9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog
Where automotive meets digital marketing.
Podium, the industry's leading review management platform, knows there's power in online reviews. It's the same implied “seal of approval” that makes celebrity endorsements a common technique in advertising for auto dealerships.
As long as your customers are having positive experiences with your store, you want them to be shouting that from the rooftop. Podium is a great way to put positive customer experiences to work.
Why online reviews matter
Online reviews have become a new benchmark for your dealership's credibility. Customers not only want to see that you have the basics they're looking for (make, model, or inventory available), they also want to see what it's like to do business with you.
If a potential customer sees that people have had bad experiences with your dealership, that information will influence their buying decision — and not in your favor. Buying a car is still a big investment. Customers want to buy from a place they can trust and develop a relationship with.
Don't bank on the fact that you're “the only ____ dealership within ____ miles.” If a prospect sees a better happiness guarantee at a neighboring dealership? It's never a long enough drive.
What Is Podium?
Podium is a service that helps you manage your online reputation. It pulls reviews from different sites (Google, Facebook, and Yelp) together in one spot.
There are two key tools worth highlighting here: the home dashboard and the review invitation.
The home dashboard is a quick snapshot of where your review standings are. You can set goals for your company overall, and Podium will hold you accountable.
Here is where you can see at a glance how your reputation management efforts are building. Full disclosure: we set our goal at 10 new reviews per month, and we have not been pushing ourselves to achieve that.
2. Review Invitation
This request for an online review gets sent straight to a customer's phone, and it will automatically direct them to the appropriate review site. Pretty cool.
Asking for feedback is hard. Receiving feedback is hard. Podium helps lessen the anxiety by using something you and your customers already own — a phone or computer — as a tool to help you generate more positive reviews.
How Does Podium Work?
Anyone can ask for a review on Google, Facebook, or Yelp. Podium just makes the hard part — getting people to actually write the review — easier.
Below, I have included screenshots of the different steps it took me to write a review about 9 Clouds on Podium.
4 Steps to Writing a Review on Podium
- The customer is sent a “review ask” text.
- The customer selects “Yes” or “No Thanks” on the recommendation screen.
BONUS: If they select “No Thanks,” the customer is directed to a comment box instead of an online review source, and the information isn't recorded publicly.
- The customer is directed to a one-touch login to Google.
- The customer rates and writes the review.
You can see that the entire process took me only three minutes to complete. You can also see my totally biased review of my employer. (For demo purposes only. I like working for real reviews.)
Is Podium Right for Your Dealership?
In a world where people are doing most of their car-buying research online, it's important for SEO and customer service reasons that your reviews accurately reflect your dealership. You need to be doing something to help encourage those reviews, and Podium makes it a little easier (for a small fee).
It should be said — you can DIY your reputation management. But seriously, who has the time? I'm fine going up against Scott on this one, but I also think I'm the reason subscription boxes were invented.
I'm a woman of convenience. I like tools that make complicated jobs easy, and I like to spend my money accordingly.
Are You Like Me?
Run through the demo, discuss with your staff, and create your plan of attack.
For additional help with reputation management, SEO, and digital marketing for auto dealers, hit us up. We're always psyched to talk strategy.