Debunking the Myth of the Pushy Car Salesman

Reputation Staff Writer

The stereotype of the pushy, dishonest car salesman is a staple of sitcoms and jokes, but if you look at the data, the stereotype seems to be a myth.

When it comes to online sentiment and online feedback, auto dealers have the best reputation among major consumer-facing industries, including hospitality, retail services and healthcare. They listen and respond to consumer feedback, solicit reviews and monitor reputation. As a result, car buyers have rewarded them with hihg ratings and great reviews.

Here are three things other industries can learn from Auto dealers about online reputation management.

1. Reputation Score Is Correlated with Sales Volume

Person at a table looking at a chart displayed on a tablet.

As Reputation Score increases, so do automotive sales.

When Reputation Score (as calculated by goes up, sales go up. And when Reputation Score goes down, sales go down. This is a powerful motivator for auto dealers to do their utmost to tend to and improve their online reputation. The link between Reputation Score and sales volume is covered in depth in’s 2019 Automotive Reputation Report.

Reputation Score is measured on a scale of 0 to 1,000, and for every 30- to 40-point increase in auto dealers’ score, sales go up by about 1%. The sales difference between dealerships that actively manage their online reputation and those that don’t can be 10% or more.

2. Online Reviews Shape Reputation Score

Reputation Score is a proprietary index developed by, and nine key elements play a role in the calculation:

  • Star rating average
  • Review volume
  • Review recency
  • Review spread
  • Search impression
  • Review response
  • Listing accuracy
  • Social impression
  • Review length

Reviews figure heavily in many of the nine factors. Reputation management in any industry depends on soliciting, publishing and responding to reviews on an ongoing basis. The more reviews you solicit, the more likely those reviews are to accurately reflect the customer experience you deliver.

Woman reaching for keys from a car salesman.

Car dealers that routinely solicit and respond to customer reviews improve their online reputation.

Further, auto dealers who regularly monitor reviews and respond appropriately, taking into consideration customer feedback, are the ones whose reputations shine brightest. It’s not easy to respond to negative feedback, but the importance of doing so cannot be overstated.

Attention to reviews and customer feedback should be combined with a regular practice of ensuring that online business listings are accurate and up to date. These tasks, combined with evaluating reputation metrics for each location in a dealer’s network can result in rapid and significant improvement of online reputation.

3. Automotive Reputation Management is Part of a Sound CX Strategy

Group of colleagues sitting around a conference table.

Reputation management should be a key ingredient in an auto dealer’s overall customer experience strategy.

Reputation management is an essential element of an overall customer experience strategy. Auto dealers have online reputations whether they manage them or not, but if they don’t, they leave the results to chance. The dealers who actively monitor and manage online reputation that see their Reputation Score go up —  and their dealerships show up at the top of search engine results.

The cliché of the pushy car salesman is being put to rest by hard data indicating that auto dealers take their online reputation seriously. If you’re interested in learning more about automotive reputation management, we encourage you to download our 2019 Automotive Reputation Report. For a deeper dive into online reputation trends and customer experience management, we invite you to download our report: Top Trends for Online Reputation and CX Management.

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