When it comes to monitoring what consumers say online about Florida Fine Cars, the used car giant has learned the value of great reviews and great customer service, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), one of the country’s most revered online review sites.
While most car dealerships are lucky if they have a dozen or more online reviews posted each month, Florida Fine Cars easily has hundreds of monthly reviews, said Florida Fine Cars Loyalty Manager Ana Mercado. And most of them are positive.
“If people have a bad experience they share it everywhere,” Mercado said. “Getting them to talk about the positive experiences is important to counteract the negative reviews.”
Florida Fine Cars is a family-owned dealership that’s been in business since 1993. The company has stores in West Palm Beach, Miami, Hollywood and Margate.
In November 2018, the used car dealer received an “A+” rating from the BBB, a distinction that placed the company in the top one percent of all used car dealers in Florida, the BBB said. The A+ rating was largely based on positive customer reviews.
Accreditation signifies “trust and integrity, and an unwavering commitment to consumers” and requires an intense vetting process, according to Donna Mongillo-Dunn, Director of Marketing and Advertising for the BBB in Southeast Florida.
“It’s an achievement. It’s definitely something Florida Fine Cars should be proud of,” Mongillo-Dunn said.
The BBB’s West Palm Beach site is visited by six million viewers seeking information on local businesses so attaining an A+ rating is a very big deal.
But getting positive reviews posted doesn’t happen without a focused effort to get customers to actually write those good reviews.
A customer who’s had a bad consumer experience may post a negative online review as a way of venting their frustration and anger. But a happy and satisfied customer may not feel the need to post an online review because the transaction was positive.
Savvy dealerships like Florida Fine Cars understand that if they don’t encourage happy customers to post about their positive car buying experiences, the only online reviews consumers will come across will be negative ones, even if there are only a few.
“We’ve really made a company effort to focus on our customers. We just made a commitment,” said Marketing Coordinator Cesar Pentzke. “It’s really rewarding to finally see BBB accreditation. Just to get that speaks miles. We worked really hard on it for a full year. I really think if you give someone a great experience they are going to want to tell their friends.”
Florida Fine Cars receives a minimum of 400 to 500 new reviews a month on sites like DealerRater, BBB, Google, Edmunds and Yelp. Others come in from from sites like cars.com and CarGurus.com, Mercado said.
“We are trying to make the experience different than any other used car dealership – very unique,” Mercado said. “We are getting a nice amount now and I tackle them all.”
Customers who file online reviews on DealerRater have to go through a process that involves registering before they can post a review. The steps can be a deterrent, but happy customers do it anyway.
Many dealers complain that they can’t get their managers to commit to the online review process, or complain that customers simply don’t want to take the time to write reviews.
Mercado admits it can be a challenge, but noted that Florida Fine Cars’ culture of transparency has contributed greatly to their success in receiving positive online reviews, she said.
“We have to be more transparent. These vehicles are pre-owned vehicles and some have been in accidents and we disclose everything. We make sure they don’t leave with any questions unanswered,” Mercado added.
Florida Fine Cars’ reputation as a top notch place to buy used cars continues to grow. Also in 2018, for the second year in a row, the dealership was nationally ranked by Auto Remarketing Magazine as one of the top used car dealers in the country. And for the third year in a row, Florida Fine Cars in 2018 received DealerRater’s Consumer Satisfaction Award for providing top-notch service to customers in the Tri-County area and across the nation.
Dealerships must pay attention to their online reputation because consumers today are tech-savvy and screen companies online before deciding to shop. The more positive reviews a company has, the greater their credibility, Mercado said.
“We are noticing a huge increase in people that are coming to our website to research companies,” Mongillo-Dunn said. She further noted that 65 percent of the consumers who visit the BBB website are doing so from a mobile device.
“This is a technologically savvy consumer,” she added.
Florida Fine Cars doesn’t take its reviews for granted either. Mercado writes personal responses to EVERY SINGLE review that comes in.
Navigating the reviews can be tricky business. The key is always making the customer feel like they have been heard and that their concern is being addressed.
Employees must also always maintain a professional demeanor, too, because someone is ALWAYS watching and listening.
Some customers may rave that their Florida Fine Cars car buying experience was the best in their life. Others may complain about anything from the fuel level in the car to an issue with a floor mat. All have to be answered.
“I tackle the negative reviews by personally calling them myself if I can get the information off the review itself. If not, we respond accordingly and make sure we let them know we tried,” Mercado said. “Other readers are also looking at those negative reviews to see what we do. They could be future customers of ours.”
The way Mercado sees it, answering the BAD and the GOOD just makes sense if a business wants to be perceived as being responsive.
“When I go to a restaurant I actually pull up the reviews and read about it,” Mercado said. “It’s a virtual world these days. You have to stay on top of it all.”
Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Great Rides and Tiny Prices
Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and in Margate, Hollywood and Miami.
Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and find the perfect ride at the perfect price.