Have you ever been punched in the gut with a negative review for your car dealership that you can’t address or can’t even make sense of? Or maybe you’ve tried to remove a negative review for your dealership that was clearly meant for another dealership altogether, but had no way to address it.
Negative reviews affect your business for years to come, and situations like this are all too common.
Businesses large and small, including car dealerships, live and die by their online reputations. Realistically, genuine negative reviews can happen and may at times even be helpful for your business, especially if you’re able to reach out to the reviewer.
But unfair, fake, or exploitative negative reviews for your car dealership mislead potential customers and are certainly not helpful.
Unfair, disingenuous, and fake reviews can improperly skew a potential new customer’s view of your dealership, causing them to look elsewhere for a new vehicle, even if these reviews don’t accurately reflect your business.
While there is no magic wand to wave negative reviews away, persistence and experience work wonders. Our experience has shown that you will see up to a 60% reduction in negative online reviews. That’s enough to significantly affect your online reputation, and your star rating!
Unfortunately, in the game of online reviews, the deck is stacked against you.
The rate of positive reviews left on review websites has been declining steadily for several years. Add to that the increase in negative review rates that began during the pandemic in 2020, and the problem compounds.
Whatever the reason for these changes—whether it’s review fatigue, more critical customer bases, or something else—businesses are suffering. Add to that fake reviews, exploitative reviews looking for compensation, and reviews mistakenly left for totally different businesses, and managing your online reputation becomes a maddening prospect.
And if that weren’t enough, another factor making online reputation management difficult is the review platforms themselves.
Despite the overall decrease in positive reviews and increase in negative reviews, these platforms generally do not allow businesses to solicit positive reviews from customers.
Some will solicit positive reviews for you, but the fact is they have no stake in succeeding. A negative review is just as valuable to them as a positive review, if not more so since negative reviews are often longer and more…exciting. They have no incentive to diligently seek after positive reviews. After all, it’s not their business that’s hurting.
In the same vein, review platforms have very little motivation to remove negative reviews, even if they’re fake or unfair. All content is good content for them; they want to accumulate as many unique reviews as possible to provide content for their platform, giving preference especially to reviews that are lengthy, entertaining, or shocking.
Review platform employees are incentivized to do nothing to help you when you need to dispute a review. The hours of phone calls, submitting appeals, and constant fighting to keep your request in front of them is a frustrating and time-consuming enterprise.
Any time you or your employees spend chasing after review websites to remove these negative reviews is time not spent helping customers or taking care of your many administrative responsibilities. And lastly, but not insignificantly, there’s the added stress of dealing with this on your own.