Skip to main content

Reputation Management For Automotive Service Departments

Reputation Management
For Automotive Service Departments

Whether you are a franchise dealer, manufacturer, or independent service repair shop, reputation management should be a priority and included in your daily processes.

Why is reputation management critical to your dealership’s success? 

The purpose of reputation management is to influence public perceptions and discourse about a company and its brands. Maintaining a positive reputation is essential in a world saturated with many competitors. Since there are so many sites and platforms where people can leave comments, online reputations are delicate and easy to destroy.

Over the past ten years, customer reviews have dominated the digital sphere. According to statistics, only 2% of customers do not read online reviews before making a purchase decision. The caliber of online reviews and ratings thus significantly impacts the buying process.

Managing online reputations requires full-time attention, and most dealerships don’t have the in-house expert staffing and resources to manage this process successfully.

52% Complain about what customers perceive as bad service.

98% of people read online reviews before making a purchase

Reputation management is critical because negative reviews can have a snowball effect. When one customer expresses dissatisfaction, new customers naturally become more sensitive to that issue. Since every potential customer checks online reviews first, negative reviews can quickly drive your business toward a competitor. Responding to a negative review helps regain the audience’s trust and confidence in your business.

Positive reviews deserve just as much attention. This aspect of reputation is frequently overlooked and underappreciated until it yields excellent results. Positive reviews can be leveraged to build a reputation that encourages brand loyalty and increases brand awareness.

Testimonials and positive feedback can help you understand how customers feel about your goods and services, boost morale, and, if necessary, help you raise the caliber of your services. Instituting a process to syndicate positive feedback allows you to share testimonials on your website and other marketing platforms.

Top causes of negative reviews 

Frequently, a customer will leave a poor review because they feel wronged or cheated in some way, and leaving a negative review is a way for them to feel “heard.” Many people are uncomfortable engaging in direct dialogue or confrontation, so online reviews give them a level of security to voice their concerns. The unfortunate aspect is that once they do, the poor rating is permanent, regardless of its validity, unless they choose to remove it. Naturally, companies should always aim for positive reviews, but if they receive a negative one, the following action is to manage that complaint quickly and effectively.


Around 73% of consumers are motivated by the desire to save others from bad experiences.

Top causes of negative reviews

  • Poor customer service
  • Hidden fees
  • Under-delivering on promises to the customer
  • Making a customer wait an inordinate amount of time for service
  • Poor facility hygiene
  • Poor product quality
  • Poor explanation of

A bad reputation can also result from incidents reported as news in the media. Although news cycles are only last about a day, a quick Google search for the business will continue to pull up the incident on all the media outlets where it originally appeared.

Another reason for a bad reputation is a lack of response from the business. If a company is non-responsive, especially in the face of criticism and problems, it signals to potential customers that the business doesn’t care what people think.

Current challenges to managing your dealership’s reputation 

  • Time and availability of management staff
  • Staff training and understanding of how to manage reviews
  • Lack of formal process
  • Lack of integrated technology to assist with notifying, managing, and optimizing Too many websites or platforms to monitor

Where do people leave automotive reviews? 

Four leading platforms generate the most reviews: Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook. However, reviews can be left at any of the websites below. The most recommended platform is Google. “Not only does Google have the most reviews, it also attracts the most readers of all review sites. In 2021, 81% of consumers said they read Google reviews which is a significant increase over 2020 when just 63% of consumers read the site’s reviews.”

How can Google Business Profile help service departments? 

Google Business Profile is one of the most successful SEO products Google has ever rolled out. Google Business Profiles are shown within Google Maps. The results are the most likely to return if you search for a service. Every month, more than a billion people use Google Maps, which is over a quarter of all internet users worldwide. 

With a Google Business profile, dealers can ensure that their information is accurate and up-to-date when it appears in Google search and Maps.

Google Business Profile can differentiate between different departments within a company, especially when a department offers specialized services not available from other departments. Specifically, automotive service departments can leverage the profile’s SEO and manage their online reputation. 

All dealers have a Google Business Profile, but few have a listing dedicated to the Service Department. When you look at GBP reviews for the dealership, 98% of them are sales oriented. “The sales agent was beneficial,” and “The price I got on my car was competitive.” There is very little coverage of the customer’s experience when they brought their car in for service, and since service revenue can be 50-60% of the dealership’s profit, the Service Department needs its profile to attract and manage reviews.

What is the Net Promoter Score (NPS ) ?

Net Promoter Scores (NPS) can be used to forecast the social health of a business. NPS is a metric used in customer experience programs; it measures customers’ happiness with and loyalty to a company.

When your NPS is on the high side, your business has strong customer relationships. It means that customers are more inclined to promote your brand, spread the word about it, and create a positive growth cycle.

Your reputation management service will ask customers a question to determine their NPS and thus quantify their loyalty, contentment, and enthusiasm for a business: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?” To boost customer loyalty, organizations can improve their service, customer assistance, delivery, etc., using aggregate NPS rankings.

What is a good Net Promoter Score (NPS) ?

Top-tier businesses typically have an NPS of 70 or higher, but if you think this is exclusively the purview of large, international businesses, you’d be wrong: according to this site Customer Guru, Netflix had a score of 13, and Amazon came in at a “lowly” 25. Even Apple only scored 47.

A good NPS score for an automotive customer service department is between 45 and 75. NPS scores are best used to measure improvement rather than indicating a stagnant “standing” among competitors since it is a fluid, ever-changing measure.

How to set NPS goals for each department

The first step is to set up the metrics for measuring success. Like a map, you will never know if you’ve arrived if you don’t know where you’re going. So, the first thing is to set NPS goals for the automotive service department. This can be done internally or by a reputation management service.

Create a one-question survey that customers can answer without hesitation. You want to determine if the service they received was good enough for that customer to be willing to recommend the automotive service department to their friends, colleagues, and family. A “yes” garners points, while a “no” garners negative points. Once you have a few months of data, you can set benchmarks to improve your NPS score.

How to automate your NPS process

Businesses can send customers automated text messages asking for feedback regarding their service; management can follow up with dissatisfied customers before they leave a bad review, thereby improving ratings. Working with a provider that shares the average NPS every month allows managers to stay on top of the dealership’s score.

What are customer sentiment and pulse?

Sentiment refers to the positivity or negativity expressed in text. Sentiment analysis provides an
effective way to evaluate written or spoken language to determine if the expression is favorable, unfavorable, or neutral and to what degree. Because of this, it gives a helpful indication of how the customer felt about their experience.


Pulse survey is a quick check-in to see how employees or customers feel about job satisfaction, communication, a product or service, a recent exchange, service delivery, or their work environment.


Intent is a person’s motive or purpose. Understanding a person’s intent is challenging, particularly in writing, where it becomes much harder to recognize emotions. The use of digital methods to read  intent has grown in popularity as companies seek ways to connect with their customers and  understand how they feel about their products, service, or brand.

Tone is an individual way of speaking or writing, especially when expressing emotion. Tone is important in understanding the true meaning of many words and sentences.

How can dealerships improve their ratings?

The first step to improving your ratings is to create an in-store process. Integrating the software into your system allows your team to adopt a reliable management process to take the pulse of your customer and allow your team to respond to feedback.

Another reason hybrid solutions work is that they strive to pull in positive reviews from customers who may need a little encouragement to leave a review. Positive reviews can then outnumber bad reviews, potentially turning a bad reputation into a good one. It’s very important to garner positive reviews to offset any negative feedback.

The best online reputation management strategy involves automation to obtain and manage  customers’ online reviews. It would be impossible for any reputation management service to connect with every past and current customer manually, so automation is necessary for effective online reputation management.

A realistic goal might be to improve the NPS by five points within a specific timeframe. A crucial aspect of setting realistic goals is establishing a timeline in which they should be reached. So, the five-point increase could be within one month, then five points every consecutive month, for instance.

How to find a reputable technology partner

Look for a company that specializes in the automotive and trucking industry. You want a company that understands the keywords and can accurately assess customer sentiment. They should know how a technician interacts with customers and how a dealership works. Finally, look for a service that understands how to leverage AI to get results. Automation through AI is essential in harvesting positive feedback from customers. So, when researching reputation management services, make sure they mention AI as one of their tools.

The checklist to improve your reputation

  • Audit existing reputation platforms (download free reputation audit template)
  • Create your starting benchmark metrics for the average rating & NPS
  • Define your internal service level agreements
  • Outline your processes. Who responds, and how often do you review language and messaging verbiage? (download the free reputation process template)
  • Integrate automated texting
  • Customize your messaging to match your store’s tone
  • Monitor your utilization dashboard weekly
  • Make it fun – incentivize your team to improve ratings
  • Reward and acknowledge your team’s success
  • Use poor reviews as learning opportunities to improve your services through process evaluations and appropriate training

Need help setting up your online reputation management process?

Contact us today to learn more about how TruVideo can improve the reputation of your automotive service department. We look forward to hearing from you!

Get in Touch

Sources & References:

  • “Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter ScoreSM and Net Promoter SystemSM are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.