Mobials is calling all dealerships to put their hats in the ring.
The online review and referral company has partnered with autoTRADER to create a national dealership award program aimed at finding Canada’s best-reviewed dealership. Were that not enough, Mobials says it has added a new Consumer Trust Certified program to identify top-performing stores and provide tools to help advertise the certification to the public.
To top it off, the once one-size-fits-all-solution has rolled out additional tiers of its Reviewsii product that offers flexible alternatives to fit different dealership needs.
The additions come after months of meetings and discussions with autoTRADER, SiriusXM and Auto Capital, which are all sponsoring various components of the new initiatives.
More importantly, the evolution in product structure and pricing, says Mobials co-founder and CEO James Hayes, is due to a lot of listening and learning.
“We have been working really hard on following through on our promise of creating a consumer trust certification program in Canada which means you capture your reviews and we’ll do our best to put them every single place that your car shoppers are researching you online,” he says.
“As for the Dealer of the Year award, we really saw a hole in the market as there is no national, French and English dealer-of-the-year program that recognizes a dealership for its consumer rating.”
Competition for the award started in early June and will run until the end of the year. Winners will be based on set criteria using an algorithm that will level the playing field between major metro stores and rural locations.
Qualifying stores need a minimum of 25 customer reviews in a calendar year. The star rating in the Reviewsii system will also affect a store’s score. One final winner along with top provincial performers for both franchise and independent dealers will be announced early in 2016.
To ensure every store and not just the rooftops signed up with Mobials can compete, sponsors will cover the basic $85 per month Reviewsii plan for 12 months.
Hayes notes that readers of Canadian AutoWorld can register their store with the special magazine promotion code CAW2015 and they will get the $85 per month plan for free. “That’s all because Auto Capital, SiriusXM and Trader and are paying for this,” he says.
Mobials co-founder and strategic advisor Marty Meadows says the award and certification program has been in the works for some time.
“We believe strongly in our product and we want to scale the business so everyone can see it,” he says. “Our original go-to-market strategy was based on a premium price strategy which may not have been affordable to all dealers. We now have a program that everyone – from the smallest lot to AutoCanada – can find a solution.”
The Consumer Trust Certified program will be an ongoing effort and work to identify the most-trusted and highest-ranking stores amongst consumer reviews.
Any store that meets the following four components in a calendar year will qualify for certification banner.
• Must use vehicle history reports that conform with provincial regulations for all business to consumer sales
• Minimum of 25 reviews through Reviewsii in last 12 months
• Minimum of four-star Reviewsii rating
• Honesty and integrity in listing vehicles on third-party online listing sites
Meadows says all certified dealerships will be given marketing materials that identify it as a trusted brand.
“Dealerships that run the banner on their website are telling their customers they are a trustworthy operation. It is instant proof that other consumers rate this store highly.”
Business has been brisk for Mobials since its launch over a year-and-a-half ago. The tech solutions company lets dealerships create, track and manage custom review and referral programs and evangelize their customers’ positive word-of-mouth.
Reviews are solicited by sales staff and then syndicated to social media networks and a handful of third-party automotive sites like Canadian Black Book, Auto 123, Lease Busters, Carpages.ca and more.
Any dealers interested in the award program can visit www.mobials.com for more information and use promo code “CAW2015” for free registration.