Welcome 2015! With the start of a new year, many of us are taking the time to set resolutions for personal growth and improvements. But shouldn’t you be doing the same for your dealership and your online presence? The answer is YES!
We are talking about taking control of your online reputation and putting your best foot forward in the new year to keep your dealership’s reputation in good standing with your prospects, employees, and customers.
Many feel that reputation management refers to managing just the negative online customer reviews and are afraid to enter into this. However, we feel it goes beyond just the bad reviews, you need to think about managing the good and the bad. Encourage your customers to post about their experience with you, especially if it was a positive one, on platforms such as Yelp, YellowPages, and Google+. If there are negative reviews, you can’t ignore them, but rather address them. Apologize if your dealership was at fault, consider improving a process that may be weak, and come up with a solution to make the situation better.
While this is a good place to start, managing your reputation goes much deeper than online reviews. With the shift from passive audiences to customers being more engaged with business, your dealership is being talked about, especially on social media. Regular social interactions with your dealership are vital to your success, and monitoring your dealership’s social presence is another way to stay ahead of your online reputation. Prospective customers are looking to social media for recommendations, reviews, and answers. How are you handling what others are saying about you on social media? 85% of customers say that the way a brand handles customer interactions and complaints on social media is a reflection of their overall customer service. So ask yourself, am I handling interactions on social media in a positive way?
Today, you can’t opt out of managing your online reputation. Instead, your dealership needs to take a proactive approach when it comes to reputation management. One way to be proactive is to set up a Google alert for your dealership’s name, your top manufacturer lines, and your competition. Then, as information is published about these topics, you are notified right away and can address any concerns that may arise.
Next week we are going to talk about how your online reputation effects your search engine rankings, and some tips for making sure that the content people are finding about your dealership, is content that you want them to find. Be sure to check back, and if you have any questions or comments about managing your online reputation, please leave them in the section below.