5 reasons a good online reputation is absolutely essential

Online reputation may seem like an abstract for some used car dealers, but it is crucial for businesses in the digital era. You don’t have to sell digital products to benefit from a pristine presence on the web. Local buyers look up physical businesses before deciding whether they’re worth visiting. In this post, we will look at the 5 reasons you need to have a good online reputation.

Better regional visibility on local searches

Google is the world’s most used search engine, and it has shifted its algorithm to prioritize reputation. Potential customers looking for used car dealers are likely to see your listing if you have a better digital footprint. Google’s knowledge graph tracks news sites, Wikipedia, and social media to understand authority and rank local businesses accordingly.

As a used car dealer, you have three options in terms of online visibility. The first is to be absent from all online platforms and miss out on all the business from online discovery. The second option is to be present online but have an average or poor reputation. Neither of those is good for your business, which leaves the third option: have a good online reputation. With an excellent reputation, you not only appear in front of your prospects, but you also look appealing enough to make them want to visit.

Establish social proof

In the past, used car dealers relied on testimonials in print advertising to establish social proof. As times have changed, the medium has shifted, but the need for social proof remains. The approval from third parties, especially peers of the person reading the reviews, raises the credibility of a person or a business because of this psychological effect. With a stellar online reputation, your dealership can be seen as the better option in your area.

Increase buyer trust for quicker purchase decisions

This benefit extends from social proof. With the right online image, you are seen as not just a leader in your market but also as more trustworthy. Positive reviews can boost buyer confidence which can reduce the likelihood of the dreaded “let me think about it.” 

Customers delay their buying decision because they assume they might be able to get a better deal elsewhere. You can bypass that by having a solid reputation for giving a good deal.

As a used car dealer, you also have the advantage of limited availability for specific cars. If a customer likes a specific used car, he cannot justify delaying action on account of being able to get the same car for the same price later. This motivates the customer to even opt for financing to buy as soon as possible, as long as he trusts the dealer. 

If your online reputation isn’t good, the lack of trust can be too large an obstacle to overcome. 

You expand Lifetime Value per customer

The lifetime value (LTV) of a customer refers to the money they bring into your business across the number of years an average customer sticks with you. Since used cars are low-frequency purchases, customers are less likely to buy more than a few times from one dealer. 

But with online reputation channels like Google Business, Facebook, and TrustPilot, a customer’s positive feedback can improve the conversion rate of other buyers. In other words, your excellent work does not persuade just one customer. It leads to more prospects learning about the quality and the trustworthiness of your service.

Attract educated customers

If you’re tired of dealing with customers who want to trade in for rates detached from market realities, you need to get educated customers instead of having to teach every new prospect. People who find you because of your online reputation are people doing their research. 

While some used car dealers might prefer customers to know less, our members report positive experiences dealing with customers who do their research and can understand the value they offer. With the right reputation, you attract customers who do not waste your time regardless of whether they buy from you or not. And as long as you provide the value they’ve come to expect from you based on your online image, they will leave reviews that will further strengthen your brand.

Final Thoughts

From displaying affiliations like your NIADA membership to featuring positive social proof like testimonials and reviews, you have several options to improve your online image. We help independent car dealers get the resources, information, and networking opportunities that allow them to level up their training, positive feedback, and online presence. Join now to get exclusive discounts and training that is documented to improve sales and/or profitability. 

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