The popularity of user-generated online reviews continues to surge. And it’s evident even in niche business categories such as the automotive industry, where car shoppers are turning to fellow consumers to learn from their experiences and opinions.
Last week, automotive dealership review site Cars.com celebrated the milestone of having collected 1 million reviews: yet another demonstration of how enthusiastic today’s wired consumers are about creating, sharing, and consulting customer feedback.
“We’re proud to reach 1 million reviews for our dealer customers,” said Barbara Mousigian, vice president of product at Cars.com. “It shows just how engaged Cars.com shoppers are during the dealership visit and the value they put on reviews in choosing who to do business with.
“Since we launched the feature in 2011, we’ve maintained our transparent and honest model for generating consumer feedback, which better serves our shoppers and customers.”
Customer feedback: crucial for business
When managed properly, user-generated online reviews serve as a crucial driver of automotive sales. According to Cars.com, 91 percent of consumers rely on reviews when selecting a dealership.
Also, 40 percent of all new reviews on the site are based on a (positive or negative) service experience – indicating that customer satisfaction isn’t just about the car, or the price, or the manufacturer’s brand reputation, or the showroom. It’s about how business employees interact and engage with shoppers, too, such as in other service-based industries like travel, hospitality, and restaurants.
Meanwhile, DealerRater, another dealership reviews site, has found that car shoppers are 3 times more likely to become a buyer when a dealership has positive online reviews, and that 24 percent consider review sites and customer feedback platforms to be the “most helpful” factor when it comes to making purchase decisions.
Simply put: reviews can make or break a dealership.
Cars.com enhances customer feedback platform
To celebrate its 1 million reviews milestone, Cars.com has rolled out a more responsive homepage to create an enhanced and tailored customer feedback experience across multiple platforms: desktop, smartphones, tablets, and other Web-enabled devices.
Added Mousigian: “We know consumers frequently transition between devices throughout their shopping process, often moving to a smartphone as they get closer to purchase. These site updates allow us to provide a seamless experience regardless of screen size or device preference.”
Car shoppers who use Cars.com can now use their mobile devices to submit dealership reviews. Ad offerings are now also more personalized, and Cars.com features such as the site’s comprehensive dealer inventory, editorial content, and other service tools are expected to be more tightly integrated.
Is your dealership generating positive feedback and 5-star reviews? Build up your reputation with Cars.com’s “5 Simple Ways to Promote Your Dealership’s Online Reviews.”