Reputation Management
Matthew Small
by Matthew Small
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DealerRater: Car Dealer Ratings and Car Dealer Reviews

01/31/2013
DealerRater: Car Dealer Ratings and Car Dealer Reviews

DealerRater is a car dealer rating and car dealer review site specific to the automotive industry. DealerRater was founded in 2002 as the first car dealer review website worldwide that allows online users to research and review auto dealerships so that users are confident when shopping at a particular dealership. DealerRater got in the reputation management at its inception. 

Much like any review site, it is imperative that dealerships manage their reputation presence on DealerRater. It’s easy and doesn’t take long to begin but it does take effort to keep up with user-generated reviews. The first step of reputation management is to claim the review page of the business and edit outdated or incorrect information. And responding to negative and positive reviews located on your page is super important though if reviews are aged, think twice before commenting. We welcome dealerships reaching out to us to seek guidance on how to handle aged reviews and reputation management.

Four easy steps to begin your reputation management journey:

  1. Visit http://www.dealerrater.com/company/contact-us.aspx
  2. Fill out the appropriate fields i.e. name, dealership, and contact information. Where it says "Type," change the drop down menu to “Request access to reply to reviews.” You may leave a brief message if desired and click "Submit." You will be directed to a "Thank You" page.
  3. Expect an e-mail within the next week or so (double check your spam folder if you don’t receive).
  4. This will allow you to respond to reviews and edit your businesses information.

Where DealerRater differs from other ratings and review sites, such as Google+ and Yelp, it contains a paid program known “Certified Dealer Program”.  Unless a dealership is a member of this program, it will be limited in what a dealer’s staff can do with the dealer business page, including reviews and responding to them.

Before investing a large amount of valuable time on this site, visit http://www.dealerrater.com/CDP/ to familiarize yourself with the program: free offerings versus paid programs. You decide if it’s worthwhile, keeping in mind there are dozens of user-generated review sites scattered all over the Internet and comments about your brand should be known with a definitive decision to respond (or not).

It is my personal opinion that dealers must invest time on a variety of user review sites, with special emphasis on Google+ and Yelp plus sites where there are negative reviews. Why Google+ and Yelp?  Google gives preference to reviews on its user-generated platform in search engine results pages and Yelp is the default user-generated site for Bing’s search engine results pages. These two search engines comprise more than 83% of search engine market share. If your dealership is dependent upon organic and paid traffic (we haven’t found one yet that doesn’t), online reputation matters!

One thing that has been bothering me: one of my colleagues recently visited a dealer client. The dealer shared that DealerRater will remove a negative review if he calls and makes a request. This is very concerning to us because review sites should contain all user-generated feedback, be honest, and authentic.

Net-net: being aware of and keeping up with online user-generated content sites, such as DealerRater, for a dealer (or any brand) isn’t easy. Responding to online reviews is branding, telling a story, and critical work.

Call us if you want help managing your dealership’s online reputation with our Auto Applause reputation management system or I wish you good luck if you go the DIY route.

 

*DealerRater is a registered trademark of DR Media Holdings, LLC

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