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Driving Customer Reviews for Automotive Attribution

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Attribution is one of the hottest buzzword in the auto industry. And why wouldn’t it be? Being able to accurately pinpoint which touch points and channels contribute the most sales is powerful ammunition for outsmarting competitors and gaining market share. Outside of tracking standard advertising channels and campaigns, there’s another major source for attribution that can often be overlooked: customer reviews.

Reviews play an important role in the car buying journey – and, by extension, sales attribution – with studies showing that more than 70% of car buyers are influenced by online reviews. Your sales and marketing reps can mine a lot of useful insights from first-hand customer accounts, using that information to optimize online and offline experiences. Of course, the more positive reviews you have to share with shoppers, the more likely they are to buy from your dealership so it’s a win-win situation all around. Here are a few easy ways your dealership can generate more online reviews from customers to help inform sales attribution.

1. Make it easy. Whether online or in-store, do what you can make the process as easy as possible for customers. Some dealers have added tablets or kiosks in the showroom and service waiting area so customers can leave reviews at any time during their visit. You can also include a review area on your website and add a form where a customer can easily submit a review that gets sent to you directly. If it’s a positive review, you can add it your testimonial page. If it’s not a positive review, then it’s a great opportunity to find out where you didn’t meet your customer’s expectations and how you can improve.

2. Ask in-store. If your dealership uses tablets or iPads for customers, you can include a page at the end that asks them for a quick review on their experience. They can even use the speech-to-text function to save time and make it even easier. Asking when you still have them there in person before they drive off the lot helps you capture reviews without waiting for follow up calls or emails. If you do wait to ask in follow up communications, it’s worth noting that dealership reviews spike on weekends so it is worthwhile to try timing calls or emails for those peak periods.

3. Use gentle reminders. In addition to things like in-store kiosks or tablets, you can use signage on your dealership desks to ask visitors for a review without being too direct. A small printed notecard on your sales’ desks can be an easy way to gently remind your customers that reviews help your business.

4. Incentivize customers. Offering your customers a nice ‘thank you’ incentive in the form of a service coupon or a Starbucks gift card when they submit a review online can go a long way towards convincing someone to leave a positive review for you. Remember, customers with satisfactory or even exceptional experiences don’t usually think to leave a review, so an incentive can be the nudge they didn’t know they needed. This is another area where you could ask for a review after a service visit or while someone is in-store. Take advantage of those in-person moments by gently reminding customers and promoting incentives on signage throughout the waiting areas and showroom. (See what we did there?)

Online reviews and customer testimonials are important pieces that create trust, build your reputation and boost your dealership’s sales. And when it comes to attribution, reviews can be a gold mine of information for understanding what makes customers buy from you, and what makes them run to your competitors instead.


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