DealerRater Panel

How to Improve Your Dealership's Score

How to Improve Your Dealership's Score

Whether your dealership is brand new to DealerRater or has thousands of reviews and is already highly rated, everyone wants to make sure their overall score is as high as possible. While our experience has shown that having the highest score isn't as important as consistent, large numbers or positive reviews, the two tend to go hand-in-hand. If you're interested in learning more about how to improve your dealership's overall score, you can find some tips and ideas below

What is the overall score, and how is it calculated?

First, the basics: Every dealership's overall score is displayed on the upper-right of their Dealer Profile Page (see the screenshot above.) The overall score is determined as a simple average of the score of every individual review a dealership has received in the past two years. Reviews on DealerRater have an 'active' window of two years, and once a review ages beyond two years, it no longer counts towards the score, although it will still remain posted for reading on DealerRater.

The simple answer, then, to the question of "How do I improve my score" is: Get more good reviews. You can think of this in terms of following these steps:
  1. Provide a great customer experience.
  2. Mention DealerRater and ask for a review from the customer.
  3. Follow up on your request for a review
  4. Try to resolve any negative reviews and ask the reviewer to update accordingly
Step 1 is up to your dealership, but we can help out with the rest. We know that requesting and receiving reviews can be much easier said than done, so below are some ideas and tips for how to generate a steady stream of positive reviews for your dealership.

Ask for good reviews

Ok, again, this sounds simple, but it really is a critical first step in getting reviews. Our research that has shown that reviewers are most often motivated to write reviews because "My salesperson asked me to." When a salesperson mentions DealerRater to a customer during the sale, or even shows off their employee profile to the customer, that customer is much more likely to understand the importance of their review and take the time to write one. DealerRater helps to build trust and familiarity between the customer and salesperson, and leveraging that relationship after the sale to get a good review is just as important as building that trust to bring the customer in the door in the first place.

Getting your staff involved is a very important part of collecting positive reviews and raising your score. It can take a little work to get started, but once positive reviews start rolling in the benefits will become clear, and the process will become routine. If your staff has trouble integrating DealerRater into their existing process or could use training or more information, we offer staff training webinars to help you overcome those obstacles and get your whole team engaged.

Have a followup strategy to solicit reviews.

Asking for reviews is definitely important, but having a good followup strategy to help remind your customer is also an important piece in collecting consistent positive reviews. Below are some of the strategies top performing dealers on DealerRater use to collect their reviews.
  • Rating Reminder Cards: As a Certified Dealer, you can order Rating Reminder Cards for free through the Online Store in your Dealer Panel. Rating Reminder Cards are postcard-sized reminders for a reviewer to log on to DealerRater and write a review about their experience, which you can include with a customers' materials and paperwork.
  • Email Followup: A simple followup email thanking a customer for their business and including a link to your DealerRater page to write a review is a great start to soliciting reviews, and makes it easy for the customer to access DealerRater from home to write their review. A brief sentence or two requesting a review, along with a link to your dealership's Write a Review page is a simple and effective way to solicit reviews.
  • LotShot: Building on the idea of the email followup, we recommend using the LotShot tool, which not only simplifies the process for the reviewer, but generates photo content for your profile. LotShot emails have a much higher conversion rate into reviews, generate visual content for your page, and helps to build the relationship between the employee and customer. Click here to view instructions for the DealerRater For Dealers mobile app, which includes LotShot.
  • Personal Followup: While it takes a little but more time, a very effective way to request reviews is as part of a personal communication from the salesperson to the customer, after the sale. If your dealership already follows up with a phone call or other personal communication to customers after their experience, this is a great time to remind the customer to submit a review.
  • ReviewBuilder: ReviewBuilder is an add-on product that automates review collection by pulling customer emails directly from your system and contacting them with a request to write a review. Dealerships who use ReviewBuilder see on average a 400% increase in review collection, and 98% of the reviews they receive are positive.

Send responses to your negative reviews

One of the key benefits of being a DealerRater Certified Dealer is Resolution Advantage, which gives you two weeks from the date your dealership receives a negative review before the review posts live on your Dealer Profile Page. We strongly recommend that you use this time to reach out to the reviewer with a private response to ask for more information or establish contact and work with the reviewer. Many customers who leave negative reviews simply want someone to hear their story, and an acknowledgement of their difficulty is often enough to start a new relationship with the customer.

If you are able to come to an understanding with a customer who left a negative review, you should absolutely ask them if they would consider updating their DealerRater review to give you a higher score: a negative review turned into a positive will mean a higher score for your dealership, and is also incredibly valuable content for your DealerRater profile.

To Recap:

If you came here looking for a quick read for improving your dealership's score, then this probably seems like a lot of information to manage. Remember though that the important part is simply finding a strategy to get more reviews. DealerRater reviews are much more often positive than negative, so as long as you and your store are proactive about requesting reviews, your score will absolutely climb along with your number of reviews - of course, if your dealership has already received hundreds or even thousands of reviews over the past two years, then it can take a lot of reviews to change your score, but every positive review is a step in that direction.

We're always happy to help with advice, training, and best practices, so don't hesitate to reach out to us to speak with your Dealer Experience Advisor for more information.


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