AM Online

Giving car dealers an understanding of how consumers perceive a business online

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The challenges faced by dealers with the online perception of their business and the impact of online comments and reviews are to be explored at the AM Digital Dealer Conference.

Most businesses do not have a full picture of the way they are perceived online with many not even knowing where their products or services are discussed and ultimately, on what basis consumers are making their decision to buy or, indeed to purchase elsewhere, delegates at AM’s Digital Dealer Conference will be told., the largest online reputation management company, will host one of the masterclass sessions which form a part of this year’s event at Silverstone on September 15.

The session will interweave one of the conference’s main themes – the customer experience both on and off-line and will be led by Anthony Gaskell, head of channel business UK.

He will look at how a company is perceived by customers searching online and how those online users are transferred into showroom footfall.

Gaskell will illustrate how online and off-line are mutually dependent. For example, a customer’s experience in-store can lead to either negative or positive comments online which in turn can impact fellow consumers’ purchase decisions.

The session will also explore the particular challenges faced by dealers and the online perception of their business which is linked to both the franchise itself and the dealer group parent with postings, comments and reviews about the dealership impacting both and vice versa.

Gaskell said: “Many business owners and managers may not know where their customers are sharing their views about the company or what they are saying, without the aid of technology that monitors multiple social platforms.

“Most businesses will monitor the usual platforms such as reviews left on their own website or their Facebook page, but keeping track of just the key channels is overwhelming.

“Often a company can be discussed on industry relevant review sites with the business totally unaware of the viewpoints shared and therefore no way of replying or having the opportunity to put anything right.

“Unfortunately, a business can get it right for the vast majority of its customers, but it is the minority who take to social media and forums to vent their anger or criticism, it is usually this vocal minority who dictate the perception of a business online.

“Often customers are lost without the business even knowing in the first place.”

Gaskell will illustrate the impact of a business’ online reputation with the dramatic example of the online car buying business which only a few years ago suffered a reputational catastrophe following concerns about its processes including whether it was being transparent about its charges and practices.

The issues along with subsequent online activity from consumers saw the business’ online reputation deteriorate at an alarming rate.

Whilst an extreme example, it shows how on and off-line activity dovetail to create a particular perception in the eyes of consumers.

In addition, Gaskell will draw on the experiences of its US parent company where online reputation management has become a central element of digital activity for many automotive retailers.

The session will explore how in the first instance businesses need to ‘listen’ to what’s being said and then identify the channels which are likely to be the most influential before becoming involved in online conversations and actively managing their online reputation.


Tickets are only available to dealers and vehicle manufacturers.

To book, please contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 395133, email or visit


Suppliers wishing to exhibit please email or call 01733 366467.


Conference venue: Silverstone Wing, Silverstone Circuit NN12 8TN


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