Online Reviews Help Ken Garff Automotive Improve Customer Experience

Ken Garff, a 54-location automotive dealership group headquartered in Utah, wants its customers to know they are listening. It’s so important to them that they built an entire ad campaign around the slogan, “We hear you.” Because of this, Ken Garff takes what customers say about them in dealership online reviews very seriously. But when you’re trying to sift through the auto dealership reviews of that many locations it can be difficult to hear everything.

That’s why, Jeremy Nef, Digital Marketing Manager at Ken Garff, set out to find a solution that would streamline the management of the automotive business’ online review presence. Nef ultimately chose Podium because of the customized solution they offered.

“The sales process at each of our dealerships is slightly different, so we needed a solution that could be implemented seamlessly,” said Nef. “Podium was willing to work with us to integrate with our CRM, allowing us to better manage our online review process.”

Improved customer experience

Podium consolidates all of Ken Garff Automotives’ online reviews into a single dashboard. This makes it easy for the company’s four social media managers to identify trends – both positive and negative – and relay them to the general managers. By utilizing Podium to track trends and gather insights, they can see the group’s operations at a much higher level and make suggestions to individual dealerships or the group as a whole.

One area where this has had the most impact was on wait times during the sales process. The staff at Ken Garff tries to ensure that there is as little wait time as possible for its customers. Sometimes the sales process needs to be tweaked a little bit to ensure that is the case. Without having near real-time access to online review feedback, it would be much more difficult to know when to act.

“Podium gives us the ability to see and understand our experience from the customer’s point of view,” related Nef. “So if we see problems recurring, like too much downtime in the sales process, we can quickly get in there and fix them on an individual store level.”

Reinforced brand promise

Another area where Podium has helped Ken Garff is by reinforcing their brand promise. The business wants its customers to know that not only are they listening to their concerns, but they are willing to act on customer feedback.

The Podium dashboard makes it easy for the staff at Ken Garff to respond quickly when problems arise, but they also make an effort to respond to anyone who leaves a review.

“Keeping track of and engaging with our online reviews is the perfect way of paying off the message that, ‘We hear you,’” said Nef. “It shows that we are paying attention to every review that comes in, and Podium has been essential in helping us back up that brand message online.”

Highlight top performers

An unforeseen benefit of managing auto dealership online reviews with Podium is the boost to employee morale when individual staff members are called out by name in a review. A lot of times the focus is on improving behaviors that need to be corrected, but the opposite can also be true.

Ken Garff has been able to use online reviews as a way to shine a spotlight on employees that are going above and beyond to deliver high-quality customer service.

“When we notice an employee that is consistently being mentioned by name in reviews, we let the GMs know so they can celebrate them,” stated Nef. “It’s important to use these employees an example to motivate, inspire, and elevate the rest of the staff.”

Increased consumer confidence

In addition to the operational benefits, Ken Garff Automotive has seen an increase in consumer confidence in the business since it started taking a proactive approach to managing its online reputation.

“Building a positive online presence and engaging with our customers online has driven tangible results,” concluded Nef. “Our online reviews really do move the needle with our customers and give them the confidence that they are going to have a good experience at any one of our dealerships.”

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