Honda Suzuki of Sanford Builds Customer Trust with 152% Increase in Reviews
This motorcycle and powersports dealership grows the impact of word of mouth marketing with online reviews through DemandHub.
About Honda Suzuki of Sanford
Honda Suzuki of Sanford Honda Suzuki of Sanford is a motorcycle and powersports dealership located in North Carolina. It is a third-generation family-run business, which is now owned and managed by brothers Clifford and Daniel Barker.
“We’ve had people come to us all the way from out of state to buy a bike and they specifically mentioned that they came to us because they liked our star rating and how many positive recent reviews we have.”
Clifford Barker Co-owner and manager at Honda Suzuki of Sanford
Before using DemandHub, online reviews were not a focus for Honda Suzuki of Sanford. “We were encouraging our customers to leave us reviews, but we weren’t sending them emails, texts, or any reminders to do so,” notes Clifford Barker, co-owner and manager at Honda Suzuki of Sanford. “I received a call from DemandHub one day, and the features and price point just seemed right for us.”
Automotive dealerships are a highly competitive market, with several businesses located in close quarters. An excellent way to differentiate a business — both online and in-person — is with positive customer reviews. However, when a business has considerably less reviews than a competitor, this can be detrimental to their reputation. “We did notice that our competitors were doing something to get a lot of reviews,” says Clifford. Honda Suzuki of Sanford knew that if they wanted to be seen by customers as a viable option, they needed to up their review game.
According to BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and this number is on the rise.
The team at Honda Suzuki of Sanford decided that if they signed on with DemandHub, they wanted the process to be as easy as possible for their customers. “Our demographic is mainly under 40 years old, and everyone has a cell phone and an email account,” says Clifford. He understood that if leaving a review took several minutes or required the customer to complete multiple steps, they wouldn’t get the results they were after.
DemandHub is intuitive for both the business and their customers. Businesses automatically send out texts to customers after their last purchase or interaction, asking them to leave a review online. The text contains a link that directs customers to a customizable review site, such as Google or Facebook. Typically, the entire process takes less than a minute.
According to G2, 70% of consumers think SMS marketing is a great way for businesses to grab their attention.
“We love the auto reminder feature, which sends another text to the customers after 3 days if they haven’t yet left a review,” says Daniel Barker, co-owner and manager at Honda Suzuki of Sanford. “We find that 1 in 4 people respond at this stage, which is a pretty high response rate.” The team also uses the bulk upload feature to send review invites to customers they have seen that day. They can also customize the review invite list if they want to select only certain customers.
In addition to the reviews and reputation badge on their website, Honda Suzuki of Sanford also uses DemandHub to text customers to remind them about invoices, parts, payments, and other important matters. “We know people can’t answer the phone during the day because they’re busy, but they’ll always text us back right away,” says Daniel. “The app is great to have on my phone because I can check it all the time but I don’t need to give customers my personal number.”
Customers of Honda Suzuki of Sanford have definitely noticed the business’ online reviews. “We’ve had people come to us all the way from out of state to buy a bike and they specifically mentioned that they came to us because they liked our star rating and how many positive recent reviews we have,” says Clifford.
Take a look at the numbers:
- Honda Suzuki of Sanford started out with 134 reviews.
- In just 12 months, they gained 204 new reviews, and 370 total new reviews since joining, with a cumlative amount of 504 reviews — an increase of 176%.
- Their star rating went up from 4.5 to 4.8.
With the onset of social distancing and the need to spend time with others outdoors, the motorcycle and powersports industry has been booming. “We saw a big increase in sales over 2019,” explains Clifford. In order to keep up the momentum, it’s important to focus efforts on increasing the power of word of mouth marketing by using online reviews.