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CASE STUDIES

Koons Automotive Group Disrupts
Local Markets with 30,000 Reviews

Koons hero graphic

PRODUCTS COMPANY INDUSTRY OBJECTIVES LOCATIONS
 Invite_IconEngage Icon

 

Koons Automotive

Automotive

Increase review volume, show up in more Google searches

23

 

The Koons Automotive group has been a Widewail client for 4+ years, benefiting from our review response service, Engage

Expanding the partnership at the beginning of 2021, Koons launched Widewail’s review solicitation solution, Invite. During its first 17 months using the automated technology, 23 Koons locations have sent a combined 366,000 review requests to customers, producing 29,779 new reviews. 

Before we get too deep into the data we just want to take a moment to appreciate what the team at Koons has been able to achieve. Yes, Widewail’s solutions are automated, but the team has been dedicated from the beginning to building a strategy that utilizes Widewail’s technology to its full potential. 

Jake Barron, you’re the man. Your partnership means the world to us. It’s your vision and forward-looking approach that has brought amazing results to the Koons group. 

In a world where Google values customer experience and as a recommendation engine strives to send its searchers to the best offline experience, 30,000 reviews has a market-disrupting impact. Koon’s significant increase in review volume, frequency and quality along with human-authored responses to reviews using the Widewail Engage service means that Koons is far ahead of the competition establishing its ranking dominance and authority in each market it serves. 

Enabled by Invite’s automated routing technology, by implementing a multi-GBP approach Koons has been able to populate sales-specific and service-specific GBPs, establishing a strong local search ranking foothold amongst other car dealerships and independent repair shops like Midas, Meineke and Jiffy Lube, for example.

17 Months of Invite: January 2021- May 2022

Key Performance Metrics:

  • 366,000 automated SMS review requests sent
  • 29,779 reviews generated at an average rating of 4.4 stars

The Process

The Invite hypothesis: by asking every customer for a review and making the process as easy as possible your business will “activate the voice of your happy customers”, resulting in more reviews and better ratings.

Widewail’s technology does not prevent any customer, happy or unhappy, from voicing their opinion. This approach ensures long-term stability. Koons and Widewail’s thousands of other happy clients know that all the time and money invested into its reputation won’t be wiped clean by a review site violation or FTC penalty. 

Contrary, we’ve found that asking every customer, asking via SMS and making the whole process easy is the best way to consistently increase volume and ratings with long-term stability. We’ve tested our theory by sending hundreds of thousands of requests and the data backs it up: the average Widewail Invite client produces ~80 reviews a month per location and ratings increase ~0.3-stars in the first few months.

Pulling back, it's proven in academia that a ratings distribution curve displays spikes at 1-star and 5-star. Customers that have had an exceptionally bad or exceptionally good experience are most likely to be motivated to share. Getting more positive reviews is a motivation problem. It’s simple, those that are frustrated share. Those that are satisfied move on to the next thing.

Widewail helped Koons tap into that silent, happy majority of customers it already had, but was not represented where it matters for marketing - review sites. With technology, this is possible at scale without the need for any additional personnel resources.

The results? 30,000 reviews with an increase in average ratings from 4.2 to 4.4 across the entire group.

Koons HypothesisKoons High Level StatsKoons result

 

“Looking back at Invite’s performance since launch, the monthly percentage increase and sustained volume of reviews over the last year and a half has been remarkable. Since we’re also utilizing the Engage response service in tandem, we haven’t had to worry about scaling the management of all that additional feedback. The internal resource efficiency gains have been nothing but impressive on both fronts.”

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Jake Barron Marketing Director

 

The Impact

Highlights:

  • 29,779 reviews

  • Rating increase from 4.2 to 4.4

  • 28% drop in negative sentiment

  • 366,000 review requests sent

  • 24% lift in Google search visibility

  • 16% lift in GBP engagements (clicks, calls, directions)

Since launching Invite in January 2021, the average rating score across all Koons locations has improved from 4.2 to 4.4 stars. This boost in the rating is related to a decrease in negative sentiment; a 28% drop across Koons reviews, further pointing to the fact that Invite has successfully continued to generate more positive reviews simply by asking with effective technology and not gating or using other below board means.

The team here at Widewail emphasizes the positive connection between a business’ reviews and its ranking in local search results. A high volume of recent, positive reviews is an important factor that generates search traffic for businesses.

With 29k more reviews and a boost in review sentiment, Koons locations remained competitive in the market and saw more interactions with their GBP.

Koons GBP graph

Acknowledging there are additional influencing factors in addition to review activity at play, we wanted to highlight the growth that our partner has seen. Since launching Invite, Koons groups have experienced:

  • 24% lift in Google search visibility 

  • 16% growth in GBP engagements (clicks, calls, direction requests)

Visible and available to more car shoppers online, Koons’ Google Business Profiles become a greater hub of interactions. While browsing the positive reviews, prospective customers then take the next step toward patronizing Koons. From January 2021 to May 2022, there has been more activity on each of Koons’ GBPs. 

  • 27% boost in calls 

  • 13% increase in Google Maps directions

Ultimately this resulted in more in-store visits, giving Koons dealerships the opportunity to convert prospects into customers.

 

“While the impact of Widewail’s solutions on customer service and review management may differ slightly from location to location, every single rooftop has seen positive and significant improvements. It’s one thing to review high-level numbers at the group level, but it’s another experience to meet with individual leadership teams or employees and learn how Invite and Engage have exceeded their expectations around operational improvements and positive local word-of-mouth.”

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Jake Barron Marketing Director