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Study: Bad Reviews Significantly Impact Dealer Revenue

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June 14, 2018—Your dealership can sustain serious damage from afar, even from anonymous, faceless detractors.

According to recent research compiled by Jonas Sickler, the marketing director for, when dealerships receive negative online reviews, it has a definite impact on revenue. According to Sickler’s findings, 59 percent of auto shoppers choose a dealership based on reputation.

Therefore, Sickler noted in a recent report, “negative online reviews can cost you half of your customers.”

The study discovered that the average dealership these days loses $1.1 million per year in profits due to bad online reviews.

Some other eye-opening figures from Sickler’s report:

  • Customers are 5.3 times more likely to visit dealerships with positive online reviews
  • 81 percent of 18-34-year-olds consult online reviews and opinions before purchasing
  • 80 percent of millennials search online for repairs
  • 38 percent of consumers consider independent review sites to be the most trustworthy source of information

As a result of the findings, the reputation management expert makes the following suggestions to dealerships:

  • Ask for reviews from happy customers
  • Be transparent and up front with customers
  • Respond to negative reviews with empathy and a willingness to take action
  • Create a crisis communication plan to handle upset customers, so that employees are prepared to handle such situations

“Auto dealers can’t afford to let negative articles or reviews creep into their search landscape,” Sickler concluded.

“Great customer service is a reputation flywheel. By investing in a stellar customer experience you’ll be able to convert customers into loyal and trusted brand advocates. … You’ll also lower your risk of being hammered with negative reviews.”


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