Provide proper training before they start in the sales department. This will do a lot to improve the impression people get of your dealership, and consequently its reputation.
Applying the same bait-and-switch approach over and over will only result in negative reviews, complaints and the continued bad reputation for you and the industry.
Introduce Responsibility for Customer Satisfaction
Hire someone whose responsibility will be customer satisfaction. The position should be titled something along “Customer Satisfaction Manager,” clearly attributing their presence to the customer’s benefit.
Ideally, they would introduce themselves to every potential customer that comes through the door an provide them a business card with contact details where they can reach out if the customers have any questions or issues.
Further, you should encourage customers who had a great experience to leave a positive review with Google Local or Yelp. People are much less likely to share their positive experiences. Therefore, this process becomes critical part in managing your reputation on online review sites.
Even if a dispute may not be ideally addressed to the benefit of the buyer, people will feel more secure and comfortable doing business with your dealership if there is someone they can contact at any time to voice their concerns or ask questions.
When you have a communication channel for people to vent their frustrations or fears, it becomes much easier to manage negative opinions. You will be able to funnel these through your company and handle the situation accordingly before it’s shared publicly. You have a real person who will be your first line of defence against damaging online negative reviews. In addition, this gives you the opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one, avoid a negative review and maybe gain a customer.