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Invite, 37 locations
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West Herr Auto Group
Find a personable vendor partner, increase review volume, showcase the excellent customer experience
The West Herr Auto Group has deep roots in Buffalo, NY and has been expanding into Rochester and Syracuse in recent years. With 39 total rooftops, West Herr is consistently ranked among the top dealers in the nation in sales volume, driven by a team that is committed to excellent service at every level of the customer experience.
Dedicated to its community, the West Herr team prioritizes community involvement and donates to a myriad of local organizations and nonprofits such as the Boys & Girls Club. According to West Herr’s Marketing Director, Matt Lasher, this generosity and focus on the customer experience is powered by the group’s CEO, Scott Bieler.
Bieler puts people in his community first, whether this is other local groups or his own customers. He is the type of leader who is “always available to talk to customers,” even on Sundays when the stores are closed. This “urgency,” as Lasher called it, and commitment to the customer experience is built into the company and reflects who the team at West Herr is.
Getting good reviews, for Matt Lasher and his team, isn’t a game to win or a puzzle to solve. In fact, for Lasher, getting reviews isn’t even the objective; the goal is to do a great job with his customers.
Caring only about getting all 5’s on a survey, to Lasher, is a “disingenuous approach to fulfilling the customer’s needs. I would much rather simply do a good job, and, if people are satisfied, perhaps we’ll be rewarded with a good review if they are so inclined.”
At the same time, Lasher recognizes that reviews are important for the modern car dealership.
“Having a large quantity of reviews sends a signal to customers that you've been around. That this isn't a new outfit. Having a good overall score and having some good recent reviews indicates you're probably doing a pretty good job.”
In addition to review volume, West Herr understands that getting reviews frequently is a positive signal to both Google and to prospective customers.
To ensure that the voices of West Herr’s happy customers were reflected online, the team opted to hire Widewail to help them get more reviews.
With such pride in what they do, the West Herr team wanted to ensure that their efforts were accurately reflected online and to work with a vendor partner that prioritized customer relationships as much as they did.
West Herr’s previous reputation management vendor helped the team get reviews initially but, eventually, the company’s philosophy moved in a different direction, trying to do too many things at once. Focused primarily on review generation, the team at West Herr wanted a solution that “wasn’t trying to be all things to all people.”
They liked Widewail for its specialized review solicitation service, but they ultimately chose Widewail “entirely based on its founder, Matt Murray.” Lasher valued Murray as a person and appreciated his story.
West Herr’s perspective on getting reviews aligns with the Widewail philosophy: ask everyone for a review in order to activate the voice of your happy customers. Most West Herr customers are satisfied but may not have otherwise thought to leave a review. Without asking everyone for reviews, the customers who are upset are most likely to leave a review.
Lasher sees reputation management as something at which you make slow and steady progress: “It’s like gardening or going to the gym. It’s constant, daily execution.” His teams are building relationships and trust in the community while delivering an excellent customer experience–not trying to find a shortcut to customer satisfaction.
West Herr launched Widewail’s review solicitation tool Invite for 37 locations over the course of several months in early 2021. Small actions built up over time have led to incredible performance for the group.
Recently awarded second in “Best Reputation” of all privately held dealership groups in the country, reported by Automotive News, it’s clear West Herr’s excellent public reputation is conveyed online.
Since launch, West Herr’s performance metrics have blown everyone away.
In over two years of Invite, West Herr stores
A higher volume of Google reviews results in West Herr Google Business Profiles (GBPs) being more visible and appealing to prospective customers.
In the time working with Widewail, West Herr’s GBPs got a lot of eyes:
Review requests–Invites–are personalized to the customer and are sent via SMS automatically after a transaction is completed.
West Herr’s open rate of the review link in these SMS review requests is one of the highest of all Widewail customers: 32.7%. The ultimate conversion rate from text to review is high, too. Nearly 40% of all links in texts opened and clicked on resulted in reviews.
On a location-specific level, several stores especially shine:
At the end of the day, West Herr wants to provide a great experience and form long-lasting relationships with customers.
From Matt Lasher’s perspective, success is built “through genuine engagement, relationship building and daily execution, as well as caring about the community and what happens from a nonprofit perspective.”
The team’s outstanding performance with the Widewail platform demonstrates the power of activating the voice of your happy customers. When customers have positive experiences at West Herr stores and leaving a review is made easy, the team is rewarded with a high volume of reviews and excellent ratings.