Reviews are important in every sector, no matter the size of your business or the customers you serve. This is widely known, but we’re still getting more and more evidence of just how relevant they are for specific industries through extensive research and data analysis.
This time, it’s the automotive industry that is under the spotlight in the 2022 Automotive Reputation Report published by Reputation.com. It’s well known that reviews can be impactful in this sector in particular, with customers sceptical of any dealerships they haven’t previously worked with, and the findings are definitely interesting!
They’ve analysed over 35,000 dealers worldwide to look at the changes and trends that have happened within their review bases, along with any shifts in customer behaviour.
So, what did they find?
Customers Acknowledge the Importance of Reviews
One of the perhaps more obvious statistics to come out of the report is that the majority of customers value reviews now more than ever. In fact, 85% of automotive dealership customers said that reviews are an important part of their decision making process when choosing a dealership to work with.
That means that making reviews clearly accessible to potential customers can be a key factor in getting their business, or alternatively, losing them to a competitor. One of the easiest ways to ensure that customers get to see your reviews is simply by displaying them prominently on your website, and making sure they are up-to-date!
Reviews Help to Reach Even More Customers
When customers are looking for an automotive dealership, it’s natural to assume they would be mainly focussing their search on their local area. This is generally the case, however the report also found that 70% of consumers would travel more than 20 miles to a top-rated dealership.
With this in mind, a focus on review collection and management can actually increase the network of potential customers by a possible 20 mile radius. For many businesses, that could be a game-changer!
Rating Score is Important to Automotive Customers
In the report, it was revealed that 65% of customers said a dealership needs to have at least a 4-star rating for them to consider making a purchase with them. This makes sense, in that customers want to be assured that they’re dealing with a good, trustworthy company – and what better way is there for them to find this out than from other customers?
This also coincides with other reports showing that customers actually prefer businesses rated slightly lower than the perfect 5 out of 5, as it shows they are real reviews! So, don’t worry about collecting the occasional review that is less than 5-star, as it may actually be helping your business to appear even more credible.
Increased Reviews Lead to Increased Sales
The final, and arguably most important, piece of data to come from the report was that the automotive dealerships who effectively managed their online reputation increased their sales by up to 10%.
That means there is a potential for 10% more revenue, 10% more customers, and generally 10% more success just through the dedicated management of a businesses’ review base. This doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking minute monitoring your reviews, but ensuring you’re regularly requesting reviews, responding to them and getting them out there to potential customers can go a long way!