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Widewail’s first-annual Voice of the Customer Report utilizes Widewail’s extensive dataset combined with free text sentiment analysis to tell dealers exactly what makes customers happy or unhappy in their own words, at an industry-wide scale.
25% of customers who bought from direct-to-consumer EV automakers, such as Tesla and Rivian, left one-star reviews, significantly higher than the 7% automotive industry benchmark
14% of traditional dealer-sold EV reviews have a one-star rating, twice the amount of one-star ratings for the traditional car buying experience
BURLINGTON, VT (Dec. 14, 2023) – Widewail, the leading customer review and reputation management solution, released the 2023 Widewail Voice of the Customer Report today, which studies the voice of today’s automotive customer by compiling U.S. new car dealerships' Google reviews from the first half of 2023. An analysis of 800,000 Google reviews from more than 16,000 new car dealerships found that 25% of customers who left a review after purchasing a car from a direct-to-consumer electric vehicle (EV) company, such as Tesla or Rivian, left a one-star review. 14% of customers who purchased an EV from a traditional car dealership left a one-star review. The auto industry average benchmark is dealerships having 7% of their reviews be one star, so the high volume of negative reviews raises concern about the experience of buying and owning an EV.
A deeper analysis of Tesla reviews, which included 8,009 Google reviews from 204 Tesla showrooms and service centers, noted several factors that likely impact the customer experience:
Additionally, the direct-to-consumer dealer model changes the familiar customer experience, impacting satisfaction.
“Given Tesla’s strong brand, high virality, and top marks from trusted consumer media, it was surprising to see that their Google reviews revealed such a high percentage of unsatisfied customers,” said Matt Murray, CEO of Widewail. “More surprising was that even EV buyers from traditional dealerships left substantially more negative reviews. Our Voice of the Customer Report is designed to help customers and dealers understand where pain points in the buying and ownership experience may exist, and to shed light on what car buyers report about their experiences.”
The 2023 Widewail Voice of the Customer Report includes a deep analysis of the contributing factors for both positive and negative reviews. Positive experiences with staff are the most predictive of a positive review outcome.
The negative review analysis found that poor communication is mentioned 37% of the time, making it a leading contributing factor to negative reviews. Negative reviews also cite wait time as an issue, mentioning it 3.1 times more often in negative versus positive reviews.
Other key findings in the report include:
To learn more about the 2023 Widewail Voice of the Customer Report, visit the website here.
Widewail collected 1.5 million Google reviews from more than 16,000 new car dealerships in the U.S. spanning February 2023 to June 2023. To unlock trends in consumer behavior and sentiment, Widewail’s data science team performed a topic and sentiment analysis on 800,000 reviews with sufficient content.
The direct-to-consumer EV analysis builds upon 8,360 Google reviews from 204 Tesla stores and 30 Rivian service centers from January 2023 to October 2023. Widewail sampled 2,816 traditional dealership-sold EV reviews from 1,816 locations to study dealer-sold EVs. These reviews were selected because they mentioned specific EV models.
Widewail is deeply integrated into the automotive industry, supporting more than 5,000 dealership clients. Widewail’s suite of solutions powers the modern shopping experience by leveraging automation to drive and directly manage customer and prospect conversations in consumer reviews, video and social media. The Widewail Trust Marketing Platform helps businesses capture, distribute and shape the narrative of their business through the words of their customers with great reviews and video testimonial content, building trust between businesses and the communities they serve. The result: Widewail’s solutions improve search rankings and help companies understand how their actions affect customer satisfaction and overall reputation. For more information visit https://www.widewail.com/.
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