LEHI, Utah — Customer interaction management platform provider Podium announced the start of a strategic partnership with Kia Motors America. Podium is now a preferred provider in the Social Media & Reputation Management program Kia maintains for its U.S. dealers.

Executives said the partnership will allow dealers the ability to integrate their dealership’s customer data with Podium’s unique messaging and online review products. 

“How our dealerships are found and seen online continues to be an important factor for customers during their buying process,” said Barb Bertram, digital sales manager for Kia Motors America. “80% of consumers will avoid a business with bad reviews and 59% say dealership reputation was the most important factor when choosing which dealership to visit. Thanks to this partnership with Podium, our dealers can use and automate their data to improve customer interaction and make it easier than ever for our dealerships to be found.”

Read: Auto Dealers Stand Out Among Reputation-Dependent Industries

Customers who have recently purchased a Kia vehicle are sent an invitation to review the dealership via text within minutes, when reviews are most accurate and likely to be acted on. This integration will save dealers time as well as increasing the number and quality of their online reviews of their dealership on Google, Facebook, and other key sites customers use when deciding where to find their next vehicle. As a part of Kia’s SMRM program, Podium is 100% DAS eligible, all according to the announcement.

“Kia is one of the leading OEM manufacturers working to improve the customer interaction experience in the automotive industry,” said Ross Tinkham, vice president of automotive sales at Podium. “In adding Podium’s powerful online review and two-way messaging products to their SMRM program, we are confident this will supercharge their dealerships’ competitive advantage in bringing in new customers and keeping them Kia owners for life.” 

Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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