Auto Remarketing recently posted an article on a study by CarGurus and what consumers are looking for in an appealing automotive dealership. The study found that “poor communication and deceptive business practices were the dominant themes in the negative reviews,” and this should come as no surprise. While the top themes for customer complaints mentioned lack of communication and wasting time, it really all comes down to bad customer service.

Well into the Summer months now, dealerships across the country are excited by the buzz and sales warm weather brings, but the time of year and potential for the Summer rush is not enough to sell cars. Good customer service is what keeps a potential customer interested enough to buy, and loyal enough to come back.

CarGurus also found that what consumers want in a dealership and enjoy most about the dealerships they love isn’t just fast forthright responses and friendly faces, but also a clean and organized dealership inside and out, and of course, fair prices.

For many consumers, however, the buying process begins online before they even step foot in the dealership. Dealer websites are no longer static sources of advertising with listed inventory, as explained by a Dealer Marketing Magazine article, “Is Your Website Ready for the Summer Selling Season?” Now dealer websites are about interaction. They need to be a resource for consumer research during their buying process, and have live chat to accommodate buyers looking for immediate answers or looking to complete the sales process entirely online.

Also, don’t forget about reputation management and dealer reviews, found extensively across the web. To combat the negative effects of possible poor reviews online, encourage loyal customers to give reviews after a positive buying experience, so that future customers can read for themselves why your dealership fulfills what they are looking for.

Langley Steinert, founder and chief executive officer of CarGurus said:

“In this age of online information transparency, reputation matters more than ever. The dealers that have embraced this new online paradigm are winning customers.”