CARLSBAD, CalifAuto Point Inc. and SureCritic announced a partnership to offer auto dealers a new solution for managing their online reputations. The solution uses technology that increases the volume of customers submitting positive reviews and offers a way for dealers to quickly respond to negative reviews, according to Auto Point.

"Research shows about 65 percent of shoppers rely on peer reviews now," said David Brondstetter, SureCritic CEO. "Dealers need a way to influence what's being put out there about them."

SureCritic uses a multi-pronged strategy to encourage positive reviews and turn negative ones around. For instance, SureCritic subscribers get their own dedicated webpage where customers can post reviews. “Unlike competing review sites, a dealer's site on SureCritic will never include information about competitors or competitor's ads,” Brondstetter said.

SureCritic then uses data that comes directly from the dealer management system to send out requests for reviews, enabling dealers to verify that a review has actually come from a customer. Dealers are given a grace period of two weeks to research what happened and reach out to the customer before the review is posted.

Through exclusive technology offered by SureCritic, customers are then invited to "rescore" the dealership, according to the company. "Every day, dealers put forth a Herculean effort to fix customer problems, but no one ever knows about it. This is letting the world know what you're doing, and how successful you are in fixing customer issues," said Jim Roche, Auto Point founder and president. "All forms of relationship management — whether it's using e-mail, direct mail, text, phone calls or managing online reviews — contribute to retention."

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