In Dealer Reviews: Part 1, I discussed how dealer reviews impacted my quote response rates. What if you’re a 2-star rated dealer? What can you do to turn this around? Here’s an Action Plan for turning around your 1- and 2-star rated dealer reviews.
Good Dealer Reviews Step 1: Find the biggest wound and stop the bleeding
Look at your reviews and try to isolate the common complaint – and simply put a stop to it. Don’t just look at who’s mentioned in these complaints. For example, if salespeople are mentioned, these salespeople may just be following an existing sales process. If your Desk Managers aren’t listening to salespeople regarding the customer’s wants and needs, this will create a disconnect and a negative experience for shoppers. You may need to do away with the practice of putting processes before people.
Good Dealer Reviews Step 2: Create a mission statement
In your Friday meetings, work up a mission statement on how you serve your customers. Have your team create this mission statement, because they’ll be much more likely to invest themselves in it and believe in it. They’ll think up new processes that better support their mission. So be prepared to implement them. Review and refine your mission every week. Your mission statement is a living thing, not one and done. It will probably look vastly different after six months and include initiatives from your sales staff that you’d never expected.
Good Dealer Reviews Step 3: Train
Invest in your people. Help them to get better at their jobs so they have the tools to effectively engage your customers and close more sales. Untrained salespeople resemble the exact type of salesperson that customers don’t want to deal with. Untrained sales people say and do the wrong things. And these things cause negative reviews.
Good Dealer Reviews Step 4: Get Reviews
With an improved sales process and trained sales staff, you’re now likely creating a shopping experience that warrants positive reviews. Take the time to ask your customers for reviews. Your staff already recognizes the importance of a good CSI score, and the same CSI conversations and processes you have should include requesting dealer reviews.
Good Dealer Reviews Step 5: Monitor Reviews
Old habits are hard to break. A few in your staff will probably continue to resort to their old ways. Don’t just wait around for more negative reviews. Monitor those mentioned in their day-to-day activities. You’ll need to refine processes and further train (and in some cases, remove) people to better support your mission.
Good Dealer Reviews Step 6: Keep People
Seek ways to reduce turnover. Recognize outstanding performance and promote from within when possible. You want people who are believers and stewards of the mission to rise up through the ranks. In every interview I’ve had, I’ve always heard that the dealer promotes from within. I don’t even ask about it anymore. Yet, I rarely see this happen. What would you rather have grumbled on the pad: “They lied. They hired a closer from outside” or “They promoted him because he worked his ass off.”? Unless you honor your side of the mission, that mission loses its value.
This isn’t an overnight fix, but it’s one that will work if you implement this action plan. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help on these steps, whether you ask your staff or an outside source to keep you on track