Snows Motor Group once again secured the top-place in Reputation’s annual Auto Report rankings of UK car retail groups by online reputation – with Kia the leading car manufacturer.
The Southampton-based AM100 business claimed the top accolade for a retail group, while JCT600’s Porsche Centre Teesside topped the rankings of individual car dealerships.
Reputation created its rankings after drawing data from five million customer reviews, correlating a range of customer service metrics including online ratings, search impressions, social engagement and review responses to assign a ‘Reputation Score’ for automotive retailers and brands out of 1,000.
Snows – profiled by AM back in 2020 – scored 775 to beat Pendragon (727), Renault Retail Group (714), Lookers (706) and Steven Eagell Group (704) to achieve its top spot.
Porsche Teeside scored an impressive 919 score to pip Gravells Kia Hereford (909), Roadside Garages Kia Coleraine (905), Roadworthy Bristol (904) and Stratstone Jaguar Mayfair (902) to the dealership top spot.
In the OEM rankings Kia usurped last year’s table topper, and its sister brand, Hyundai to take top spot during a year in which it is targeting a record 100,000 new car registrations.
The Korean carmaker scored 710 to finish ahead of Renault (703), Hyundai (695), Lexus (692) and Mazda (665).
CX 'more important than ever'
Commenting on the results, Anthony Gaskell, Reputation’s managing director for the EMEA region, said: “As the automotive industry continues to navigate a wide variety of changes – especially those related to supply chain and inflation – customer experience is more important than ever.
“Automotive industry leaders must rely on feedback from customers in order to close the loop, grow their businesses and create loyal customers.
“The ranking of the top automotive brands and dealers across the UK and Europe highlights the impact of the Reputation Score across the region, and we are proud to see some of our customers in top spots.”
In an exclusive ‘guest opinion’ article for AM today (September 26) Feefo chief customer officer Kim Burgess spelled out the need for car retailers to prioritise customer experience as the sector battles the impact of supply issues and a cost-of-living crisis.
Reputation’s data underlined the importance of nurturing customers, even though many retailers’ order books are currently full.
It said that dealerships are “winning on the sales floor”, its consumer survey showing that 50% of respondents found the professionalism of the staff to be an important factor when selecting a dealership.
Ratings are a retail winner
However, Reputation found that retailers need to focus more on their service departments, with 47% of survey respondents stating that they had been motivated to write a review based on their experience with the service department.
“As the service and parts departments account for about half a dealership’s profitability, it’s a critical part to get right”, Reputation noted.
Reputation’s research also showed that dealers with stronger reputations increase sales up to 10%, delivering a higher conversion rate and a higher volume of actions on a dealer’s Google Business Profile.
Online reviews were deemed ‘important’ by 85% of survey respondents, with 65% stating that a dealership needs to have at least a four-star rating to be considered.
Over two-thirds (70%) also said they would travel 20 miles to a top-rated dealership.
This makes reviews the most important factor in choosing a dealership, behind price and inventory.
To access Reputation's Auto Report 2022 click here.