Cars.com DealerADvantage Webinar: Responding to Online Reviews

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  • Also joining me today are Nick Hummer and Lauren Beaubien, members of our Dealer Solutions team, who will be joining me for the Q&A after my prepared remarks.
  • I want you to walk away from this session today with three things and some actionable advice you can take back to your stores to drive more sales…
  • Before we get into how to develop and execute your action plan for responding to reviews, I want to take a minute or two to provide a refresher on why it’s so important to incorporate reviews into the sales process. We went into further detail in our webinar last week on building review volume last week, but I think it’s important to keep in mind why reviews are so important. You can access the replay of last week’s webinar on Dealer Center.
  • The following are just a few statistics explaining how crucial reviews have become in the car buying process.
  • Before we get into tips for responding to feedback, I want to talk about the type of feedback that is being left online. A lot of people, particularly in automotive wrongly assume most online feedback generated by consumers is negative. Some of you may find this surprising. As you’ll see in this recent emarketer.com study, online conversations about autos tend to be overwhelmingly positive, with only 11% negative. And that number was backed up by our own analysis. On our recent review of the 139,000 reviews on DealerRater.com, 80 % were positive.So I’m sure you might be saying OK Jack, well what happens if it is my dealership that gets one of those negative reviews? How do Ihandle that? Well that brings us to our first tip….
  • Instead I recommend that you put negative reviews in context. Do they have one bad review among 10? Well, than that is actually a positive. We know that negative review is actually going to help your store more than hurt. How could that be right? It’s simple… A negative review that is balanced by positive reviews actually lends to the credibility of reviews overall.We know that shoppers look at the overall volume of reviews, they weigh negative reviews in relation to the number of positive reviews, they look at the tone, attitude of the reviewer and they also are understanding that outdated reviews, older than 12 months, may no longer paint an accurate pictureSo what if your store only has a negative review? The first step is to focus on building up your review volume. What if youare consistently getting negative feedback? This is a great opportunity to take a step back and look at your service and your process? Is this an opportunity to train and coach staff? To actually improve your store?  What else can you do in light of a negative review? You can respond, and often times thatresponse to a negative situation can build a more loyal customer or convert others to your brand by seeing how youhandled a negative situation. So let’s get into some tips for how to respond.
  • I’m going to get into the details of how to respond in just a moment, but before I do, let’s talk about the importance of having a plan for response in your store.Regardless of what type of feedback you find online (or off for that matter), you should have a plan for response.Joe Orr of Dick Hannah Honda does a great job with this and will actually be presenting his stores playbook in another session in our series, so I encourage you all to check that out.
  • This may sound like a simple tip, but often times we get so focused on resolving less than positive feedback, we forget to acknowledge positive comments that are left. Take this opportunity to show customers you listen and that you appreciate their acknowledgement of the experience you delivered. This goes a long way toward showing shoppers you are engaged, responsive and customer centric dealership.
  • It is equally important and almost goes without saying that we need to respond to negative feedback online. Don’t let the shopper be the only one telling the story…You can greatly reduce the impact of negative online reviews by respondingShows you listenAllows future readers to see you are engaged and proactively handle problems
  • So how do you respond to negative comments?Directly address the customer’s concernTake the conversation offline by inviting the customer to contact youOn Cars.com, you won’t have a direct means to contact the reviewer, so this is critical. Leave your phone number, leave your email. Most consumers at this point are not looking for resolution, but it shows review readers that you extended an olive branch.Save the discussion of “the facts” for when you and the customer are speaking privatelyRemember that your response influences current and future customers
  • Take negative reviews as an opportunity to save a sale…. I love this recent example from our site. The dealer actually sold a car, and the consumer is following up with a positive review.
  • When we talk about online reputation management, many focus on fixing what you see online. What I’m here today to talk about is fixing problems offline, so you earn a good reputation online.
  • I want to stress the importance of truly building your net of advocacy. You can’t just go out and buy it or bribe shoppers to contribute. Consumers sense what is real and fake. On one dealer site, a consumer sensed the feedback was too good to be true and noticed patterns in the content that led them to believe the dealership was padding reviews. They contacted the local media.
  • So we’ve talked about how to build your brand advocates, but I also want to touch briefly on how to deal with detractorsA lot of people, particularly in automotive wrongly assume most online feedback generated by consumers is negative. Some of you may find this surprising. As you’ll see in this recent emarketer.com study, online conversations about autos tend to be overwhelmingly positive, with only 11% negative. And that number was backed up by our own analysis. On our recent review of the 139,000 reviews on DealerRater.com, 80 % were positive.That said, what do you have a negative?First, know that it can actually be a positive. We know that negative review is actually going to help your store more than hurt. How could that be right? It’s simple… A negative review that is balanced by positive reviews actually lends to the credibility of reviews overall.We know that shoppers look at the overall volume of reviews, they weigh negative reviews in relation to the number of positive reviews, they look at the tone, attitude of the reviewer and they also are understanding that outdated reviews, older than 12 months, may no longer paint an accurate pictureSo what if your store only has a negative review? The first step is to focus on building up your review volume. What if youare consistently getting negative feedback? This is a great opportunity to take a step back and look at your service and your process? Is this an opportunity to train and coach staff? To actually improve your store?  What else can you do in light of a negative review? You can respond, and often times thatresponse to a negative situation can build a more loyal customer or convert others to your brand by seeing how youhandled a negative situation. So let’s get into some tips for how to respond.
  • Always respond, and do so in a timely mannerTake control of the conversationGet the dialogue offlineAvoid a public debate
  • Take negative reviews as an opportunity to save a sale…. I love this recent example from our site. The dealer actually sold a car, and the consumer is following up with a positive review.
  • Welcome to the Cars.com Reputation Management Lab! I’m Jack Simmons, Managerof Dealer Training at Cars.com. We are thrilled you’ve taken time out of your busy day to join us here. Our goal is to make it worth your time, giving you quick tips you can use to take charge of online reputation management for your store. This session will focus on a key aspect of reputation management – responding to online feedback. I talked earlier in our tips in 20 session about how to respond to feedback online. This session carries that a step further. We’ll discuss how to take the response one step further, using feedback to optimize your operations.Beforewe get started I just want to cover a few housekeeping items.
  • Reputation Management is not retroactive. To drive a positive reputation, you’ve got to start in your store, making customer service job number one in all aspects of the dealership
  • Tip 2. make it part of your processto ensure customers had a good experience. Ask before they leave the store. Follow-up after the sales
  • We all have a lot of tracking tools and we see a lot of customer insights, but are you really listening to them and using them.
  • Which brings me to our 4th tip… spotlight customer feedback. You want to give customer insights a megaphone in your store. This is really a way to drive change in your process is to give feedback visibility and importance.
  • Again, we are not talking about putting lipstick on a pig. If you continually have issues, you’ve got to make fundamental changes to fix problems in the store.Take ownership of what went wrongCorrect staff issuesImprove service qualityAddress policy issues
  • AfterJetBlue’s meltdown, David Neeleman stepped up to the plate and apologized – promptly.  This is incredibly rare for a CEO to do, and ever rarer for it to be timely. We are sorry and embarrassed. But most of all, we are deeply sorry…You deserved better – a lot better – from us last week and we let you down. Nothing is more important than regaining your trustNeeleman said he was “humiliated and mortified” and acknowledged that customers and staff (notice how he cares about his staff, not just his customers) had been through “hell”. Neeleman didn’t end there, he made appearances on the Today show and the “Late Show with David Letterman”, and introduced a “Customer Bill of Rights” that will go into effect.  He also said that each passenger who was on a grounded flight for over 3 hours will receive a free roundtrip ticket as well as a complete refund.The moral of the storyThe lesson here is apologies work, especially when they are sincere and backed up with “we’re going to make it up to you and we are making a plan to prevent this from ever happening again”…that is what regains trust.Neeleman turned this situation into a great opportunity for JetBlue to be a role model for other airlines – not in how they fell, but rather in how they dusted themselves off and rose again to lead in customer service.  Sometimes it takes a few mistakes to rededicate yourself to your goals. 
  • Faking a solid reputation is not going to get you anywhere….Consumers can sense when something is too good to be true, when it is not real and when you are not being transparent.Don’t say things are fixedBMW San Antonio Store example
  • For registering today, you also receive complimentary admission to our Reputation Management Lab Online Conference On-demand insight from social media’s top experts, including Charlene Li, Andy Beal and Jared HamiltonTips from dealers that you can put into practice at your dealerships todayincluding Joe Orr, Andrew DiFeo, Jeff Kershner, Tom White Jr., and John D. Hill,

Transcript

  • 1. Responding to Online ReviewsBuilding a Winning Reputation 1
  • 2. About MeJack Simmons • Dealer Training Manager, Cars.com • Over 35 years of automotive retail experienceConnect with Me: dealers.cars.com/facebook dealers.cars.com/twitter jasimmons@cars.com 2
  • 3. What We’ll Cover1. How to establish a review response process for your dealership, including who should respond to online reviews2. What your response track record says to sales prospects3. How to respond to negative feedback and turn detractors into promoters4. Why responding to positive reviews is good business5. Q & A 3
  • 4. Why Reviews?• Increasingly important to shoppers• Differentiates your store online and builds trust/confidence in making a purchase• More reviews = higher average rating• Boosts SEO 4
  • 5. Why Reviews are Important • 73% of car shoppers now consult online dealership reviews • 1 in 5 change their original dealership choice based on reviews they’ve read • Online reviews trump both dealer location and past dealer loyaltySources: Yahoo!/Cobalt Dealer E-Business Study 5
  • 6. Monitor What’s Being Said• Free tools • Cars.com DealerCenter • Google alerts • Notify.me • TweetBeep• Paid tools • Trackur.com • Reputation Defender • BrandsEye • Radian6
  • 7. What’s Being Said? • Cars.com Dealer Reviews are largely positive: • Average score since launch 4.6 • 81% are 5 stars • Keller Fay Group also found online conversations about autos tend to be overwhelmingly positive • Some detractors can actually build credibility for your store
  • 8. Keep Reviews in Context The Number of Reviews Even negative reviews have value: Drive credibility* An Credible The Drive review volume toEducated Website Review Reviews Itself outweigh the negative Take honest feedback to heart to make stores even better Balanced: Build advocates through Pros and Cons dealers’ responses Forrester, "User Ratings Top Consumers Online Wish Lists," February 2008
  • 9. Tip: Have a Response Plan• Know which sites allow a store response  Cars.com Dealer Reviews  DealerRater.com  Google Places  Yelp.com• If it is not you, assign someone in the store to monitor and respond to reviews• Ensure people responding are alerted to new reviews and can access the review sites
  • 10. Tip: Respond to PositiveFeedback
  • 11. Tip: Always Respond to LessThan Positive Reviews Publicly acknowledge feedback in a timely fashion Privately resolve issues
  • 12. Tip: Take Control of Comments Directly address the customer’s I’d like the opportunity to concern make things right. Please Take the conversation offline by inviting the customer to contact contact me directly at any you point to discuss. You can Save the discussion of “the facts” reach by email at for when you and the customer are speaking privately jsimmons@cars.com or by Remember that your response phone at 312-601-5000. influences current and future customers
  • 13. Tip: Avoid a Public Debate
  • 14. Saving the Sale 14
  • 15. You Can’t Put Lipstick on a Pig
  • 16. Start With a Good Experience• The best way to manage risk is to start with an exceptional experience I the store:  Create a service-drive culture and be transparent with customers  Don’t let problems walk away – ask customers about their experience before they leave the store  Make meaningful changes at your store in response to consistent negative feedback
  • 17. You Can’t Fake a Good Reputation• Don’t “buy” or “bribe” reviews• Be wary of companies who promise to “clean up” reputation• Avoid having staff, friends and family contribute• Shoppers evaluate authenticity• You’ll get caught and it only makes it harder to recover 17
  • 18. Dealing With Detractors • Cars.com Dealer Reviews are largely positive: • Average score since launch 4.6 • 81% are 5 stars • Keller Fay Group also found online conversations about autos tend to be overwhelmingly positive • Some detractors can actually build credibility for your store 18
  • 19. Responding to DetractorsIt’s all about managing yourreputation: Directly address the I’d like the opportunity to make customer’s concern things right. Please contact me Take the conversation offline directly at any point to discuss. by inviting the customer to You can reach by email at contact you nhummer@cars.com or by Save the discussion of “the phone at 312-601-5000. facts” for when you and the customer are speaking privately Remember that your response influences current and future customers 19
  • 20. Saving the Sale 20
  • 21. Identify Areas for Improvement I go to pick up the car, and when I get in, I noticed the passenger seat was wet. I check the floor mats, wet, the carpet is soaked in water front and back. It had rained the night before, and apparently they left the windows open in the rain all night.
  • 22. Beyond Online ResponseTaking Feedback to Heart
  • 23. Tip: Put Customer Service First Create a customer focused culture at your store: Make a top-down commitment  Owner, senior management team set the tone for the store Hire professionals with a record of service excellence Create customer service experience at every touch point
  • 24. Tip: Don’t Let Problems Walk Away Ask customers about their experience before they leave the store  How did we do today?  Did you have a 5-star experience? Develop a post-sale and service outreach process
  • 25. Tip: Hear Your Customers Don’t just track what is being said, LISTEN to what is said
  • 26. Tip: Spotlight FeedbackShare reviews with the: • Management team • Identify trends • Review tactics and, where needed, refine processes • Sales and service teams • Reiterate goals • Re-enforce policies, tactics
  • 27. Tip: Make Meaningful Change Use customer feedback to adjust process Take ownership of what went wrong Correct staff issues Improve service quality Address policy issues
  • 28. How JetBlue Made it Better “We are sorry and embarrassed. But most of all, we are deeply sorry…You deserved better – a lot better – from us last week and we letyou down. Nothing ismore important than regaining your trust…
  • 29. Tip: Be GenuineDon’t fake your reputation
  • 30. Access all sessions in the reputation management lab• Promote what is available for on-demand content:  Andy Beal  Charlene Li  Leading dealers 30
  • 31. Access All Sessions in the Reputation Management LabAccess additional content at theReputation Management Lab • Insight from social media’s top experts • Tips from dealers that you can put into practice at your dealerships today dealers.cars.com/reviews 31
  • 32. Questions? Jack is joined by Dealer Reviews Product Team members Nick Hummer and Lauren Beaubien to answer your questions about Dealer Reviews. Jack Simmons Nick Hummer Lauren Beaubien Dealer Training Manager Director, Dealer Solutions Associate Solutions Manager Dealer ReviewsTo submit a question, send a message to “Host” in the Chat window of the WebEx environment with your question. 32
  • 33. THANK YOU 33