DCH Toyota of Simi Valley Benefits from Cultivating Credible Online Presence with DealerRater’s Certified Dealer Program

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DealerRater, the world’s premier car dealer review web site, today announced that it has helped DCH Toyota of Simi Valley integrate a review culture and build a credible online reputation over time, providing DCH Toyota of Simi Valley with a considerable advantage over the competition.

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Yelp, DealerRater, Google – so many different review sites – we wanted to ensure we were represented on the best. It made sense for us to go with DealerRater as it focuses on the auto industry

DealerRater, the world’s premier car dealer review web site, today announced that it has helped DCH Toyota of Simi Valley integrate a review culture and build a credible online reputation over time, providing DCH Toyota of Simi Valley with a considerable advantage over the competition.

DCH Toyota of Simi Valley enrolled in DealerRater’s Certified Dealer Program in June of 2008, while many other car dealerships were just beginning to realize the importance of online reviews in the sales process. According to Nick Dunlea, General Manager of DCH Toyota Simi Valley, integrating a customer review process into the dealership has given it a distinct advantage over the competition. The dealership now has a large review base of more than 1,000 customer reviews and a more prominent online presence than many of its competitors. In addition to boasting high review counts, DCH Toyota of Simi Valley also has enjoyed high online consumer ratings, and as a result, was recognized by DealerRater as Toyota/Scion Dealer of the Year for 2011 and 2012.

“DCH started a corporate-wide initiative early on with DealerRater for all stores on the East and West coast. We wanted to ensure that if any car shopper were to conduct research on the Web -- similar to searching for a hotel or restaurant with Yelp -- our dealerships would be more prominently displayed and known. Management has always been very savvy and aware of the importance of online reputation and being well-positioned,” said Dunlea.

“Yelp, DealerRater, Google – so many different review sites – we wanted to ensure we were represented on the best. It made sense for us to go with DealerRater as it focuses on the auto industry. When I conduct a search for automotive dealership reviews in Google, DealerRater comes up at the top of search results. DealerRater has gained leverage over the years and is one of the most prominent sites. It’s a definite advantage for us to have a high number of reviews there,” Dunlea added.

To help launch the DealerRater® Certified Dealer program and make online reputation management part of the culture of the entire dealership, DCH Toyota of Simi Valley made it the focus of each weekly sales meeting. Short term goals were set, such as to get the first 100 reviews as quickly as possible. A strong focus was also placed upon employees collecting their own reviews. Celebrations were held when targets were met and competition became fierce among individual employees to get the most reviews. The winner would always be recognized at the next meeting. “DealerRater has a very useful tool where you can profile sales people and build employee-specific reviews, which our employees love. When a salesperson hits 60-70 reviews and a customer walks in and wants to have that salesperson sell them a vehicle because he has so many reviews– and it has happened multiple times -- others see the benefit and jump on board.”
“It‘s helped make the review process part of our culture, as the salesperson has a lot of leverage once they get a high number of reviews. It allows the salesperson to stand out,” noted Dunlea.

The majority of the DCH Toyota Simi Valley “seasoned” Sales team members now each has more than 50 reviews, the top Internet Sales Manager has 91, and no team member currently has less than 20. As new employees are hired for the sales team they do start from scratch with reviews, but quickly build their review base.

According to Dunlea, a dealership has to be willing to start at the bottom, with zero positive or even negative reviews, and climb up from there. The key is to take a vested interest in the whole review and reputation management process. “If you visit DealerRater.com, go to Toyota and then to the bottom of the list, you will find uncertified Toyota dealerships that have just one positive rating and 3-4 negative reviews -- they don’t understand the importance of reputation management and have not made a vested interest. We are very fortunate as DCH Auto Group understands how important online reputation is in every form. We knew from the beginning that we needed to take a stand and become a pioneer. We have a lot of stores high up in rating – each GM takes it to a certain level – it takes dedication not to settle for less than best.”

For more information, visit http://www.DealerRater.com, call 800-266-9455, or talk to the DealerRater team at Booth #631, at Digital Dealer 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 23-25, 2012.

About DealerRater:

DealerRater was founded in 2002 as the first car dealer review website worldwide. DealerRater is the world’s #1 online resource for anyone seeking trusted third-party information on automobile dealerships. DealerRater features nearly 41,000 U.S. and Canadian car dealers, more than 800,000 consumer reviews and over 1,000,000 cars for sale. DealerRater attracts more than 9.5 million consumers every year who visit the site to search for car dealerships, read current reviews, write their own descriptive reviews, and find car deals – all for free. In addition, DealerRater offers qualified car dealers a Certified Dealer Program as a reputation management tool to help them grow their online presence and achieve higher SEO rankings across the Web. Today, more than 4,400 dealers are members of the DealerRater® Certified Dealer Program. DealerRater is proud to have been awarded the #137 position on the 2012 Inc. 500 list, an exclusive ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. For more information, visit http://www.DealerRater.com or call 800-266-9455.

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Amy Rosenfiled
DealerRater
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