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Under the Hood with Dealer Reviews
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Under the Hood with Dealer Reviews

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It’s rare for today’s consumers to buy anything without first checking online reviews, and that includes decisions about where to take their vehicle for maintenance and repair. While most ...

It’s rare for today’s consumers to buy anything without first checking online reviews, and that includes decisions about where to take their vehicle for maintenance and repair. While most dealerships have made great strides in managing their online reputation, service reviews are often left at the wayside, giving independent repair shops and franchise chains a leg up when it comes to digital shoppers.

learn how to put your service department’s best foot forward with online reviews, including how to:

• Build up your dealership’s online reputation with reviews of your service department
• Encourage service staff to ask for customer feedback
• Monitor and respond to service department reviews
• Turn positive service reviews into vehicle sales

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  • Agenda/welcome slideIntercall will kick-off the conference call by explaining webinar dashboard/functionality and hand-off to Ed…Ed: Hello and thank you for joining me today for our webinar - Under the Hood with Dealer Reviews. Today I will talk a little about the importance of building your store’s brand through service reviews – including the impact it can have on both Fixed Ops and Sales revenue. At the average dealership, Service transactions outnumber Sales transactions 10 to 1 so there is no better place to begin building up your service reputation than in your own service lane. I’ll offer tips on how to encourage your staff to solicit customer feedback, how to monitor and respond to those service reviews and how to promote positive reviews to attract vehicle sales.
  • At the average dealership, the majority of profits come from the Service department. While fixed ops has proven more profitable than their sales operations in recent years, market forces are colliding to squeeze dealer profitability….
  • For instance, cars are being built to last longer and require less frequent maintenance. The average age of a vehicle on the road today is at a record 11.3 years, up 14% since 2008.
  • With so many older vehicles on the road, the composition of those out of warranty is on the rise. 86% of vehicles are out of warranty. (Experian Automotive’s Vehicles In Operation (VIO) database, 2011) According to a study by DMEautomotive, basic service customers defect over time costing dealers an average of…60-78% of revenue on cars 3-6 years old82-92% for cars 7+ years old
  • This is a big deal as the $215B service market is projected to continue to grow 15%+ over the next 3 years. But even as service business grows overall, dealer service revenue is actually down 7%. According to a 2012 DME automotive study, dealer service dollars are currently being lost to national repair chains, especially among younger car owners.And loyalty rates are low among service providers with only 23% of consumers tied to a provider, putting 42% of service dollar in flux (DME Automotive, “The Changing Service Loyalty Landscape”’ 2012). The revenue opportunity is great and the stakes are high. Competition will intensify and dealerships must up their game to stand out amongst the competition.Ed: Note on the loyalty stat… 23% is of CONSUMERS. The 42% is of SERVICE dollars. The difference is related to the amount of $$ spent by loyalists, swing loyalists and disloyalists. Below is how it all breaks out.Of Consumers:Loyalists: 23Swing Loyalist: 50Disloyalists: 27Of Service Dollars:Loyalists: 59Swing Loyalists: 31Disloyalists: 10
  • This is a big deal as the $215B service market is projected to continue to grow 15%+ over the next 3 years. But even as service business grows overall, dealer service revenue is actually down 7%. According to a 2012 DME automotive study, dealer service dollars are currently being lost to national repair chains, especially among younger car owners.And loyalty rates are low among service providers with only 23% of consumers tied to a provider, putting 42% of service dollar in flux (DME Automotive, “The Changing Service Loyalty Landscape”’ 2012). The revenue opportunity is great and the stakes are high. Competition will intensify and dealerships must up their game to stand out amongst the competition.Ed: Note on the loyalty stat… 23% is of CONSUMERS. The 42% is of SERVICE dollars. The difference is related to the amount of $$ spent by loyalists, swing loyalists and disloyalists. Below is how it all breaks out.Of Consumers:Loyalists: 23Swing Loyalist: 50Disloyalists: 27Of Service Dollars:Loyalists: 59Swing Loyalists: 31Disloyalists: 10
  • This is a big deal as the $215B service market is projected to continue to grow 15%+ over the next 3 years. But even as service business grows overall, dealer service revenue is actually down 7%. According to a 2012 DME automotive study, dealer service dollars are currently being lost to national repair chains, especially among younger car owners.And loyalty rates are low among service providers with only 23% of consumers tied to a provider, putting 42% of service dollar in flux (DME Automotive, “The Changing Service Loyalty Landscape”’ 2012). The revenue opportunity is great and the stakes are high. Competition will intensify and dealerships must up their game to stand out amongst the competition.Ed: Note on the loyalty stat… 23% is of CONSUMERS. The 42% is of SERVICE dollars. The difference is related to the amount of $$ spent by loyalists, swing loyalists and disloyalists. Below is how it all breaks out.Of Consumers:Loyalists: 23Swing Loyalist: 50Disloyalists: 27Of Service Dollars:Loyalists: 59Swing Loyalists: 31Disloyalists: 10
  • Imagine this:It’s late at night and one of your customers, Chris, is heading home after a long day at the office. As he pulls up to a stoplight he hears an unexpected grinding noise coming from his brakes. He’s been coming to your dealership for the past three years but since his car is just out of warranty, he starts to weigh his options.He has a choice to make. When he gets home he may pull out his smartphone and look up reviews for local repair shops on Yelp of Google+ local or for the nearest service chain. In any case, the decision he makes will be largely based on experiences others have shared online. Is your service department showing up?
  • As consumers have gone digital, they are making buying decisions differently. They turn to digital sources to find providers and validate purchase decisions, often through reviews. These days consumers go online to check reviews before buying almost anything and that includes where to take their car for service and repairs. While most dealers have come a long way in building up the online reputation on sales operations, service reviews are often overlooked. This gives independent repair shops and franchise service providers the leg up when it comes to digital shoppers.
  • Based on a YP.com local insights digital report from July 2012, Fixed ops terms represent 2 of the top 6 highest searched local terms. And despite the fact that service transactions outnumber sales transactions 10 to 1 at the average dealership, dealer websites often dedicate a fraction of their website content to it. This impacts where your website ranks in search results. Reviews are a great way to bolster service related content on your website and has a positive impact on your search rankings.Top 10 local termsRestaurantsAuto PartsBuilding ContractorsPhysicians & SurgeonsLegal ServicesAuto Repair and ServicePet and Animal ServiceReal EstateAutomobile SalesFinancial Services
  • A recent independent study with gfk confirmed that Online consumer reviews rank only behind technician certification level and warranty as one of the three most important components in choosing a vehicle service provider – gfk search and price estimator research, 2013So your dealership has the unique ability to differentiate it’s brand through online reviews and show service shoppers what they want to know most – that your service department is a trustworthy, quality service provider and that they’ll pay a fair price and have a great experience.
  • When it comes to online service reviews,independents and chains rise to the top of searchresults and average more customer reviews. This is clear when we look at review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List or Google+ Local. When potential service customers are seeking reviews, they’re more likely to find your competition. This is due to the fact that most dealership put less effort into pursuing service department than sales reviews.In addition to building and promoting reviews on your own site it’s important to increase your presence across all reviews sites. At Cars.com, we give dealers the opportunity to have their service reviews accessible from Dealer Locator, Dealer Profile Pages, Vehicle Detail Pages and Search SERP.
  • So how do you begin to build and promote Service reviews on your site and review sites like Cars.com and address the gaps that exist between service shopper needs and dealers’ digital presenceAgain, service customers outnumber sales customers 10:1 and on Cars.com, only 2 in 10 reviews posted are related to Service. By building up your store’s brand through service reviews, you are delivering what the shopper seeks and have the opportunity to influence potential customers where they are searching for and evaluating service providers. Focus on these four key areas to get your service reputation off the ground:MonitorRespondAskPromote Remember that a strong reputation is the byproduct of a strong business. As you implement your dealership’s online reputation management strategy, always look for ways to improve the way you interact with customers.
  • Think for a moment about whose job is it to read new reviews at your dealership… If you don’t know the answer to that you may be missing one of the most basic elements of reputation management – listening. Whether a customer posts to give praise about a great break job or to complain about the cleanliness of the waiting room, you only hurt yourself by ignoring customer feedback.Or perhaps you have an ISM reading all reviews. Does anyone in your service department also see them?Monitor is really about listening to feedback and sharing it throughout the dealership, including Service department.As a first step to managing your reputation on Cars.com, contact your representative to get access to mydealercenter and make sure the right personnel at your dealership is included on the Cars.com Dealer Center Reviews Alert distribution list.Read your existing reviews and your competitor’s reviews on Cars.com, under the reviews tab, and other reviews sites
  • Writing thoughtful responses to reviews is an area where most dealership struggle. In fact, only 20% of dealer reviews on Cars.com have a personal response. Whether it’s lack of time or perception that positive reviews don’t need to be answered, not responding in not unlike having a shopper on the lot say “thank you” or “can you help me” and walking the other direction. Take the time to write a thoughtful response to all inbound reviews, both good and bad.Assign someone at the dealership to read and respond to all incoming reviewsDevelop process for escalating specific negative feedbackIdentify and correct any process issues you encounter to ensure all service reviews receive a responseHere are two examples of how a GM or owner can respond to reviews to give thanks or correct a negative situation…
  • Once you’re comfortable monitoring and responding to incoming reviews, it’s time to go on the offensive and actively solicit new ones. And because service customers outnumber sales customers nearly 10:1 at the average dealership, there’s no better place to start building online reviews than your own service lane. (estimated dealership transactions per year: 1352 sales, 13702 Service – Cars.com analysis of NADA 2013 data)Whose job is it to ask for reviews at your dealership? If your store already has a process for getting reviews from sales customers, get together with your GM and other stakeholders to discuss how you may be able to leverage existing processes in service. Identify points in the service workflow that are appropriate to as for reviews.Asking can be as simple as handing out a postcard at checkout or as detailed as scheduling a follow-up email through your CRM system.Provide resources and train employees to support them in asking for reviews.Consider these tactics:Ask customer in person while reviewing successfully completed repair workSend a follow-up email thanking the customer and link to the dealerships dealers review pageGive the customer a handout when they’re checking outSend a text message confirming the customer is happy and ask for a reviewMake a follow-up call to thank them for business and ask for a review1 in 4 drivers will post a review when they find a vehicle provider they like (Google, “Road to Winning Drivers – Aftermarket Service” July 2013)
  • These are a few examples of how Cars.com works with partners to help solicit reviews from your customers. Cars.com recently did a test pilot with a dealer group who aimed to grow review volume on Cars.com. In specific markets, we worked with them to handout marketing materials like those shown here in-stores as well as do follow-up calls or emails to solicit reviews from recent customers. The test grew review volume by 211% in test markets. Having a process for building reviews will yield results.
  • Once you’ve setup your stores processes, managed your team and built-up a healthy base of Service reviews, now what?Having dozens of great reviews helps build your store’s brand but it shouldn’t stop there. Use the great reviews you’ve earned to your advantage. Share them with prospects, promote them on your website, post them through your social channels to maximize their value. Reward your staff for a job well done!
  • In addition to attracting and new and keeping current service customers with a strong online reputation, Service reviews also impact new car sales. Over 90% of new car shoppers report that they want to read service reviews when considering a dealership to buy from.

Under the Hood with Dealer Reviews Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Under The Hood With Dealer Reviews
  • 2. What You Will Learn How to build up your dealership’s online reputation with reviews of your service department How to encourage sales staff to ask for customer feedback How to monitor and respond to service department reviews How to turn positive reviews into vehicle sales 2
  • 3. Fixed Ops Revenue is at Risk Majority of dealership profits came from Service and Parts between 2005 - 20111 Source: 1. NADA, 2. IHS Automotive Research, 3. RepairPal estimates 11/2/13 3
  • 4. Fixed Ops Revenue is at Risk Average age of vehicle is 11.3 years old2 Source: 1. NADA, 2. IHS Automotive Research, 3. RepairPal estimates 11/2/13 4
  • 5. Defecting Customers Costs You 82-92% of service revenue for cars 7+ years old DMEautomotive, “The Changing Service Loyalty Landscape,” February 2012 5
  • 6. Growing Service Spend is in Flux $215B service market is projected to continue to grow 15%+ over the next 3 years** *NADA data, 2013 **DME automotive, “The Changing Loyalty Landscape”, 2/12 6
  • 7. Growing Service Spend is in Flux Service business grew in 2013, Dealer’s fixed operations sales were down 7%* *NADA data, 2013 **DME automotive, “The Changing Loyalty Landscape”, 2/12 7
  • 8. Growing Service Spend is in Flux Low loyalty rates for service providers puts service dollars in flux** *NADA data, 2013 **DME automotive, “The Changing Loyalty Landscape”, 2/12 8
  • 9. How to Win the Service Shopper 10
  • 10. Only 3% of Dealer Website is Service Content 97% Of dealer website is sales content NADA June 2012 Data
  • 11. One of the top three most important components in choosing a service provider GfK Research Service and Repair Report, October 2013
  • 12. How are You Building Your Service Reputation?  Monitor  Respond  Ask  Promote 14
  • 13. Online Reputation Checklist Monitor: Contact your Cars.com representative to get access to myDealerCenter Verify the current email distribution list of dealer reviews alerts Check for existing Cars.com dealer reviews under reviews tab Benchmark reviews of Service competitors on Cars.com and other review sites 15
  • 14. Online Reputation Checklist Respond:  Assign someone at the dealership to read and respond to all incoming reviews  Escalate specific negative feedback  Correct process issues 16
  • 15. Positive Review 17
  • 16. Negative Review 18
  • 17. Online Reputation Checklist Ask  Meet your general manager and stakeholders to discuss the existing process for soliciting reviews  Identify points within service workflow that are appropriate to ask for reviews  Gather resources to support team in asking for reviews  Train employees 19
  • 18. Mirror Tag Table Tent Postcards Printed Digital
  • 19. Online Reputation Checklist Promote:  Share your positive feedback with prospects  Incorporate reviews into external advertising 21
  • 20. Service Reviews Build Reputation 91% of new-car shoppers said they would use reviews when deciding on a dealership DriverSide/Kelton Research Study, April 2011 22
  • 21. Service Reputation Recap  Monitor  Respond  Ask  Promote 23
  • 22. Questions
  • 23. Thank You