While the auto industry overall maintains the highest average Reputation Score of the 70 industries recently examined by Reputation.com, Tesla in particular has some work to do, according to the 2019 Auto Reputation Report.
Managing online reputation remains critical to delivering exceptional customer experience, attracting new auto buyers and, ultimately, inspiring customer advocacy. Tesla’s unprofitability and free-falling stock shares have made news in recent months, and the 2019 Auto Reputation Report indicates the brand has a long way to go when it comes to consumer sentiment, as well.
We are living in a “feedback economy,” where the opinions and experiences of customers are in plain view on social media and review sites for everyone to see, says Joe Fuca, CEO of Reputation.com. Consumers use that “data in the wild” to make purchasing decisions, with 95% of vehicle buyers using digital sources to conduct car-buying research.
“To be competitive, businesses in every industry have to actively engage with their customers, listen to and respond to their feedback, and take action to make service and operational improvements based on that feedback,” Fuca tells Marketing Daily.
Tesla posted a Reputation Score of 549, the second lowest among the 28 auto manufacturers analyzed. At 512, Mitsubishi had the lowest Reputation Score among automakers.
It’s notable that Tesla is second from last, since it is considered a luxury brand and has some of the most expensive mainstream vehicles on the road.
Findings suggest Tesla’s low score could be due to a failure to respond to negative reviews. Tesla responds to just 1% of the negative reviews it receives online, by far the lowest among the manufacturers included in the report. By comparison, the highest-scoring dealer, Lexus, responds to 48% of negative reviews.
Further, Tesla dealerships came in with an engagement score of just 3% — and no other manufacturer's dealerships had an engagement score below 42%. Just 7% of Tesla dealerships claimed a Reputation Score above 700, easily the lowest rate among dealerships analyzed.
Lincoln is generating the most favorable consumer sentiment within the industry. Consumer review volumes are the greatest for Toyota retail dealers among all OEM brands.
Measured on a scale of 0 to 1,000, Reputation.com’s Reputation Score is a comprehensive index of the digital presence of business locations in more than 70 industries. It is calculated based on multiple factors measuring overall review sentiment across social media, review sites, business listing accuracy and other indicators that reflect consumers’ car-buying experiences and opinions about dealerships — both online and onsite.
Reputation.com analyzed online data for the world’s 28 largest automotive manufacturers, covering more than 16,000 dealerships in the United States.