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“I attribute 10 to 15 percent of our total sales each month specifically to customers who came in after reading reviews, said Brian Hefner, General Manager of Tom Wood Toyota Scion. “Another 30 to 40 percent are likely influenced.”

When Brian Hefner and Diana Weaver, E-Commerce Director for the Tom Wood family of dealerships, came together in early 2011 to discuss ways to improve the dealership, they saw reviews as an important opportunity to bring the store’s winning reputation to life online and increase sales.

In our latest case study, we outline the processes the pair put in place to establish themselves as one of the top dealers in their region in terms of review volume and quantity, supporting double digit growth in sales along the way, including:

 

  • Recruiting – Due to potential overlap, every manager at Tom Wood Toyota weighs in when a new employee is hired to ensure they’ll represent the brand well. All managers must agree that the new hire will be an asset to the dealership.
  • Training – New hires are provided formal training on dealership values and processes. After the initial training, an adaptive approach to management turns customer feedback into coaching opportunities.
  • Accountability – “Immediate Feedback” posters are placed throughout the dealership outlining the experience customers can expect at the dealership and inviting them to contact Brian Hefner, immediately, if those expectations aren’t met.
  • Promoting Success – The team at Tom Wood Toyota hands out postcards to each shopper that walks into the store and directs them to Cars.com, Google+ Local, DealerRater and other sites where the store has reviews. Sales associates also share reviews during email follow up with customers.
  • Protecting the brand – the store monitors review sites and other online forums daily for both negative and positive feedback, to which Brian Hefner responds personally.

Click here to view full case study.

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