Many car dealerships, car washes, and other auto businesses treat their online reviews like an afterthought: something that’s nice to have, but not necessarily a top-level priority. However, data shows that consumers value ratings and reviews highly — especially when it comes to automotive companies like yours.
Not only do consumers care about reviews — they also value the company’s responses to those reviews. Depending on the quantity and quality of the responses you provide, you can attract new customers, reinforce brand loyalty among happy customers, and potentially, even prevent unhappy customers from switching over to your competitors. And not only does it help with customer acquisition and retention, a review response strategy can also help your business rank higher in local searches, meaning you reach more shoppers faster — just in time for the holidays.
If your automotive business has been putting review management on the back burner, we hope that this article will encourage you to consider shifting tactics. Follow along as we share what we learned by polling a group of 200 shoppers — including whether responding to reviews makes them more likely to consider choosing your dealership.
Our Survey Shows that Consumers Want Car Dealerships to Respond to Reviews — Is Yours Keeping Up?
As any business owner knows, consumer trends and attitudes constantly shift and change. With the year drawing to a close, we wanted to get a snapshot and find out how the average U.S. consumer felt about the auto industry in 2022. More specifically, we wanted to discover consumer attitudes toward business reviews and owner responses within the automotive industry — for example, reviews of repair shops or car washes.
In search of representative data, we polled a group of 200 male and female participants ranging in age from 18 to 54+, covering a wide mix of income levels, household/family sizes, and different U.S. states. What united all of them? 100% of our participants reported either buying a car, visiting a car wash, or having their vehicle serviced by a body shop or auto mechanic during the past 12 months. Here are a few of the highlights we think your business should know about.
- A mind-blowing 100% of our participants said they read reviews before making a purchase. Then again, maybe that’s not too surprising in light of BrightLocal’s findings that 98% of consumers “read online reviews for local businesses” earlier in 2022.
- The majority of participants — 69.50% (139 people) — said they were “more likely to return to a dealership / car wash / repair shop that responded to [their] review with a personalized, thoughtful reply.” This also aligned with another one of our findings, which was that 73.50% of people (147 participants) preferred businesses to respond “with a personalized message instead of an automated response.” Learn more about why customization matters when you’re responding to customer feedback online.
- If you’re tired of falling behind the competition, consider this: 83.50% of our participants (167 people) agreed that “responding to reviews is a good way for businesses to stand out from their competitors.” If you aren’t fully leveraging your online reviews and are only responding to some of them (or none of them), you’re missing out on opportunities to advertise your business and get shoppers on-board with your brand.
- Here’s what we think is the biggest takeaway of all: almost 70% of participants said they were “more likely to shop at a dealership / car wash / repair shop that responded to its online reviews.” That means replying to reviews can help you attract more customers, earn more revenue, and drive more growth.
For even more stats, we recommend checking out our 2022 general consumer survey, which polled consumers as a whole across all industries. And speaking of other industries, be sure to check back in on our blog later this month, when we’ll be continuing this series with a look at the restaurant and home service industries. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for the latest reputation management insights delivered straight to your inbox each month.
Tips and Strategies for Responding to Reviews of Your Auto Dealership, Car Wash, or Body Shop
The data is clear: when it comes to the auto industry, most consumers prefer businesses that respond to their reviews. However, that doesn’t mean you can simply say anything you want in your responses. On the contrary, there are definite “do’s” and “don’ts” to any review reply strategy, like these three tips Harvard suggests following. You should also make sure to familiarize yourself with the top review platforms for automotive businesses, such as Edmunds.com, Cars.com, and DealerRater.
Here are some additional, beginner-friendly guides and resources to help you write better responses to reviews of your auto business. Regardless of whether the comments you’ve received are negative, positive, or neutral, these tips will help you craft custom replies with greater ease and efficiency. And if you need more support, you can always depend on our 24-hour team of expert response scribes!
- – 4 Review Management Mistakes to Avoid
- – How to Get More Reviews from Your Customers
- – How to Respond to 1-Star Ratings and Negative Reviews
- – How to Respond to 3-Star Ratings and Neutral Reviews
- – How to Respond to 5-Star Ratings and Positive Reviews
Does Your Car Dealership or Automotive Marketing Agency Need Help Managing Online Reviews?
Managing your reviews doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming. Our platform empowers you to effortlessly generate, monitor, remove, and respond to your reviews, in addition to making listings management a snap. Whether you need a review reply service, or you’re looking for an easier way to manage your business listings, Shout About Us delivers fast and flexible solutions designed for auto marketing agencies, car dealerships, car wash services, and other automotive businesses.
Learn more about our custom review response service, automated review generation for dealerships, and other features we offer for agencies, franchises, and brands. Choose the services you need a la carte, or tackle all of your pain points head-on with our full package — whichever route is right for your business, our team is here with 24-hour support to make it happen seamlessly. Book a demo of our platform today.
Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with more than seven years of writing experience. She joined the Shout About Us team as a content strategist in 2020.