Repost from Dealer Refresh – January 2009
Does your dealer have a complaint on the RipoffReport.com?
Are you monitoring the site to be sure your not listed?
How do you treat your customers?
How did you treat your previous employees?
These are questions that need to be considered when we search for our dealership in Google to monitor our placement. The reason for this is that there are many dealerships that have given previous customers as well as previous employees a very negative experience. These dealerships have rip-off reports filed on ripoffreport.com. These accusations or statements are easily found on the search engine when you Google the dealership name and are sometimes seen on the first page. As the internet evolves even further, dealership reputation management is becoming more important. There are websites that offer a lot of insight which can be both healthy and/or harmful to your dealership’s reputation.
Ripoffreport.com is a website that was created to help consumers to take negative shots at businesses which accordingly did not practice proper business methods when handling these customers. In addition, there are negative reports by some previous employees of some of the companies that can be found on there as well. The problem with this website is that anyone can access it without disclosing their information making it impossible to find out who was responsible for slandering your dealership. This makes it difficult for dealerships to try to make things right with the customer. It has been said in the past that this website was created by an individual that generally despises major businesses. Another problem is that dealerships are not realizing that this website is round and are completely ignoring the damaging effects that the website has on their reputation.
I first found about ripoffreport.com when my best friend who owns a marketing company showed me three negative reviews that were put up against his business. He took it very lightly and did not care much since he has a lot of loyal employees and he solicits the internet heavily to get people to come work for him. I later started looking for a new job at one of the most successful Honda dealerships in the country only to find over fifteen rip off reports which come in the goggle search. This got me curious so I started looking at other dealerships and found some of them on this site. To protect the integrity of these businesses, I will choose not to name any of them in this article.
So how do we handle this problem? We need to start thinking from two perspectives. As a dealership we must tighten up the ways in which we do business. Consider what you would do to keep strong CSI scores and use those practices in all transactions from sales to service to parts. In other words, do not let your guard down and treat all customers with the respect that they command. We must also start to think like a consumer. This means that we should consider how we ourselves would handle a negative situation if we were a customer. Use these thoughts to fix any problems that you may have had with a customer and to avoid any future problems.
As a consumer, I know that when I search for a dealership I will look at all of the resources that I can find so I learn if I am comfortable doing business there. When I see one these reports I start to look for others and as I find that this dealership has over ten reports filed against them I am very likely to consider my alternatives and go somewhere else to purchase my car or get servicing done to my vehicle.
What does it cost the dealership?
Well it loses business, gross profit, credibility, and causes negative “word of mouth” advertising. I heard of many dealerships that have this problem but no one ever seems to care and ignores it.
How do dealers control this?
Well we monitor our dealer site on a daily basis for starters. Next, we look at how we do business with people and change our practices. We sharpen up our people skills and treat customers right. We do the right things by customers and do not play games with them by lying to them with low ball offers or mistreat them in the business office. We service them and always ask for the best ratings. Also, when someone quits our dealership we end the relationship on a positive note and make sure they get paid what is owed to them. It might take time and investment of some money. However, the last thing you want is to have negative comments about your dealership when you are trying to bring as many visitors as you can to your web site.
Now, there will be times when you cannot satisfy a customer and you might catch a bad report. This is why the ripoffreport.com allows you to do a rebuttal and solve a problem to keep your profile on ripoffreport.com as low as possible. Keep a high profile of positive things about your dealership while keeping a low profile of the negative things and watch your business grow. An example of a website that will help uphold positive reputation management is dealerrater.com.