The way that car-buyers shop has changed significantly in recent years. Traditional marketing and advertising are no longer as influential as they once were. Now, consumers are turning to the internet and online reviews to help improve their decision-making.
Aaron Fisher, the e-commerce director at Marion Toyota, is well aware of the impact online reviews have not only on purchase decisions but where the business shows up in online searches. The problem he was running into was finding a way to collect reviews on a consistent basis.
“We used to have an email automatically triggered from our CRM at the close of a transaction,” stated Fisher. “We did have some success with it, but were never able to collect a large number of reviews because the process was cumbersome for the customer.”
Part of the Sales Process
In an effort to make the process to leave a review easier, Fisher decided to give Podium a try based on the recommendation from another dealer.
It was obvious from the beginning that Podium’s platform was much easier to use both for Marion Toyota’s employees as well as their customers.
One of the things Fisher liked most about the way Podium worked was customers could receive the invitation and leave a review right on site because the invites were delivered via text. Sending review invitations with Podium to each customer is now part of the sales process at Marion Toyota.
“We’ve always had certain expectations for our salespeople like good CSI scores or taking a photo of the customer with their vehicle and posting it on social media,” related Fisher. “Now asking for a review with Podium when the vehicle is delivered to the customer is one of those expectations.”
Since implementing Podium, the biggest benefit Marion Toyota has achieved is just the sheer number of reviews it has collected on Google, Facebook, Cars.com, and DealerRater. The dealership has collected 815 new reviews and improved its Google star rating from 3.9 to 4.9.
Fisher loves the dashboard because it allows him to track the success of each salesperson, while also making it easy for him to respond to reviews. Something he tries to do for every review – positive or negative.
“Podium is a great product,” concluded Fisher. “We’re big believers in it. We frequently get approached by other dealers who looked us up and see how good our online reputation is and how many reviews we have. It does have an impact. People notice it.”