Go ahead and search for “oil change near me” or “tire shop near me.” Does your dealership’s service center show up? If not, you’re missing out on thousands of customers who turn to Google every day to find a reliable service center.
Your service center and auto sales dealership perform two separate services for distinct audiences—they shouldn’t be sharing one Google My Business listing.
It’s normally best practice to have only one Google My Business listing to consolidate reviews and build trust in your online presence. But, as a dealership with a service center, you have unique needs. Two separate GMB listings can improve your online visibility, increase your profits, and give customers clearer and more comprehensive information.
Luckily, Google allows one-location businesses like yours to split listings. Read on to discover why your dealership should create two separate Google My Business listings and how to get started.
Here’s why one listing is an issue.
Two businesses under one listing can cause problems ranging from poor online visibility to misleading contact information. Here are just a few of the challenges you may encounter if your dealership uses a single listing.
Decreased search relevance.
Customers might be less likely to find your Google My Business listing when you use one listing to house both branches of your auto dealership. Relevance is one of the factors Google uses to determine local search rankings. If your business has only one umbrella listing for both your dealership and service center, Google may not deem it as relevant to the terms your customers search, so it may not rank as highly as it could.
Decreased search traffic.
Since dealerships rely on their service departments for an estimated average of 53% of gross profit, attracting customers to your service department through organic search is essential. If you do not currently list your sales and service departments separately, you’re missing out on potential customers searching for a nearby service center. This could steer them toward your competition—especially if your competitors include “service center” keywords in their business listing and can capture the search traffic you’re missing out on.
Missing in Google Maps.
With only one business listing, your dealership can appear only once on Google Maps. Customers looking for quick directions to the nearest repair shop in your area might overlook your service department. Creating two listings allows you to appear twice in Google Maps for the most relevant service your customers are looking for nearby.
Earning fewer (and less relevant) reviews.
If your existing Google reviews focus mostly on sales at your dealership, service department customers may feel like they shouldn’t add their review. Similarly, if your reviews happen to focus on your service department, customers who purchase cars might feel like their reviews don’t belong. Listing your dealership and service department separately will clarify that you welcome reviews from each type of customer. It also gives potential customers confidence in choosing your business for sales or service.
Poor communication and customer service.
Clear communication and effective customer service can make or break a business. Unfortunately, using just one Google My Business listing makes clear communication more challenging. Since service departments and dealerships may have different hours, staff, customers, and locations, sharing one listing creates abundant opportunities for miscommunication and confusion. This could easily lose you business and result in poor reviews.
Wasted time for employees and customers.
If you only have a Google My Business listing for your dealership as a whole, customers will likely call or message your main number for service questions. Creating a separate listing for your service department makes its phone number easier for customers to find, saving you (and your customers) time, effort, and unnecessary frustration.
If you’ve decided it’s time to fix your Google My Business listing to more accurately represent your business, here are step-by-step instructions for updating your GMB profile.
Step-by-step instructions to help your service center get found on Google
Updating your Google My Business listing to include your dealership and service center separately is as simple as starting a new Google My Business listing. Just follow these simple steps.
1. Go to Google My Business
Visit the Google My Business homepage. This acts as your main portal to any and all Google My Business resources.
2. Click “Manage now” or “Sign in” for new users
If you already have a Google My Business account, simply login. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one. To do so, click “Sign In.”
Once you have a dealership listing set up, click “Manage now” to start working on your service center listing.
3. Search to see if your service center is already listed separately
Even if you didn’t start the listing, it’s possible that Google already lists your service center on Google My Business. To check, just type the name of your service center into the Google My Business search feature.
4. If your service center is listed, select it
To prevent duplicate listings of your service center, if a listing already exists, your best bet is to claim it. To do so, just follow the prompts. If someone else has already claimed your service center, you can also report a problem or request access.
5. If your service center isn’t listed, click “add your business”
Google My Business will prompt you to enter relevant information. Just follow the prompts to give your service center its own Google My Business listing.
6. Accurately enter your service center information
As you follow Google My Business’s prompts, be careful to enter the correct information for your service center, including accurate hours and location. Accurate information makes your business look more professional and empowers customers.
7. Pay careful attention to phone number
While it is important to provide accurate information throughout your listing, the phone number is particularly important. A phone number for your service center is one of the main factors that establish it as a separate entity from your dealership, so be sure to double-check it.
8. Verify your business
To verify your business, Google will send a postcard to the address you provided. Once you receive the postcard, input the verification code on the card within 30 days to finish setting up the listing for your service center.
In some cases, Google may also allow you to verify by receiving a pin through text or email. This is definitely the quicker option.
9. Add, edit, and update information
Users can edit your information, so it is important to check back often to make sure all the information on your service center is accurate and up to date.
To make your listing even more appealing, add photos and provide new information so that customers can see what your service center is up to.
Generate More Reviews for Your New Service Center Listing
Once you’ve set up a new listing for your service center, you’ll need to attract some reviews to get the ball rolling. Here are a few easy ways to solicit more reviews.
Ask clients for reviews
Whenever a customer comes in for service, have a friendly employee ask if they’d leave a review on Google. It’s simple, but it can make a huge impact.
Send out review invitations
Podium makes it easy to send out review invitations. Time spent and the clunky submission process are two of the main hindrances that stop your customers from leaving a positive review. Automate and simplify the review process to save time for both your employees and customers.
Make the reviews link easy to find on your website
Sharing the link to your Google My Business listing on your website can provide another option to make it easy for customers to leave reviews.
Include the link in your email signature
Placing a link to your Google My Business listing in your email signature gently reminds customers to leave their review whenever you reply to questions or send out reminders. This gives them yet another opportunity to share their experiences and feedback.
Reply to reviews
Replying to reviews shows customers that you care, which could encourage even more customers to leave reviews. This is especially important for negative reviews, which can often be turned into a positive review with a little attention from your staff.
Maintaining separate Google My Business listings for your dealership and service center can improve your visibility and provide your customers with the accurate, comprehensive information they’re looking for. So what are you waiting for? Split your listing today.