According to an article by David Barkholz in Automotive News, “Two years ago, suspecting deceit, Google deleted virtually all customers’ reviews of auto dealerships that were sent from dealerships’ computers.”
While efforts to revive in-store reviews at dealerships are under way, not all dealerships are keen. Candace Lawley at Fisher Automotive in Bolder Colorado says it’s an ‘awkward situation’. The reason is that Google does not trust reviews coming from a single IP address — it looks gamed.
The answer is to encourage customers to write reviews from their own computers at home. Of course, given how busy people are, this requires a strategy to ensure that the dealership gets as many reviews as possible. Follow-up will help. So will incentives. Dealerships have to be careful with the latter, however, as it cannot look as if the incentive is an effort to buy reviews.
No doubt, reviews online — especially Google reviews continue to grow in importance. While vehicle selection will always be important, a dealer’s reputation will have a big impact on whether a buyer will trust them with their hard earned cash.