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Achieving Objectives Series: Improving How Trustworthy Customers Think My Dealership Is

Achieving Objectives Series: Improving How Trustworthy Customers Think My Dealership Is

Article published: 11 May 2021

Websites aren’t just about the end moment of selling your cars – they also have important roles to play far higher up the purchase funnel. We believe that a dealer website should provide multiple reasons for a customer to trust your business, helping you to stand out from the crowd – and yes, ultimately sell more! In today’s edition of the “Achieving Objectives Series”, we’re looking into ways that you can build, support and improve your dealership’s reputation and perceived trustworthiness using your website and digital marketing.

In today’s edition of the “Achieving Objectives Series”, we’re looking into ways that you can build, support and improve your dealership’s reputation and perceived trustworthiness using your website and digital marketing.

Using Social Proof to Support Your Dealership’s Online Reputation

Let’s start with one of the simplest website integrations, review and social proof providers. Bluesky Interactive work with a wide number of review partners, and we believe that dealers should be transparently and reassuringly sharing their review scores on their website. These can be at the very top level, in your website’s header, down to more granular integrations, sharing individual location or franchise scores to increase relevance for your visitors.

While the integrations may be straightforward “no brainers”, it’s important to mention that the reputation management side of a reviews integration is undeniably more complex. You should make sure that you have a strategy in place for a number of different social proof areas:

Review Gathering

You will need to ensure that you have a plan in place for growing your reviews – some third parties have solutions in place to handle this for you, whilst others (such as a Google Reviews hook-up) won’t have any such thing.

You’ll also need to ensure balance between your review requests and any manufacturer follow ups – feedback burnout is a real thing and you don’t want to annoy your customers!

Handling & Responding to Negative Reviews

It’s vital that you are prepared to acknowledge and respond to the inevitable negative reviews your dealership will receive, as well as having a plan in place to empower individual dealerships to improve their ratings and scores.

Honesty, respect and calmness are vital skills here, and we recommend that you introduce a clear process to be followed (and escalated if necessary) with handling your negative feedback.

Integrating Reviews Across Your Marketing Activity

Reviews are great on your website, but they should be present across all of your marketing activity, whether digital or not. We’d advise that you feature review content on online ad activity, print, and also think of ways to integrate the review gathering process at the end too.

Harwoods website reviews

Using Your Branding to Support Your Dealership’s Reputation

Bluesky always advocate bespoke dealer websites, and this is why – if you look like every other dealer then how is a customer meant to decide who to buy their car from?

Your branding, both on and offline, should clearly convey your key principles, and can easily have an impact on whether you’re seen as cheap-and-cheerful, rough-around-the-edge, or loyal-and-long-established. Don’t overlook it!

Your People Are Vital

Your people are, unsurprisingly, your most valuable asset – but the automotive industry often struggles with fast staff turnover.

Bluesky would always recommend using your team on your website – where possible, having named individuals against contact forms, on meeting the team and location pages. However, we often receive feedback that because the team are changing so regularly, it can be difficult – and accuracy is definitely the most important thing here!

If you have slow turnover and a team you are proud of, we believe that sharing them with your customers is a great way to “humanise” your business and improve your perceived trustworthiness.

Focus Your Process Around Trustworthiness

Last but not least, our automotive experts recommend that you consider your reputation throughout all points of your dealership process – and that that process extends past the purchase.

By touching base with your customers after the sale is complete you not only help them to feel positively about the overall transaction, but you can link this in to highly-relevant and well-timed ongoing marketing, focusing on upselling them to your aftersales services, or encouraging them back next time they want to change their car. We’d recommend an email marketing journey for this!

After all, it’s a lot cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to conquest a new one!

Meet The Team

We hope that this article has helped you to get some more ideas for changing how customers view your business, supporting your online reputation and increasing your perceived trustworthiness.

Want some more motor trade website advice? Give our team a shout on the form below:

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