Herb Chambers News

How the internet has changed the Auto Industry

Isn’t it amazing how the Internet has changed the way we do so many things? That is no truer than in the automobile industry. Prior to the Internet, a typical client would have to visit many car dealerships over many weeks to look at different makes and models. They did have some resources, like Consumer Reports, to determine what might be the best vehicle for them but there wasn’t a lot of information available. By and large, consumers relied on advertising and “word of mouth” to help them gain confidence in their “big” decision. Not anymore!

The Internet has changed the way people buy cars. Consider some of these statistics:

· 93% of car buyers go online before visiting a dealership (source: Traver Technologies)

· The average consumer now only visits 1.3 car dealerships before making a purchase (source: Traver Technologies)

· 69% of US consumers seek online reviews before making purchases. (source: Think Auto)

· 78% of U.S. adults believe it is very important to look up info about people and/or businesses online before deciding to interact or do business with them. (source: Harris Interactive)

Word of “mouse” has replaced word of mouth. This really hit home with me when I read an article on Google titled “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth” written by Jim Lecinski. Here is an excerpt from that article:

There’s one critical difference between old-fashioned word of mouth and the digital version. “Talking over the hedge is one-to-one,” says Prof. Dave Reibstein, the William Stewart Woodside Professor at The Wharton School. “Digital word of mouth is one-to-millions. If you have a good experience, it’s shared and re-shared with millions. You post it and suddenly, it’s flying.” Why would people make decisions based on the opinions of strangers? They don’t. They make decisions based on the opinions of people like themselves.

“They make decisions based on the opinions of people like themselves.” Haven’t we always done that? Think back prior to the Internet when we would make decisions about what restaurant we’d go too or where we would shop for furniture. We made those decisions based upon the recommendations of friends and family who were just like us. Today, we rely on the Social Media sites to read reviews about the business on line.

In the automobile industry there are five major third party review sites. They are: Google Plus, Edmunds, DealerRater, Cars.com and Yelp. We love our clients to go on line to share their story about their experience with us. In fact, in order to make submitting a review easy, we’ve created a website, (HerbChambersReviews.com) that directly links visitors to the automotive review site of their choosing.

I would love to be able to tell you that all of our reviews are “five-star”. They are not. The difference with the Herb Chambers Companies, however, is that we monitor all of our on line reviews. We personally thank those who wrote about a great experience. When we get less than a positive review, we do anything possible to turn that situation around and we source the cause of the problem to assure it doesn’t happen again.

I am pleased to tell you that, when you combine all five review site scores, virtually all of our dealerships are at the top or near the top as compared to our competitors. We use these scores as a measurement of how we are preforming with you, our clients. If a dealership is not performing above all of our competitors, it is an area of major concern and we develop action plans to get them to be the best.

I encourage you to go to HerbChambersReviews.com. Read what others are saying about us If you could take a few minutes to share your story about your experience with us on any or all of the sites; it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for letting us serve you.

Herb Chambers

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