DealerRater Panel

DealerRater's New Rating System FAQ

DealerRater Dealer & Employee Avg. Rating Update

Frequently Asked Questions

What is changing?

DealerRater is changing the way dealership and employee average ratings are being calculated on the website. Currently, the average rating on DealerRater is a straight average of the reviews received over the past 24 months. The new average rating algorithm will now include all reviews in the calculation, but will more heavily weight recent reviews over older reviews. Along with this change to the calculation, we will now require a minimum of 5 ratings in the last 24 months before an average rating is displayed for a dealer (note that this was already a requirement for Employee average ratings). In the case that a dealership or employee does not have a minimum of 5 ratings in the last 24 months, their profile will show "N/A" in place of the rating.

What hasn’t changed?

All your reviews will stay right where they are. The ratings from individual reviews are untouched and stay the same as the reviewer intended. It’s just the way we calculate the average score that has changed.

Why did this change?

This change is based on feedback from dealers, and studies on consumer researching behavior. We know that dealers work hard to earn reviews, and we have heard from many dealers asking to include reviews older than 24 months when calculating average ratings. We have also found that consumers primarily focus on recent reviews when researching the dealerships & dealership employees they would like to work with. In fact, a report from BrightLocal published in December, 2020 states that "73% of consumers only pay attention to reviews written in the last month". According to Automotive News, the average tenure of a salesperson at a dealership is about two years. Very often, different employees provide different experiences for consumers. Putting a greater emphasis on recent reviews helps to give the consumer a better sense of the experience a dealership is providing today.  

We have also recognized that one opinion may not be an accurate representation of the overall experience provided by a dealership. We have implemented the minimum of 5 ratings in the past 24 months in an attempt to improve our confidence in the avg. ratings displayed on our website, and provide a more accurate consensus of opinion on the experience provided by a dealer or dealership employee.  

What is impacted by this rating change?

This will impact Dealer Profile pages, Employee Profile pages, Dealer and Service Center search results, and anywhere else a rating shows up across the DealerRater website.

Why does my Average Rating look different on DealerRater?

We’ve made some minor adjustments to the rating display as well in order to make it simpler and easier for consumers to quickly understand a dealership’s or employee’s rating. The new design focuses on the star rating and the lifetime review count, and updates the employee rating to match the look and feel of the dealership rating.

How does this impact where dealerships appear in the DealerRater Search Results?

Search results on DealerRater will now use this new average rating calculation in the default sort order algorithm.  

Why is my rating different on DealerRater than Cars?

Cars.com currently uses a different calculation than DealerRater, and we are discussing potential changes with that team to better align the calculations.

Where did my rating go? Why does my Dealer Profile Page show N/A? 

If your Dealer Profile Page is showing “N/A” in place of an average rating, this is because you have not received a minimum of five (5) reviews in the past 24 months. Requiring 5 reviews ensures that we are providing an accurate consensus of opinion on the experience provided by a dealership or employee. By ensuring that these reviews are recent we also ensure that consumers are receiving an accurate picture of the experience the dealership is currently providing to their customers, not a snapshot from many years ago.

The good news is that this is an easy fix - dealerships can simply ask their customers to leave a review, or use our LotShot feature in the DealerRater for Dealers app to help request these reviews from customers.

How do I improve my rating?

Since recent reviews are more impactful for consumers, those are weighted more heavily in the new rating calculation. This means that if your average rating isn’t where you’d like it to be, the best thing you can do is get more reviews. Our LotShot feature in the DealerRater for Dealers mobile app can make the process of requesting reviews easy. Best of all, LotShot is available at no charge for most dealers.  

How does this impact Dealer of the Year?

The new rating calculation will be used when we calculate the 2021 Dealer of the Year and the Consumer Satisfaction Awards. All dealers are equally impacted by the change, so it doesn’t give anyone an unfair advantage. If you’re concerned about your rating, the best thing to do is provide the best possible experience for your customers and make sure you’re asking for reviews.


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