There are many review websites available online that offer tips and advice on anything from restaurants and bars to music venues and local businesses. The most common review sites include Google Reviews, Facebook, Yahoo Reviews, Local.com, Merchantcircle, Angie’s List, and CitySearch. Yelp is also one of the review sites that has picked up a lot of steam recently. Automotive dealerships historically really only worried about Google Reviews and maybe Dealer Rater, but they should include Yelp.com in the list of reviews to pay attention to.
So how does Yelp.com work? Consumers can go online and post a review of their interaction with your dealership whether it was good, bad, or indifferent. They can give it a star rating from 1 to 5 and leave comments on their experience with your dealership and personnel. Many consumers have reported that they have visited Yelp.com to review dealerships online prior to purchasing their vehicle. They wanted to make sure the dealer that they purchased their car, truck, or SUV from was reputable, trustworthy, and easy to work with.
What many dealerships do not realize is that there is more to Yelp.com than just reviews. Yelp also offers Yelp Enhanced Listings which can act as a marketing tool for dealerships. It can allow a consumer to look up dealerships in their area and have your dealership show up in the results with a map and your dealership information. Yelp also acts as its own social media site. It allows users to sign up with a profile, add friends, earn community reputations, add a profile picture and gives them a robust commenting system. It also has a mobile friendly version of its site and will allow you to purchase ad space on their site.
What is the advantage of using Yelp Enhanced Listings? You get a photo slideshow, a call to action button, removal of competitors ads, a section “about” this business, listing updates, a Business Owner Dashboard which allows the management of multiple locations, and an account manager at Yelp.com. These features will help increase your visibility in the Google search results since Google views them as a very relevant review site.
How can your dealership ensure positive reviews on Yelp.com? First off NEVER write a fake review. Your dealership can be banned from the website and your dealerships reputation and credibility will be severely marred. There could also be legal ramifications from the misuse and abuse of the site. Ask happy customers to provide reviews on Yelp.com. When you have a satisfied customer, ask them if they mind reviewing your business. Engage with your reviewers, but not too much. Be sure to address unsatisfied customers as well as acknowledge extremely happy ones, but don’t go overboard. Remember, it is okay if not all reviews are 100%. No business is perfect, and every business is bound to have one customer that will be dissatisfied no matter what they do to try and remedy the problem.