How online reviews impact your auto business

If you work in the auto industry you know that word of mouth is the lifeblood of your business. When you have happy car owners, they’ll gladly recommend your business to their family, friends, and anyone else who needs your assistance.

With the internet being more and more involved with our daily lives, naturally many conversations about the car buying process have moved online. This “digital word-of-mouth” can be extremely powerful because people don’t just tell close friends about their experience – they tell everyone. What does that mean? Consumers now post their opinions to a social profile so hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people can see what they think. Online review statistics say that 84% of users value these digital words of mouth reviews as much as they would value a direct personal recommendation from a friend or family member.

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Right now, over 50% of customers search for services using online search engines. The search engines that rank most often are online review sites like Yelp, Google Reviews,  Facebook Reviews, and NextDoor.

Auto Industry Online Reviews Infographic

The effect reviews have on the auto industry

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As you can imagine, online reviews can really impact your bottom line. The type of online reputation you have can determine whether or not new customers will even step foot in your business’s property.

Both purchasing and repairing a car can be long and frustrating so many customers use the internet to find reliable auto partners in the area.

The online reviews for your business will often be your customer’s first exposure to your business. Of course, you want the highest review rating as possible, but no company is perfect.

Embrace all reviews 

It’s important that you don’t delete or block negative reviewers because it will make your business appear biased. These reviews will happen, and you can address them to minimize the negative impact it can have on your business. As a car dealer, we do not strive for negative reviews, but even negative reviews make your business look authentic.

Don’t worry we will show you below exactly how to address negative reviews that come to your businesses way.

How to ask car owners for reviews

online reviews for your auto business

Did you know that 70% of customers will leave a review if you just ask? This is a statistic that many auto dealerships don’t know about but can dramatically impact how many reviews your business receives.

There is a right and a wrong way to ask recent buyers for a review. Instead of asking for a positive review, instead frame your requests for a review as seeking feedback.  Your customers will see this as you attempting to improve your service and they will give you open feedback.

Check out these templates on how to ask for reviews.

Seize the opportunity

It’s always a good idea to ask for a review for your company shortly after the close of the sale. You don’t want to wait too long because the buyer won’t remember the details of the transaction. Additionally, if any issues come up, it may turn into a negative review which we do not want.

Be as attentive as possible

It’s also important to be able to gauge a customer’s satisfaction level. If a customer gives positive feedback, then this is a good time to ask them for a review on a site like Facebook or Google. Happy customers, as a rule, will leave a good review. Conversely, if a customer seems to have negative feedback you should focus on resolving it before requesting a review.

How to respond to positive reviews

Once you’ve received the positive review that you’re looking for, your job isn’t over.

A positive review is a beautiful thing, and they provide your potential new customers with some evidence that the auto industry services that you offer are top-notch.


When you acknowledge the presence of a positive review, it’ll make your business seem attentive, so that potential buyers can see how good your customer service is.

Additionally, this can help provide a good reason for your customers to seek out your business again when they have car buying questions. When making a response, ensure that you mention the type of service that you provided and make sure that they understand that it was a pleasure working with them.

This will help your business in two ways: it’ll help potential customers understand the types of auto industry services you provide, and it will help show that you take the time to understand and remember what the needs of each of your past customers were.

Additionally, once you’ve responded to their positive feedback, you should attempt to keep the lines of communication open.

Check out our list of positive online review response examples.

How to respond to negative reviews from car owners

As mentioned, it’s important to be responsive and proactive no matter the type of review that you receive. Sometimes, things happen, and your buyer is just having a bad day and wants to vent. Not to worry we will show you how to respond to negative reviews.

Your first step should be to make the negative reviewer understand that you hear them and understand their problem.

Be understanding and humble

A good way to do this is to thank the buyer for bringing the issue to your attention. This will help that buyer understand your desire to solve the problem and find a solution. In many cases, the issue isn’t your fault, but the simple effort to meet the disgruntled customer halfway can work wonders.

Say sorry

Never forget to apologize. This will help your buyer feel more at ease, and it will also show potential customers that you’re willing to own up to mistakes made. Make an effort to reach out to the customer with your apology offline if you can.

Finally, since these things happen, it’s also a good idea to offer up an explanation of the mishap. This not only can put the customer at ease, but it can also help potential customers understand that this part of the process may not entirely be your fault.

Final thoughts

Digital word of mouth is very important for finding potential car buyers, and improving your online reputation with reviews can help improve how buyers find you online. Marketing your business properly by monitoring online reviews and following up with your current customers will help your business succeed, and following the tips in this guide can help your auto business become the go-to for individuals looking to buy a car.

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