Feature article

Build buyer trust with testimonials

In the age of digital word of mouth

Personal recommendations are a key part of the decision-making process when shoppers are looking for a vehicle. Testimonials have the power to make or break a deal. They’re the authentic reassurance that goes the extra mile in affirming everything you say and promise to a buyer. 

If you're not utilising the praise your customers have for your business, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Research indicates that 60% of New Zealanders rely on online reviews most, or all of the time when making a purchase decision*. 

When’s the right time to get a testimonial? 

For a lot of dealers you have the opportunity to make the best of both worlds – a happy seller with trade-ins and a happy buyer. So make the most of the moment. 

They’re likely to detail their experience when it’s fresh in their mind, so you need to strike while the iron’s hot. An ideal time to drop in a request for a testimonial is either straight after they trade-in or buy a car. You could also reach out to them three months after the purchase to find out how everything is going as a part of your after sales service.

Here are some great ways to capture and share your testimonials with prospective buyers:

1. Video testimonials

Video has become one of the most effective ways to engage people. One of the most convincing uses of video in car sales can be found in customer testimonials. They can be invaluable, influencing prospective buyers to pick up the phone and contact you. 

Some dos and don’ts when it comes to video testimonials: 

  • Let your customer know about the questions you want them to cover in advance so that they feel more prepared. 
  • Use questions that will help your customer refer to specific benefits you’d like to promote. For example, “tell me how easy it was to find the vehicle you wanted, and how did we help you with this.” 
  • Keep the testimonials short. Aim for 30–60 seconds and make sure that the start captures the viewers attention. 
  • Gain their permission to share video content and ensure they’re happy with the finished product before it goes live.

2. Written testimonials

An easy and effective way of generating feedback is by asking customers to rate you on BuyerScore. As BuyerScore is an independent rating and review collection service, buyers value the genuine feedback from verified customers. You can promote your BuyerScore rating by bringing it to your Micro-Site which makes it super simple. 

If you want more specific feedback, SurveyMonkey is a simple piece of software that helps you to create your own personalised survey to send to customers who have purchased from you. 

It's important to ask the right questions in the right way. Ask open ended questions to find out what your clients really think rather than multiple choice. Keeping your survey short is key if you want your clients to provide meaningful feedback. 

Capture the most important quotes and use them on your Premium LDP and Micro-site on Trade Me.

3. Social media

If you have a Facebook page you can simply ask customers to review your services there. 

Customers give you a star rating from 1–5 and have the option of providing a comment about the service you provided. Make sure you engage with them by either ‘liking’ it or posting a comment to say thanks. 

Source: *Stuff.co.nz, June 2019