Why Review Recency is Crucial for Car Dealerships and Strategies to Sustain It.

Car buyers especially trust reviews that are written in the past two weeks.
8-Apr-2024 - 8-Apr-2024

Car buyers place significant trust in the most recent reviews, often those shared within the past two weeks.

That's why you should prioritise review recency in your dealership's review generation strategy.

Understanding Review Recency.

Prospective car buyers scour review platforms for the latest testimonials about dealerships, valuing those penned within the last two weeks the most.

Brightlocal's research indicates that 27% of consumers deem the recentness of reviews critical, underscoring the importance of keeping your review stream fresh.

The definition of "recent" is ever-evolving, implying that a steady flow of new reviews is the best approach to ensuring your dealership's reviews stay current.

This article delves into the significance of review recency, its impact on consumer behaviour, and actionable steps to keep your reviews up-to-date.

The Importance of Review Recency.

1: Building Consumer Trust:
In an era overflowing with information, reviews are a swift and straightforward method for potential car shoppers to assess a dealership.

Recent reviews convey to potential buyers that your vehicles, as well as after-sales services and products, are actively being purchased and valued in real-time.

This, assuming the reviews are positive, effectively boosts your dealership's reputation and strengthens market credibility through the power of social proof.

2: Ensuring Relevance:
The recency of your reviews matters. Car shoppers want to know what your dealership is like today, not how it was last year.

More than half of consumers won't even use a business that hasn’t received reviews in the last 2–4 weeks.

Up-to-date reviews are crucial for making a lasting impression, showcasing your dealership as active and relevant.

3: Enhancing Visibility:
Google prioritises businesses with active and recent reviews, considering them more likely to provide excellent experiences.

A continuous influx of fresh reviews can improve your dealership's visibility in search rankings, as highlighted in Whitespark's 2023 survey. And is a top Google ranking factor.

4: Leveraging the Recency Effect:
The recency effect, a cognitive bias favouring the latest information, plays a significant role in consumer decisions.

Recent reviews are more influential, making them critical for attracting new customers.

The psychological impact of this effect means that newer reviews often sway potential buyers more than older ones, regardless of content quality.

Maintaining Review Recency: Strategies for Car Dealerships.

1: Automate Review Requests:
Automating the process of requesting reviews can significantly increase your review volume.

Utilising emails, QR codes, or SMS for automated requests ensures every customer is prompted to leave feedback, enhancing review recency and frequency.

2: Apply the Peak-End Rule:
The peak-end rule theory is a psychological principle that suggests people judge experiences based on their peak moments and conclusions.

A customer has just completed the exciting purchase of a brand-new car from your dealership.

As a memorable parting gesture, you present them with a custom care package and a personalised thank-you note.

This act of appreciation, alongside the thrill of acquiring a new car, crafts a positive 'end' moment, increasing the likelihood of the customer leaving a positive review based on this peak and final impression.

However, be mindful that this principle works both ways.

A negative experience at the end, such as a rushed handover or a dismissive attitude, could just as powerfully influence the customer to share a negative review, overshadowing the entire buying process, no matter how positive it was overall.

Tip: Integrate the efficiency of automated review requests with the psychological insights of the Peak-End Rule to elevate your customer's experience.

This powerful combination ensures you capture feedback at the most impactful moments—when the joy of purchasing a new car is fresh and the final impression is most positive.

This strategy not only maximises the potential for positive reviews but also helps pinpoint areas for improvement within your dealership.

By recognising which aspects of the customer journey naturally delight your buyers, you can refine your practices for even greater success in future interactions.

3: Respond to Reviews:
Do not underestimate the importance of responding to all customer reviews, as it is one of the most important ways of maintaining a positive relationship with your customers.

Here is proof: 88% of consumers are more likely to buy from a dealership if they can see you respond to all reviews.

According to The Harvard Business Review, businesses that respond to reviews see 12% more review volume and a star rating increase of 0.12 stars. Responding to your dealership reviews will:

  • Increase trust.
  • Give you greater online engagement.
  • Improve your Google ranking for local searches.
  • Control your brand's reputation.
  • Increase customer retention.
  • Increase sales.

Is your dealership struggling to respond to reviews? 

Break Free from Responding to Reviews on Multiple Sites - Slash Admin by 90%

BFN-AI works 24/7 for your dealership, sending unique review responses to 90% of all your customer reviews, across all review sites with a 0-second response time.

This is not a 'copy and paste' solution but a 100% AI automation with full personalisation, freeing your sales and admin team to focus on conversations that actually need a human touch.

Discover how this dealership slashed their review response administrative tasks by 90% after integrating BFN-AI into their workflow.

Key Takeaways for Car Dealerships:

  • The freshness of customer feedback is crucial for car shoppers evaluating your dealership online. Recent positive reviews can significantly boost your dealership's credibility.
  • Timely and recent reviews can sway a buyer's choice. Reviews that are old or infrequent may cast doubt on your dealership's current service quality and discourage potential customers.
  • By proactively seeking, overseeing, and engaging with customer reviews, car dealerships can ensure a steady stream of up-to-date feedback, solidifying their reputation and increasing their appeal to future customers.

Featured Work

Other recent projects