Who has heard the saying “A happy customer tells a friend; an unhappy customer tells the world”?

In the world of social media, it is much easier for customers to publicly speak their opinions of you, your business and their experience. No longer does this mean they tell their friends and family, they can now share this opinion with thousands of people online at any time of the day and stays it public forever.

The fact is no matter how you run your dealership, you will get a mixture of good and bad reviews. It is how you engage with the customers that will ultimately make a statement for your business.

Social media is becoming a central hub for customer service, with studies from Social Media Today showing 1/3 social media users prefer social media customer service to telephone and email & 90% of businesses are estimated to use social media for customer service by 2020.

So, are you wondering which types of reviews you should reply to and how to reply to all of those reviews?

Read on to learn why you should reply to every single review that is posted.

Positive Reviews

It’s a wonderful feeling receiving a positive review for your dealership, whether it be about your products, how well your staff treated the customer or the experience they had. Take time to gloat and give yourself and your team a pat on the back!

Now take the time to reply to your customer. You might not think it is that important but customers spend 20-30% more with companies that engage and respond to customers via social media.

You should have the opinion that if they have taken the time to search for your page and leave a review, you can take 30 seconds from your day to say thanks! Not sure how to say thanks without being cheesy? Well every review is different so here are a few tips:

  • Try and make it as personal as possible, it doesn’t need to be written like a corporate email
  • Always state their name at the start & tag them if possible
  • Start by thanking them
  • Don’t make it about you! This is not a time to start upselling.
  • Always sign off from a person, this again makes it more real as the customer feels as though there is a person on the other end reading, not just a robot copying and pasting.

Here’s an example: “Hi John, thanks so much for sharing your positive experience! We are so glad we were able to find you the perfect car for you and the family, I’m sure the kids will love having more room! I’ll be sure to pass on your comments to Matt & the team. We hope you enjoy your new Toyota Prado! Chris @ ClickNition Motors”

And then why not share the review on your page?

Create an eye capturing graphic and share it with your audience! Promote your own word of mouth!

Neutral Reviews

You know those reviews, where one more star and it would be positive, yet one less and it would become negative? You might think, well it doesn’t really need a response cause it wasn’t that bad? Nah-uh! This is the time to turn this neutral customer into a raving spokesperson for your business!

  • Start again with their name & by thanking them for their time.
  • Attempt to repeat the positive aspects of the review
  • Apologise for the negative aspects. Let them know that you appreciate their feedback and will be taking it on board to improve the business.
  • And finish it off by inviting them back – don’t let your pride get in the way, ask for another chance!!

Here is an example for you: “Hi John, we really appreciate you taking the time to contact us today. We also want to thank you for coming to ClickNition motors to find your next family car and we are so happy to hear the kids are loving the extra room. We would like to apologise for the issues you encountered after the purchase of your new car with our service department.  Your business is extremely important to us and will do all we can to rectify the situation. Our service department manager will be giving you a call today to rebook. Thanks again for making contact and we look forward to further improving our service. Chris @ ClickNition Motors”

Negative Reviews

Negative reviews can be hard to read, especially for business owners or managers. The first thing you usually want to do is yell at either the staff for the stuff up or the customer for not understanding – either are not a good idea!

It is important to give yourself a moment to calm down if a review has got you upset, or have someone else respond for you. But don’t take too much time,  60% of customers who complain on social media expect a response within one hour! So take a deep breath, before you put fingers to keys.

Remember, if they have taken the time to complain they are most likely looking for a solution. The goal is to try to win the customer back and even if that isn’t possible, you are showing other consumers (future customers) that you care enough to try and make things right. 88% of consumers are less likely to buy from companies that leave complaints on social media unanswered.

  • As always, address the customer personally
  • Apologise, even if it isn’t your fault. You will be surprised how far a “we are sorry” can go to deescalating a situation
  • Remind the customer that this is not the usual standard for the business
  • Repeat the positives, if any
  • Thank them for taking the time to share their thoughts
  • Now insist on taking the conversation offline, rather to a private message, email or a phone call.

Here is another example for you: “Hi John, thank you again for taking the time to leave feedback and we apologise that your experience was not of the usual high standard that we pride ourselves on. We take all feedback seriously and would like to investigate this matter further, can you please PM us your details so we can follow this up and have someone contact you? Once again thank you for the feedback and my sincere apologies for your experience. Regards, Chris at ClickNition Motors”

Another handy tip – if the negative review customer is dealt with and is very happy with the outcome, try and contact them and thank them for their time again and politely ask that they revisit their original review. You might be surprised that you can have that 1 star turned into a 5 star in no time!

Remember that you can’t please everyone. Some unhappy customers just won’t return to your business, but that’s ok. It’s not the end of the world. Some negative reviews will help consumer trust your business more. Consumers have a tendency of becoming suspicious of a business with NO negativity.

So embrace all reviews that you receive, engage with the customer who has taken the time to engage with you.

Not only will you create customers for life but your online perception will be greatly enhanced!