Stars Sell Cars
Why You Need to Protect and Polish Your Online Reputation
The first place many customers will encounter your brand is online. You want them to form a great impression of your business based on what they find during their web search. One of the best ways to enrich your valuable business is online reputation management (ORM).
What is online reputation management?
Online reputation management is the practice of responding to online conversations where people are talking about your brand. ORM is a critical ingredient in the digital marketing mix to ensure you put your best foot forward in building positive brand awareness. It encompasses conversations in social media, review sites like Yelp, a blog post, or an article.
ORM addresses positive comments with appreciation and negative comments with a desire to learn from the poster’s experience and use those learnings to improve future customer interactions. It can also help correct misinformation that may spread online. ORM empowers you to take back control of the online conversation and steer the discussion of your brand in a positive direction.
Why is ORM important?
People are online, and they’re commenting on everything, including your brand. You can’t control what people say, but you can participate in those conversations. If you do so with courteous, open-minded, customer-service-focused responses, you can have a very positive impact on how others perceive your brand. This is true even when the comment that started the conversation was not favorable.
Your online reputation is important because in the shopper’s buying process, one of the very last decisions they make is whether they want to do business with you or your competitor down the street. To make this decision, a shopper looks to what others have said about their experience with your brand. Were they treated fairly? Did they get a good deal? Would they recommend your business to others?
Online reputation is one of the final elements to influence a car-buyer’s final decision. The work of reputation management ensures that a shopper in their final stage of research will find positive comments on you to ensure they trust you for their purchase.
The adage “Stars sell cars” refers to the power of glowing five-star customer reviews to attract new shoppers to a dealer. On the flip side, a poor reputation can drive shoppers away.
How can businesses get started with ORM?
The first step in ORM is to identify sites where potential customers might find you. On each of those sites, search for your company name. In particular, look for how many stars you have and what people say about you, both positive and negative.
When you’re ready for the next step: start responding to customer reviews. If you don’t see the option, do an internet search for “How to claim a business account on [XYZ website].” You want to respond to both positive and negative comments.
Give a quick thanks to positive customer feedback. It’s a great opportunity to reinforce your core values or to demonstrate the positive environment a customer will have at your business:
- “We’re so glad you loved the product! We try to offer the best [XYZ] on the market, so if you have any suggestions, let us know!”
- “Thanks for taking the time to share your great experience with Phil from our sales team. Phil has been with us for 12 years and is the perfect example of the type of service we strive to provide for all our customers.”
For negative feedback, acknowledge it, then reinforce core values and direct the conversation offline:
- “We’re sorry to hear that you weren’t satisfied with your new [XYZ]. Our goal is to provide great products and experiences to all our customers. We’d love to hear from you at 555-555-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org so we can better understand your situation and see what we can do to make things right.”
- “We’re disappointed to hear that you had a poor experience with us. Our goal is to meet all our customers’ needs. Would you consider giving us a second chance and share more information so we can meet your expectations? Please call us at our customer satisfaction line: 555-555-5555 or email@example.com and we’ll try to remedy the situation.”
Finally, create a routine to monitor mentions regularly and respond quickly so that no review goes stale. Set a goal to respond to X% of comments within three business days and prioritize negative posts.
How can Sincro help with ORM?
Sincro’s ORM experts can take on all the work needed to protect and enhance your online reputation, making it seamless for you.
They can track comments made about your brand across a wide variety of sites and comment in your voice on what is said. The Sincro ORM team knows to mix up the language of their responses because robotic repetition can damage your reputation. Team members can direct critical comments away from digital forums, where negativity can escalate, and toward a phone call or email to your customer service department, where it’s easier to correct issues and enhance satisfaction.
Sincro’s experienced ORM professionals can also provide dealers with a report on the number of responses provided on your behalf and how quickly they responded. Dealers are also able to create reports through Sincro’s self-serve tools.
Discover more about how Sincro can help you manage this precious online asset with its ORM services.