Customer reviews 'early warning sign for car dealers'

The rising number of online customer review channels gives car dealers the opportunity to solve problems before they impact on sales, according to online review site Reevoo.

According to John Gray, head of automotive at Reevoo, dealers should learn to see the value in negative comments to help them identify issues within their company and earn credibility through their ability to resolve any problems quickly and efficiently.

There are many different types of problem that can affect car buyers, but it's often the case that any problems with the vehicle itself will be covered by an adequate motor trade insurance policy. Other issues, such as customer service problems, can often be tackled via separate internal company policies.

Mr Gray added that it is important to handle even the most trivial complaints with the same consideration as serious problems, to ensure that the complainant feels satisfied with the outcome.

Similarly, JudgeService managing director Neil Addley added that car dealers should ensure customers feel as though every individual within a company is working to meet the customer's expectations.

“Typically, if there is criticism, it’s because someone is not conforming to standards – not returning the promised call, failing to stamp the service book, or the car is returned from the workshop and not valeted to customer expectations, to give some examples," he said.

Mr Addley also argued that larger groups should ensure a dedicated social media presence is available at all times to handle any problems, which he suggested could counter the lack of personal touch often perceived by customers when dealing with corporations.

He continued: “It is better to have this co-ordinated, rather than different individuals of different levels of seniority using their own language, with different timings of response."