July 2, 2019

A Guide to your Cars.com Dealer Reviews

cars.com dealer reviews

Dealer reviews on Cars.com can provide a massive impact for any dealership. DealerRater research shows that 41 percent of consumers look at car-related reviews find a dealership. Imagine that percentage of consumers on Cars.com, which attracts an average of 22.4 million monthly users.

With a high rating and a plethora of positive reviews, you can make the purchasing decision easier for those searching for a car on the website. With this guide, we’ll show you how you can use your Cars.com dealer reviews to retain more customers and acquire more prospects.

Where can you Find your Cars.com Dealer Reviews?

The easiest way for consumers to find your dealership on the website is by searching for cars in your ZIP code area on the Cars.com home page. If your inventory includes the car they are looking for then your dealership will show up in the results.

Customers can then find out more about the dealership by clicking on the car details and clicking again on the dealership’s total number of reviews in the description area below the vehicle image.

cars.com dealer reviews

By default, reviews are sorted by the newest entry first, but with enough reviews Cars.com also lets customers filter the reviews they see by the most used terms. This can include phrases such as “horrible service” or “enjoyable experience.”

In addition, each review also features five additional rating criteria for the dealership:

  • Customer Service
  • Quality of Repair (if applicable)
  • Overall Facilities
  • Buying Process

The review will also include additional information about the author such as or whether or not they recommended the dealership, if they were looking for a new or used car, and if they actually made a purchase. Reviewers can also highlight the staff members they worked with during their visit to the dealership.  

Scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking on the “View More Reviews” link will direct visitors to another page that shows the full list of reviews for your dealership along with additional review sorting options such as:

  • Featured and Most Recent reviews
  • Highest or Lowest Rated reviews
  • Most Helpful review

In some cases, Cars.com users might see dealership responses highlighted underneath specific reviews. These responses are vital to the success of any auto dealership regardless of the sentiment of the review. More on that later.

How to Get Cars.com Dealer Reviews

Reviews are some of the greatest marketing assets available to dealerships, and enough positive reviews can be the definitive social proof that future customers need when deciding where to purchase their next vehicle. In order to ensure a steady flow of reviews, you’ll need to find a way to convince customers to write a review.

Fortunately, research from DealerRater (which is owned by Cars.com) found that 41 percent of the positive reviews found on Cars.com and DealerRater highlighted a great purchase and service experience.

Delivering on this “great experience” to customers can come in many forms. You could impress customers with friendly and knowledgeable staff, transparency when it comes to financing options, or reduced wait times for routine services.

To further encourage customers to leave a review you can also provide physical handouts, implement a review request system through a tablet or your P.O.S. system, or even ask them outright before they leave the dealership. 

Telling customers about the importance of their feedback on your dealership’s success can go a long way especially when it’s combined with a quick, informative, and overall hassle-free car shopping experience.

Customers will take note of that amazing experience and they will want to let others know about it via reviews. This puts the onus on you to create a worthy response to their feedback.

Responding to your Cars.com Dealer Reviews

When written correctly, a response to a negative review makes it 45 percent more likely for consumers to visit your business. Sadly, 63 percent of customers who write a review never get a response to their feedback. These are missed opportunities to convince detractors or keep a retaining customer, and all you have to do is respond to their review.

By responding, you not only show the customer that you care about their feedback; you continue to strengthen the relationship between you (the dealership) and your customers.

cars.com dealer reviews

On Cars.com, dealerships can respond to any reviews on their page by logging in to their DealerCenter account. If you don’t have one, you can the Cars.com customer service team at (888) 780-1286 or fill out an application form on the Cars.com site.

Review responses can be tricky because they need to have a professional tone, but not to the point where it sounds like the cookie-cutter response provided to every review with a similar sentiment. On top of that, you need to show the reviewer that you are taking their words to heart and using it to improve the way your dealership operates.

Whether the review is full of praise or loathing, you can easily craft a response that fits your needs in seven simple steps:

  1. Address the reviewer: Don’t use generic greetings such as “Dear customer.” Instead, address the reviewer by the name on their online profile. This is the digital equivalent of getting on their level and making eye contact. This simple change in language shows that you care and are taking their feedback seriously.
  2. Say “Thank You:” Regardless of the review’s tone take the time to acknowledge the feedback. Each author took time out of their busy day to write their thoughts on the experience, and you should acknowledge their efforts.
  3. Apologize and sympathize (if necessary): In terms of negative reviews, this is the easiest (or sometimes the hardest) thing to do, but it’s important to apologize. Doing so makes you humble and shows that you’re not perfect but willing to improve.
  4. Take responsibility: Don’t beat around the bush when it comes to admitting faults. Tell them that their experience is not indicative of the way you want customers to feel at your dealership. This makes it easier to conduct the next step.
  5. Make things right: You should try and resolve the customer’s issue as best as possible, and make sure that it’s specific to their problem rather than just providing an empty promise. In some cases, customers are your best source of performance feedback so use it to your advantage.
  6. Take the issue offline: To discuss further details about the issue (or to provide more information about your solution), you can provide a phone number or email address where the customer can easily reach you. This lets you discuss additional details in private while also saving you from creating further complications in the public review response.
  7. Ask for a second chance: A negative review doesn’t necessarily mean that you lose a customer forever. Following the six steps above creates an opportunity for you to ask the customer for a second chance at their business.

The Power of Cars.com Dealer Reviews

The path to a plethora of positive dealer reviews on your Cars.com dealership page starts with staff operations. Creating a great experience for your customers gives them something worth telling others through online reviews. Responding to those reviews leads to increased retention, a positive dealership reputation that appeals to potential customers, and more reviews for your ever-expanding online reputation.

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