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NOTE: We have updated this post to reflect all the exciting new changes in the automotive industry.
Online reviews present a major challenge to business owners in the automotive industry – including those who own or manage car dealerships, auto repair shops, auto parts retailers, detailing shops, car wash shops, car body shops, and auto service centers, among many others.
The challenge is this: between selling cars, rotating tires, spray-painting scratches, and changing oil, you also have to monitor all sorts of automotive and dealership review sites. After all, we’re in an age when customers can easily become online critics – and when a single bad online review about your business can drive potential buyers and clients away.
But there’s no need to let online reviews slow you down. We here at ReviewTrackers have come up with a list of sites you can keep an eye on. By monitoring dealership reviews and automotive business reviews on these sites, you can stay on top of what customers are saying and respond in ways that keep your company going full throttle.
(Are you a restaurateur or bar owner? You might want to check out our list of food and restaurant review sites your business should know about.)
One of the first-ever car dealer review sites on the Web, DealerRater was founded in 2002, and has since grown to cover 41,000 US and Canadian dealerships, 500,000 car dealer reviews, and 4,200 certified dealers. It enables its 5 million site visitors per year to search for the best auto dealers, read current dealership reviews (or write their own), and find valuable car deals through the DealerRater classified ads section.
Dealer reviews are monitored and organized based on level of customer service, quality of work, friendliness, price, and overall customer experience. To support automotive businesses and car dealerships, DealerRater runs its own active certification program, which comes with a reputation management toolkit.
Edmunds didn’t originally start out as a review website. Founded in 1966, it was first a publication that helped automobile buyers by offering pricing guides for new and used cars. In 1995, Edmunds.com was launched: a car dealer review site with comprehensive online automotive information for visitors and potential car buyers.
Edmunds.com has since been developed to include a wide array of useful services, including the True Market Value (TMV) pricing tools, True Cost to Own projections, a dedicated section for Dealer Ratings and Reviews, and even a Car Audio & Electronics Center, which serves as a resource for consumers seeking all the latest information on iPod connectivity, phone integration, and mobile electronics.
Like Edmunds, Cars.com offers comprehensive automotive information, price comparison tools, inventory search tools, expert opinions, a dealership reviews section, and photo galleries to help guide car shoppers as they make a purchase decision. The site was founded in 1998, and has since grown to be visited by over 11 million people every month. The company also owns NewCars.com and PickupTrucks.com, and has its headquarters in Chicago.
Cars.com also has its own Dealer Center, where automotive businesses and car dealerships can connect with quality buyers, secure credit applications, monitor dealership reviews, and generate more clicks and contacts to help turn inventory faster.
As the name implies, Mechanic Advisor is TripAdvisor for auto repair shops, car mechanics, and auto service centers. Created in 2006, the site aims to help consumers find the right mechanic through location information, reviews, and ratings.
Apart from aggregating online reviews, Mechanic Advisor includes auto repair help videos, a question-and-answer forum that appears on the homepage, and detailed listings for dealerships, auto mechanics, RV and truck mechanics, and motorcycle and boat mechanics. It also offers featured listings that help push automotive businesses and shops to the top of search results.
Thought Yelp was just for restaurants, bars, nightlife, and hotels? Think again. One of today’s most popular review sites also has a category dedicated to “Automotive” business listings (just check the left side of the Yelp homepage), covering car shops, car wash shops, repair and service centers, detailing shops, parts and accessories shops, and more.
Ohio-based Carfolks was founded by Mark Dubis, who thought that online review sites – populated by unhappy customers – were “overpowering the online conversation about car sales professionals and the dealerships that employ them.” So he built Carfolks with the goal of enhancing customer loyalty – instead of merely having an online platform for hosting (mostly negative) reviews.
The site stands out for its dynamic map-based auto shopping neighborhood feature, which buyers can use to find local dealers. Carfolks users can also initiate their search by clicking on a map location or on a manufacturer brand. Also: only actual customers of the dealership can comment and review an auto dealership’s sales or service department and performance.
Presto Dealer Reviews
Presto Dealer Reviews is a fairly new site that lists car dealerships across the US. It includes star ratings, customer reviews, video testimonials, and a quick “Find a Dealer” search feature for finding dealers in all US states. To distinguish itself from other auto dealership review sites, Presto Dealer Reviews offers partnership opportunities with dealers to help them manage their online reputation.
Looking for a better mousetrap? Sign up today to get started with Review Trackers, a simple, fast, and easy automotive business and car dealership review monitoring solution.