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Managers, Are You Leading or Just Passing Through? Every dealership I have visited lately has the phone calls tracked or not, going to the switchboard or BDC. Then they round robin to sales staff if the ISM is busy "We know that never happens;" The problem...

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About Kim Clouse About Kim Clouse Kim Clouse has been involved with automotive internet sales and process for over 20 years. He was a charter member of the AAISP while it existed and winner of the Lemons to Lemonade Award...

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About Kim Clouse About Kim Clouse Kim Clouse has been involved with automotive internet sales and process for over 20 years. He was a charter member of the AAISP while it existed and winner of the Lemons to Lemonade Award...

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Can You Define Car Dealer Reputation Management? I would like to go on record and say that the term Reputation Management for Automotive is a misnomer. Vendors can only  teach Car Dealers to discover, report, and maintain their hard earned reputation...

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Car Dealer Reviews and Proactive Automotive Reputation Maintenance

Posted by Kim Clouse | Posted in Dealer Report Cards, Helping Car Dealers and The Auto Industry, I Love Sales, Reputation Maintenance | Posted on 06-09-2016

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Shouldn’t Your Online Reputation Be Accurate?

For the last decade, I have watched all of the industry blogs, trade magazines and networks describing the best way to manage your reputation. If you Google car dealer reputation management the results are staggering. Pages and pages of different opinions on the appropriate way to make sure all of your good reviews show up. Then, there are the manipulation tricks to cherry pick and post only good reviews and appear in the top spots on search engines.

Uhmm, excuse me, but do we as automotive professionals  actually think that our prospective customers and previous customers are gullible enough to think we are telling the whole story? Especially if they have had problems at a particular car dealership and all that is available is customer testimonials explaining how great that car dealership is; I certainly hope not. Customers and prospects are much more comfortable seeing the bad along with the good and they also want to see what the dealer or the sales person did to fix it the issue.  That is one of the many areas addressed directly by Dealer Report Cards

If your reputation is not important to you and you do not care about customers and prospects, then you need to leave the car business. You are part of the problem that makes us less popular than visiting the dentist. The professionals at automotive dealerships on the pavement and in the service and parts departments deserve to be recognized for their hard work.

They have thick skin and are not afraid to address their mistakes then take the proper steps to correct them. They would rather have the whole story displayed and yes, the customers that are just taking advantage of them need to be exposed as well. We all know they exist and can seriously damage an individual as well as a dealer’s reputation. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone yell foul on those individuals? Dealer Report Cards will do that too.

The main reason I started this crusade and made the decision to get involved with Dealer Report Cards is because everybody screams ” help the dealers” and we should. But more importantly, does it makes more sense to provide online tools for these professionals so it’s easier for customers to find them? Without employees and customers car dealers will not exist.

I have firsthand experience with being reviewed by an angry customer and after the dust settled it was funny how I got excellent marks in every category on Toyota’s survey. But for years my customers’ negative review, where he called me a liar, is still coming up in various web searches fed by the posting on Dealer Rater. When I requested they remove my name from the title and leave the review as it stood I was told they would check into it. I’m not sure and do not care if they ever did.

Dealer Report Cards assists auto retail professionals, the customers and the dealer by letting the truth shine through. We will do our very best to give you the tools you need to show your good reputation and  automate your social media marketing efforts while allowing you to react with your various streams like you should. We have other features and functionality that you will learn about as we go, but pitching dealers’ snake oil is not part of the plan.

Kim Clouse
Dealer Report Cards.com

Can You Define Car Dealer Reputation Management?

Posted by Kim Clouse | Posted in Dealer Process, Reputation Maintenance | Posted on 05-09-2016

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I would like to go on record and say that the term Reputation Management for Automotive is a misnomer. Vendors can only  teach Car Dealers to discover, report, and maintain their hard earned reputation by allowing the customers who spend money with them to be invited to post a review. If there is a problem, everyone is alerted and it either gets fixed or explained, not deleted and covered up. It is called “Honest Exchange”(c) Dealer Report Cards was the first and only company so far to do this. Disgruntled employees, competition down the street, unfair customers who take advantage, folks who have had hard times and could not get financed, only need login to Google, Yelp, Dealer Rater or one of the hundreds of accounts online. All of these go directly to Facebook to take advantage of this new way to pass what used to be “word of mouth” along too.

I fell into this advertising funnel while trying to get auto dealers to pay attention to www.dealerreportcards.com  even while realizing it was impossible for every employee who interacts with a customer to have a good day every day. And we all know the inherent problems of customer frustration when they were unable to purchase. What about the lifetime extended warranty they bought from their local XYZ motors? Which repair shop is on the contract? Better yet,  which one are they using this month? What about the unjust maintenance schedules? Can’t blame them for finding a place to tell their friends and neighbors to beware of that kind of scam.

We must have been doing something right though because it is public knowledge now that Cars.com took this video that I sent to Ralph Ebersole in 2010 and duplicated my Talking Cars to speak about their review process in an ad titled  Cars.com Talking Cars Gas Super Bowl XLV Commercial Ad 2011 . They even had the decency to send their little talking cars much like “Hot Wheels” to my home address. I still have them in the box if anyone is interested.
Yes, they are pirates!
They gave up on that platform after all these years and acquired Dealer Rater. Have a look at their site now compared to a year ago. When I asked one of their sales reps how long they had been creating independent sales staff pages, he replied,  “about a year now”. Looks familiar, doesn’t it?

Crazy thing is that General Motors has recently adopted the exact same process without a posting site through one of their gazillion third party companies. Funny, Maritz called me a few years ago about this program before I was back at a GM store then after a meeting one of them visited the store to just watch Dealer Report Cards work one day. Funny, they now have a RepMan score so associates can get paid for asking for a review. Pardon me, “Can you give me your e-mail so I can send you a review? Make sure it is perfect in every way please, don’t let them know how terrible we really were! Really?
When I asked GM to be included in the mandatory reputation management program for dealers as a vendor 3 years ago, they declined.

I would like for anyone to tell me what their idea of the definition of Reputation Management is right here, anytime.
It has been a way to get dealers to spend money with no real record of who or why the review was placed.

I may take some shit for this but at age 57 and witnessing the fleecing of automotive and seeing ideas like Dealer Report Cards and tons of others from great minds in automotive be stolen, I don’t really care.

Snake Oil -Beware!

Dealers, wake up!

Kim Clouse

 

 

 

 

 

Dealer Report Cards Car Dealer Reviews FAQ

Posted by Kim Clouse | Posted in Dealer Report Cards, Reputation Maintenance | Posted on 12-06-2016

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  • What are the benefits of having a page on Dealer Report Cards?
    A. Car shoppers are going online to find not only pricing information on vehicles but also to locate dealerships who have a good reputation in the market.
    B. Dealer Report Cards helps you get visibility on the web by having a robust profile with good information.
    C. You will attract buyers in the market looking for a true professional to work with on their vehicle transaction.
    D. Consumers will be able to check your grade on Dealer Report Cards, and make a decision on who they want to buy from.
    E. We help promote individuals as well as dealers and we do not leak your customers to your competition like other solutions.

 

  • How does an auto shopper find my page?
    By zip code or they can also put your dealership name in to search. Your Dealer Report Cards grade can be viewed by consumers as well.

 

  • Do you put dealer or manufacturer logos on the pages?
    Yes, we do it for you with links for better branding.

 

  • When a consumer searches for a sales person how are the results ranked?
    Results are ranked by Dealer Report Cards grade. This gives those with higher grades an advantage, and motivates them to keep up the good work! It also helps those who need a boost to get with the program.

 

  • How does Dealer Report Cards insure that reviews are legitimate?
    We invite only your customers to review you. There are no random posts by
    non-customers.

 

  • What happens to my page if I leave the dealership and go to another dealership?
    The pages of the reviews for individual sales people belong to the dealer.

 

  • Can I embed any videos on my Dealer Report Cards page?

Yes, and change them at will.

 

 

Car Dealer Reviews Must Be Verified

Posted by Kim Clouse | Posted in Dealer Process, Dealer Report Cards, Helping Car Dealers and The Auto Industry, Reputation Maintenance | Posted on 26-11-2015

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I found this article very interesting. If you are a car dealer you should read the whole thing in the link below. Oh, and you reputation management consultants read this too because your days are numbered. The term Reputation Management is a misnomer. I know, I have used it too but now I have decided it should be changed.
Who can predict how any employee will feel or act toward a dealers automotive customers on any given day? Reputation Maintenance is more accurate don’t you think? I also think Car Dealer Reviews should be from verified customers instead of disgruntled employees, cheating BDC reps, competition down the street or those who created a bad situation for themselves and want to blame everyone else. http://dealerreportcards.com version 2.0 is complete
and is flawless so far. Email Kim for more info –  kim@dealerdimensions.com
http://www.webpronews.com/just-how-bad-is-yelps-fake-review-problem-2014-01

Managers, Are You Leading or Just Passing Through?

Posted by Kim Clouse | Posted in Dealer Process | Posted on 28-05-2011

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Every dealership I have visited lately has the phone calls tracked or not, going to the switchboard. Then they round robin to sales staff if the ISM is busy “We know that never happens;” The problem is either the GM, GSM, or phone king, will not make it mandatory that the salespeople have inventory, incentives, and information open on their desktop all day. They all have computers but they refuse to use the data or, the login to pertinent data is top secret. I knew it, gotta have a 4 square right?

Managers who keep information from sales staff are practicioners of Bovine Skitology period.
We know all of our customers are online. We know the manufacturers and everyone else who can gives them data that is, for the most part correct. Below is what I hear when I listen to calls. But are all of the walk in customers immune to the data flow we are feeding to the universe?  It is simply impossible. Be ready or stay away from customers, period.

Thank you for calling ABC motors: ” Yes new car sales please” one moment: “new car sales this is Joe Bob,”
“kelp ye?” (Yes seaweed) ” I am calling about the 2006 Camry you have listed on usedcars .com, gold with tan leather, is it still available?”
“Yep sure is” ” can you tell me anything about it?” “I think it has been marked down to $21699 but I can beat that a little” “Really, online it says must go $14650.00 out the door” That’s a typo” Oh, okay do you know what it should actually be?” ” Naw but I can git with the manager and call you right back, whats that number?”   click:

And they tell everyone about this highly professional individual.
The other thing is “get this now,”  we have started slipping away from the basics again. I know  it is hard to believe, not us.
Now that people are selling cars we are right back to the shortcuts. If you are always looking for the easy way out, get out of
the car business. You are the reason we we have obstacles with our customers and they have a hard time respecting us.
This is our problem. Get rid of the dead weight and start practicing customer service.

Either way you loose the deal.

Does anyone else see this? If you are doing this, do you need to be at Burger King saying, “would you like some fries with that?”
When phone prospects buy 85% of the time, why screw it up? If you do not know what you are doing or you do not feel comfortable,
stay away from the phone, pay attention and learn.
Managers, do not lose focus on the fact that you are responsible for taking up slack. In a store the other day I watched in amazement as a lady
who had lost her vehicles in the recent storms call back 3 times to get to someone. Instead of just taking the call, the managers had to find a sales specialist
to do it. Yep, five more minutes observing fault instead of contributing to leadership.

I’m just sayin!

Sell Cars, Have Fun. It is still possible.

Kim Clouse

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