What to do when your dealership gets a negative review

12 Jun 2019 Car Dealers Caravan Dealers Helpful Tips Truck Dealers

How to handle negative reviews on your dealership

Even the most respected companies get negative reviews from customers from time to time. How you deal with these negative reviews leaves the most powerful impression on prospective purchasers.

Start off with a response that sincerely apologises to customers for their experience and demonstrate a desire to solve the problem. Responding to a negative review and offering a solution can do two things:

  • It shows customers and prospects that you are serious about good service and builds confidence in your dealership.
  • It can change a negative review into a positive one after a resolution.

What steps should you follow once you get a negative review?

  1. Identify if the review is from a genuine customer. Sometimes, people leave negative reviews even if they have not bought from you.
  2. Respond to the review depending on the situation. If you have the reviews managed service, you have the option of getting EasyCars to respond but you must help us understand how you intend to resolve the issue, as this will be part of the online response.
  3. Follow through on your response with action.
  4. Ask the customer to change their negative review to a positive one after receiving a solution.

How to respond to negative reviews?

Your response will depend on how you intend to solve the problem.

  1. If you don’t intend to call the customer and resolve the issue (which we highly don’t recommend), simply leave a response like – 

    • Hi {customer name} – we’re sorry you had a bad experience, that certainly wasn’t our intention. We try our best to keep everyone happy, but this has not happened. We hope you give us another chance to prove our usually excellent customer experience.

    Avoid starting a negative conversation or fighting online. If you feel this way and can't solve their problem, it's best not to reply at all.

  2. If you intend to solve the problem, be more specific with your response and explain what’s going to happen next

    • Hi {customer name} – we’d like to apologise for your experience and are sorry you’re not happy. We pride ourselves on our high-quality service and to change your negative experience into a positive experience, I will call you today to resolve your concerns.
    • Hi {customer name} – my name is XX and I am the manager/owner at {dealership name}. We’re sorry you’ve had this experience. I’d like to personally help make things right with {individual complaint}. I will reach out today to discuss the issue further. We value our customers, so rest assured we’ll find a solution.
    • Hi {customer name} – we’re sorry you’re not happy with your car/ service. It’s important to us that our customers are more than satisfied. We’d like to help you resolve this issue and will give you a call today to discuss {reference individual situation}. If you prefer, you can also contact us on {insert contact}.

Why should you always follow up after a response saying you will resolve the issue?

When you respond to a negative review saying you will resolve the issue, you must follow through on your promise. If you cannot help the customer for whatever reason, be careful with the way you respond because this will have a ‘snowball’ effect on your reputation – especially if the customer continues to leave poor reviews.

How EasyCars will help you manage negative reviews?

If you have managed reviews with EasyCars, you have two choices –

- You can choose to respond on your own


You can advise us how you plan to resolve the issue and we will respond on your behalf. The responsibility to actually solve the problem will always remain with you (the dealer).

The main point of this review feature is to control the way people talk about your dealership so you can drown out bad reviews with heaps of good ones.

Plus, if customers do go through this portal, any negative feedback is emailed to your inbox. This gives you better control of your online reputation.

How to report fake reviews to Google

  1. If you get a fake review from a customer, you can first respond with these templates.

    • Hi {customer name} – we’re sorry you had a bad experience. However, we don’t have any records of your purchase from us in the last 2 years. Would you be able to provide more specific details about your purchase so we can help you?
    • Hi {customer name} – we’re sorry you had a bad experience. Unfortunately, we have no record of you visiting our dealership or purchasing a car from us. Please give us more information so we can help resolve your concerns.
  2. Wait for a response. If the customer is genuine, they will respond back. If not, you can flag it with Google as a violation of their policy.
  3. Wait for Google to assess the review. This may take several days. If Google needs more information, you will need to explain why the review is fake before it’s removed.

PS – Only reviews deemed fake by Google will be removed. If you have a genuinely dissatisfied customer who leaves a negative review, this will not be removed.

Call EasyCars on 1300 473 744 for more information on our reviews management module. Or, enter your details below - 

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