Kia Motors America digital sales manager Barb Bertram says the way that her company’s dealerships are found and seen online is a strong factor for customers during their buying process.
Eighty percent of consumers will avoid a business showing bad reviews, she said. Also, she said, 59% of consumers listed dealership reputation as the most important factor when they chose which dealership to visit.
Kia says that through its new strategic partnership with customer interaction management company Podium, dealers can integrate their customer data with Podium’s messaging and online review products. The integration, according to Kia, is part of a wider effort to help its dealerships improve their online presence and improve the overall customer experience.
“Thanks to this partnership with Podium, our dealers can use and automate their data to improve customer interaction and make it easier than ever for our dealerships to be found,” Bertram said in a news release. “We are proud that this partnership with Podium allows Kia dealerships to be at the forefront of improving the dealership experience.”
When they use Podium’s platform and online review invitations, recent Kia vehicle purchasers receive an invitation to review the dealership via text within minutes. That time period is when reviews are most accurate and likely to be acted on, Kia said.
With the integration, according to Kia, dealers will save time and boost the number and quality of their dealership’s online reviews on Google, Facebook and other key sites customers use when they decide where to find their next vehicle.
As part of Kia’s social media and reputation management program, Podium is 100% eligible for digital advertising support, or DAS. About 25% of U.S. Kia dealerships have used this partnership, tripling the amount of monthly reviews they receive, Kia said. As a result, Kia added, those dealerships have seen nearly a half star rating improvement on Google reviews.
“Kia is one of the leading OEM manufacturers working to improve the customer interaction experience in the automotive industry,” said Podium vice president of automotive sales Ross Tinkham. “In adding Podium’s powerful online review and two-way messaging products to their SMRM program, we are confident this will supercharge their dealerships’ competitive advantage in bringing in new customers and keeping them Kia owners for life.”