It's not vain to Google yourself, particularly if you're a dealer invested in addressing consumer complaints.
In addition to review sites such as Yelp, Google and DealerRater, dealerships should look for customer feedback where online communication occurs most naturally: social media channels.
Social media is an active component of consumer perception, and Hudson Cook attorney Michael Benoit says that dealers can stay ahead of compliance investigations by reading Reddit threads and flipping through Facebook timelines.
Customers could be inclined to take their complaints online for a variety of reasons. Complaint catharsis is about commiserating with others over a poor customer service experience and warning them to avoid businesses that have mistreated their customers.
But observing reviews and status updates isn't enough. A swift response is essential. Not only should dealerships use the complaint to address the concerns brought up by the customer, but they should respond to show prospective shoppers that they care about the satisfaction of their customers in and out of the dealership.
"If you're a company and you don't have someone monitoring social media for stuff about you, you're behind the times," Benoit told Automotive News.
Finding out what is being said about you isn't superficial, it's smart. Three-quarters of consumers recently surveyed by EFG Cos. start the car-buying process online, but that doesn't mean they're only looking at a dealership's website.
Responding on multiple platforms showcases the dealership's flexibility and tech savvy. With so many websites giving consumers opportunities to drop compliments and complaints, setting a Google alert for the dealership could save staffers search time.
In the words of American writer William S. Burroughs, "Nothing exists until or unless it is observed."
Today, one could argue that nothing exists until or unless it is observed online. Taking control of social media interactions can ensure that a dealership's online presence is a positive one.