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4 steps to successfully manage online reviews – Erica Danford,

The customer review is powerful for a dealership and it’s reputation, so how can you better manage and make online reviews work for you? Today, we’re discussing tips for dealers to best gather and deploy customer reviews to boost engagement and sales with Erica Danford, associate vice president of managed services for

With the rise of social media and eCommerce, more customers are turning to each other for input about the quality of products and services they use. Car dealerships are no exception to this. In fact, 91% of consumers say that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a business. Moz, a prominent SEO journal, also recently found that reviews are the second most important strategy for local search engine optimization. The Google algorithm will now rank dealership websites with better reviews higher than others in the same area.

However, Danford points out that reviews have gotten more complex than simply the number of stars you get. Now, reviews are analyzed in the following categories as well:

  • Volume
  • Frequency
  • Quality
  • Response

That is what Google is rewarding.

In order to generate more online reviews from your customers, Danford says first you have to ask for them at the right time. If you’ve had a positive and successful transaction, ask for a review right at that time. Danford recommends texting the customer a review invitation that will allow them to quickly and easily respond. This strategy generates a 98% open rate. Lastly, dealers should respond to every single review either positive or negative.

Did you enjoy this interview with dealer’s Erica Danford? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at

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