Wait, wait, wait, wait…hold judgment!

June 2, 2008

Earlier today I got a call from Matt Lamoureux. I know Matt as the internet manager of Acton Toyota in Massachusetts, one of the most progressive and successful Toyota dealerships in the entire country. Matt informed me that he is no longer with Acton Toyota and is now the business development manager of Dealerrater.com. When he told me Dealerrater.com is a consumer service for rating dealerships, my stomach tightened in knots. I don’t have any of love for companies that make a business out of bashing dealers. As a dealer myself, I know that there’s two sides to every story.

Once Matt explained how dealerrater.com works, he completely changed my view. Rather than being a negative for dealers, Dealerrater.com, in fact, is really quite positive. Let’s face it, unhappy customers are much more likely to complain than happy ones. Dealerrater.com provides consumers with a place to vent and allow dealers to constructively respond. If the site just stopped here, that would be an improvement over a lot of other venues that don’t allow for a response by the dealer.

In fact, however, I learned that Dealerrater.com goes much further in the interest of dealers. If you don’t believe me, just go there and search for Acton Toyota. What you’ll find is that Acton Toyota encourages all of their customers to rate them on this site. The vast majority of respondents rate Acton Toyota extremely high. Now just imagine what a customer would experience that goes there to look for a good Toyota dealership. They’re likely to find that Acton Toyota is overwhelmingly the most consumer friendly dealership in the northeast and possibly the entire country. Even those negative comments that have been properly responded to by the dealership, in some strange way, appear to be positive. It’s a hard thing to understand until you see it for yourself. As it turns out, Dealerrater.com is one of the best lead sources for Acton Toyota.

I have absolutely no personal interest in this business and in fact, I never even heard of it until Matt called me, but I really like it. Third party rating services such as this one, carry a lot of credibility with consumers and I think really make a lot of sense.