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September 21, 2020

Do Consumers Really Dislike the Dealership Experience?


The dealership experience as explained by critics and industry outsiders (and sometimes even insiders) portrays automotive retailers as questionable in their intentions and the dealership experience worse than going to the dentist. Just last month, Vroom launched a commercial typifying a dealership visit like a trip to the circus, with car salespeople depicted as clowns. The ad was even titled, “Dealership of Horrors.”

While it is easy to typecast dealers as questionable in their intentions given the car purchase involves significant money changing hands and oftentimes negotiation is involved, our data shows that consumers are sharing increasingly positive reviews of the dealership experience. In fact, the percentage of negative reviews (below a 4.0) is dropping:

Review data YoY

At Friendemic, we provide software to help dealers and OEMs receive and respond to reviews posted on the seven major automotive review platforms (Google, DealerRater,, CarGurus, Facebook, CARFAX and Yelp). In analyzing star ratings across 4,600 franchise dealerships, we noticed the rise in positive reviews began October, 2019. 

Star ratings across franchise dealership rose in oct 2019

Given COVID concerns, high unemployment and all other issues that are plaguing the general happiness of people across the globe, many of us at Friendemic were pleasantly surprised to see this trend. Similarly, we can’t overstate the importance even a minor uptick in positive reviews can have on a dealer’s overall star rating, which can ultimately drive more calls, website visits, chats, appointments and sales. 

Look to future posts as we share insights into what is driving greater positivity in ratings, and other trends that can help your dealership excel in reputation management. You can also reach out to us directly to analyze your dealership’s review and rating trends, and recommend how to use our tools to shine a light on the positive interactions your customers have with your dealership.

Tag(s): Friendemic News

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