When the family name is on your dealership door, you take immense pride in the relationships you have established in the community. The Horne family is a storied Arizona family, having owned several local businesses in the Mesa area for over 140 years. The Horne family’s first car dealership, a Chevrolet store, opened in 1991 and has since flourished into today’s 12 location Horne Auto Group.
For Horne Kia, their stellar reputation wasn’t shining through as it should online. On Google, in particular, two of their local competitors were showing stronger star ratings on their Google Business Profiles despite Horne Kia’s established community roots (note, Google Business Profiles is Google’s new name for Google My Business).
At Friendemic, we know that sometimes your best customers simply need to be asked to share their experiences with other car shoppers and owners so that the true story of a dealership experience can be found on review sites. We also know that some consumers want to provide a dealer with private feedback for an experience that they felt could have been even better.
In addition, creating and populating separate Google Business Profiles for each department at your dealership can help your consumers more easily find the reviews they need in their buying or service decision process. Separate Profiles also provide both loyal customers and undecided prospects faster access to the information they need to choose you. Finally, the auto industry is seeing more and more that Google Business Profile reviews can help improve your eligibility to appear on more searches.
To get more reviews from their best customers, Horne Kia first implemented Friendemic’s Reputation Accelerator software, but with a twist – sales reviews would go to the Horne Kia main Google Business Profile, and service reviews would be parsed to a newly created Horne Kia service Profile. Review invitations could be sent directly from the sales and service personnel, and from the DMS with automated invitations.
Second, Friendemic built out the service and parts Profiles as follows:
- Specific service and parts categories, like Auto repair, transmission, service, oil change, were selected for the new Profile, while the main Horne Kia listing kept Google categories like Kia dealer and car dealer in that Profile.
- Service specific products were uploaded to the service Profile, to visually reinforce to car owners that Horne Kia has a robust service offering.
- Similarly, posts on the service offering were added to that profile, while posts on new/used car offerings were directed to the main listing.
Figure 1: The newly created Horne Kia Service Profile features service-specific information, like photos, the service department phone number and hours, service web page links and service products.
The Impact of Friendemic’s Program
By segmenting and bolstering the profiles for Horne Kia sales and service, reviews and ratings grew strongly for Horne Kia’s Main Google Profile. Even more, the newly created service Profile quickly accumulated over 300 reviews averaging 4.9 stars. In just three months, the dealership saw 350 more reviews and a full 1 star jump for the dealership’s overall star rating!
Figure 2: Horne Kia’s Main Google Business Profile saw a 30% increase in review volume and a 15% increase in rating, while at the same time, the new GMB Service page generated an additional 302 reviews at 4.9 stars. Combined review volume increased 216% in the first 3 months using Friendemic
What Happened Next
In addition to showing a dealership’s star rating and total review count, Google features three relevant review snippets on every dealer’s Google Business Profile. For Horne Kia Service, this happened quickly, and given the overwhelming number of positive reviews the Service department received, its review snippets are stellar:
Consumer opinion is also important to Google as it relates to SEO, as the search engine uses many review factors to determine which searches a dealership is eligible to appear on, such as review volume, average rating, recency of reviews, and review responses. Similarly, the more photos, posts and descriptors you apply to your sales and service Profiles, the more content Google has to index and the more information a consumer has when deciding whether to choose you or another dealer.
In the first few months of launch, the Horne Kia Google Business Profile appeared in thousands of monthly searches, including Discovery Searches where they previously had little exposure:
Figure 3: Horne Kia’s Service GMB page began showing up in thousands of auto repair searches generating 156 new leads from their GMB page in the first quarter it was active.
The needs of a new car shopper are quite different from the needs of car owners seeking service and repairs. Thus, tailoring your Google Business Profile strategy to each segment by offering a separate experience for the two audiences will delight your customers and grow the number of consumers who find you on Google.