What Motivates Car Shoppers to Write 5-Star Reviews?


Writing Review

True or false? The majority of online reviews are submitted by disgruntled consumers with unreasonable expectations. We can attest that this statement is false! The Edmunds Reviews Team analyzed a one-month period of dealership reviews posted on Edmunds.com, and found that over 85% of the reviews published were positive reviews for either the sales or service department, and the most common title for any review was "Great Experience." Here are some of the findings from our analysis to illuminate what qualities and experiences motivate consumers to write a 5-star review.

Many consumers begin by stating that they did not anticipate enjoying the purchasing process, or were even dreading it, but go on to use these keywords and phrases repeatedly to describe their experience:

  • No-pressure, didn't feel rushed
  • Trustworthy
  • They listened to me
  • Quick and painless — the dealership made the process easy
  • Quick and clear communication (email or in-person)
  • No games
  • Final price was exactly as negotiated (no last-minute surprises)
  • Professional and polite salesperson
  • Attentive to customer's needs
  • Salesperson went above & beyond — locating a specific vehicle, delivering vehicle to customer, staying after hours, etc.

Customers notice and mention the little extras offered by the dealership or salesperson — a cold beverage on a warm day, Wi-Fi, activities to entertain children, fresh-baked cookies, and massages/manicures frequently merit a mention. The primary goal may be to make the sale, but don't forget that the path to that end result is just as important. We also see positive reviews where the consumer did not purchase, but still felt compelled to submit a review because of the exceptional experience.

Finally, if you feel you've provided your customer with a first-rate experience, ask for the review. When sending a follow up email after the sale, include a link to your dealership page on Edmunds.com. Doing so provides a quick, no-hassle route for them to add their recommendation and enhance your online reputation.

May 2013 has been a great month for dealership reviews here at Edmunds, and we wanted to highlight one of the thousands of glowing reviews earned by dealerships during that period:

Five Star Review


We went in yesterday with an internet quote in hand and only a question of what color we wanted. We were unaware that Memorial Day is the busiest car buying day of the year and it was overwhelming. After an hour and half or so, a quick test drive and little progress we left with two cranky small children. After a failure at another dealer we had liked previously we decided to try Galpin one more time. Glad we did. With the evening a little bit calmer Alen and Micael from the internet department were able to set us up with a great deal on just what we wanted and when they had the time they were great. As the process wore on due to the crowd they went above and beyond in my book. The deal locked quickly, but the finance department was backlogged. As my sons both started to lose their patience Alen and Micael worked with us, let my wife take our old car that we were trading in home to put the boys to bed and then Alen stayed with me till close to 11p while the paperwork finished, drove home, had my wife finish up the signing and took our trade in back to the dealer. The perfect way to welcome us as customers and make up for the insane holiday crowds.



Thank you to all of our Premier dealerships who have made great efforts to deliver an outstanding consumer experience!

*To get more tips on tips on how best to engage and benefit from our Dealer Ratings & Reviews, feel free to contact your Edmunds representative, and visit our Edmunds.com Dealer Resource Center.

Do you have questions about consumer reviews? Ask the Edmunds Review Team! Send us an email.

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