Tracey E. Schelmetic
Today, customer feedback has become a force to be reckoned with. Consumers are happy to share their opinions online of the products they buy and the companies they do business with, and shoppers are happy to read those opinions. Digital communications are one of the top-rated features cited by customers in the buying process. Businesses ignore reviews and customer feedback at their peril. Many car dealerships could use a little help in the bewildering landscape of customer feedback to encourage more positive reviews and cope with questions and issues quickly before they turn into negative reviews. The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) recently announced that it aims to provide this help.
Earlier this week, the AIADA announced that it’s forming a partnership with Podium, an interaction management platform for the automotive industry that works with 5,000 dealerships in the U.S. and Canada (as well as 40,000 in total all over the world). The goal of partnering with Podium is to help AIADA members modernize their communication channels to gather reviews, message customers, gather feedback, and more. The Podium platform collects and manages business reviews and messages in one centralized inbox.
By using Podium’s platform, AIADA member dealerships will be able to view and contact customers who have recently visited the dealership’s site, completed a test drive, or made a purchase. Minutes after a vehicle is purchased the dealer can automatically invite the customer to leave a review on Google, Facebook, DealerRater and other key sites where customers look for peer information and recommendations. This invitation is sent via text or the messaging app of their choice. Customers are far more likely to leave a review when they are reminded to do so immediately after purchase.
“Being able to monitor and manage customer feedback in today’s fast-moving, online environment is vital to protecting a dealer’s reputation,” said Cody Lusk, AIADA’s President and CEO, in a statement. “By allowing dealerships to become immediately available via messaging, not only are they able to mitigate risks of negative reviews, but dealerships are actually providing the type of positive and seamless modern buying experience consumers have come to expect.”