After using our platform for a year, I caught up with Direct Cars to find out how their genuine customer reviews were benefitting their business.
Direct Cars was established in 1996, and were Sheffield's first car supermarket. Direct Cars offer an enormous variety of used and nearly-new cars for customers to browse all from one location, for great prices.
But what Direct Cars pride themselves on setting them apart from other dealerships is their non-pushy and transparent sales approach, or what they call their: "No hassle, no pressure, no gimmicks" policy.
As such, customers not only find the perfect car at a competitive price, they can also enjoy their car supermarket experience.
Direct Cars knew they were offering great services, and therefore needed to make the most of their customers' experiences by collecting their feedback in the form of a review. However, although Direct Cars knew the benefits of collection and had a review strategy in place, they just weren't getting enough scope and seeing the returns.
They started shopping around for a Licensed Google Review Partner who could help them improve their online visibility, with the same transparent and affordable values as themselves, and that's when they came across Reviews.io.
Google Licensed Review Partners, unlike independent review collection, enable your reviews to appear as an aggregated score called your Seller Ratings, which appear in your Google Ads.
Direct Cars were now able to take advantage of this visibility, and as such a greater volume of customers could instantly assess whether their services were trusted, and whether they'd be right for them. Not only that, having stars next to your company name creates social proof and helps you stand out from your competitors in the listings.
"The decision to use a third party review platform was driven mainly by the ability to display the feedback online where over 90% of our advertising budget is now spent...Previous to using Reviews we collected customer feedback ourselves. In addition to the return being low, we couldn't use the results anywhere else like Adwords. Using Reviews...the results appear in Adwords, organic search, and Auto Trader." - Scott Charlesworth, Direct Cars Ltd
Unique to Reviews.io, our customers can collect Local Reviews on sites such as Facebook, Google Local - and especially useful for Direct Cars - Auto Trader.
By collecting reviews across the web, you take control of your online reputation, as well as spread your brand and purchase-affirming stars further afield. Our Local Reviews solution enables you to collect reviews on these channels by inviting your customers in the usual way, with a percentage going to these local places, and the rest your own website.
As we know, online visibility in the form of stars enables social proof for shoppers, with a whopping 88% trusting reviews as much as personal recommendations. By Direct Cars not only spreading their visibility online for patrons to see in a single search, their image is amplified with their reviews seen on Auto Trader for potential customers in the market for a car.
For more information on our unique Local Reviews solution, click the highlighted link and see how we can benefit your business.
So far, Direct Cars have benefitted from their original reason to use a Third Party Review Partner and get their ratings online, but they have also enhanced that reach by getting their reviews on Auto Trader also. However, that's just the start.
When Direct Cars collected their reviews independently in 2016, they just weren't seeing the response rates they'd hoped for. Review conversions were a meagre 1%, and even though Direct Cars were leaving their customers smiling, and thus the feedback glowing, only a small handful of their customers were compelled to take the time to share their great experiences.
By joining Reviews.io, Direct Cars were able to broaden the scope of their review collection, not only targeting their customers via email, but also by text too. Using SMS to contact their customers also gave Direct Cars the chance to easily send reminders to individuals who may have simply forgotten to share their thoughts, and with a few taps and some kind words, Direct cars were seeing their responses come rolling in.
By enabling their customers to leave reviews whilst on the go and at the touch of a button, they have increased their review conversion impressively to over 26%!
"Previous to using Reviews we collected customer feedback ourselves – which worked in a similar fashion. Despite being similar however, in 2016 that method had a conversion rate of 1%... Using Reviews we now have a conversion rate of 26.59%..." - Scott Charlesworth, Direct Cars Ltd
It wasn't just their review response conversion that increased, but also their website conversion too. Amongst website updates, and through the implementation of Reviews.co.uk's badges and widgets to display their reviews - as well as by fully utilising our API feature to showcase reviews across their site - Direct Cars' website conversion doubled from 4%, to 8%!
The Reviews.io API is targeted at companies who want to create completely bespoke solutions. Reviews.io enabled Direct Cars to have the opportunity to display their reviews as they wished, rather than being limited to our badges and widgets - although we do have a wide variety - to suit their needs.
"We used the API from the start and it was a big selling point for us... Whilst the widgets available through the Reviews.co.uk dashboard were great, we wanted to integrate the reviews into our website even more... We use the API to schedule our requests, create components/widgets for our website, and monitor the review conversion rates & ratings for our sales staff. It’s extremely easy to implement. When we had a suggestion for an improvement... it was implemented quickly, which in turn didn’t delay our development timeline." - Scott Charlesworth, Direct Cars Ltd
Direct cars wanted to display their percentage of recommendations boldly on their homepage, and through the use of our API feature, this integration was made possible and was seamlessly integrated. They also take their reviews even further, and use their recommendation percentage in their radio advertisements too, demonstrating that review benefits are far-reaching.
Apart from getting their reviews online and our API feature, we wanted to find out what made Direct Cars choose us over other Review Platforms on the market. As previously discussed, Direct Cars wanted to get their reviews across the web, as well as improve their collection rates. So what made us stand out from our competitors?
"Reviews stood out straight away because the pricing was openly displayed. Other services had either hidden this information or didn’t display it at all...We quickly got our list down to Reviews and 2 other services (TrustPilot & Feefo). In short, Reviews had more features with a much lower cost. We also weren’t locked into any contracts, so they were letting the quality of the service speak for itself. There were no pushy sales people, something we have designed out of our own business, and they were very honest about what they could deliver." - Scott Charlesworth, Direct Cars Ltd
What better praise could we ask for? Similarly to Direct Cars, we don't believe in any waffle, and what you see is what you get. Review collection, publication and management should not cost the earth, nor should you ever be trapped in a plan you're unhappy with.
At Reviews.io we understand that all businesses are different, and as such have different needs. Our situations are subject to change throughout the year, and therefore where one thing suits us one month, 3 months down the line it may have changed. That's why we only offer rolling monthly contracts, it never ties you down, and it keeps us on our toes, keeping everyone happy.
Overall, Direct Cars initially joined Reviews.io to simply get their reviews seen across the web. Not only were they able to get their Seller Ratings in their Google Ads, but they also spread their visibility by utilising our unique Local Reviews solution.
By increasing the number of places customers see your brand, and adding peer-generated feedback alongside those searches, trust is cemented in the services you are offering and businesses improve their click-through rates and traffic to their site. With more informed searches, consumers stay on-site longer, and with the presence of reviews across your webpages as well as in that initial search, browsers form enquiries and become buyers.
Through the implementation of Reviews.io badges and widgets to display their reviews, as well as their own updates and integrations through the API providing custom solutions, Direct Cars have seen all of the above, which is evident in their doubled website conversion.
Direct Cars has also seen an epic increase in their review conversions as well, from 1% to 26%, which could be attributed to greater web conversion generating more sales, as well as the opportunity to appeal to a wider audience via the medium of SMS.
It was great talking to you Direct Cars, and congratulations on achieving such great results, we wish you luck in your continued review journey.
To find out more about how we can positively influence your company like we are doing for Direct Cars, visit our homepage, or alternatively sign up to a free trial using the button at the top of this page.