Fords of Winsford has been the North West of England’s largest all-makes used car supermarket for over 50 years. Established in 1959, the company now has over 1,800 cars in stock, including 30 different makes, and countless models for sale across their 2 sites which are located in Winsford, Cheshire and Trafford, Manchester.
As a three-time winner of ‘What Car?’ magazine’s ‘Car Supermarket of the Year’ award, the company is a major online retailer of used cars, and remains a family-owned business. We spoke to Nathan Quayle, Group Marketing Manager, to learn how reviews have helped them bolster their digital presence.
Fords of Winsford has a strong advertising presence on TV and radio but were looking to improve their digital marketing. Over a year ago, the business decided to give online reviews a go and opt for a more customer-centric strategy.
Nathan Quayle, Group Marketing Manager at Fords of Winsford, explains:
“As a company, we looked at taking control of our online reputation and PR as we had a handful of reviews across a number of websites. We needed a central source of trustworthy, honest feedback we could both learn from and showcase to customers. We based our choice on the company with the largest brand name and greatest SEO presence - Trustpilot.”
To boost their brand reputation, Fords of Winsford came up with a two-phase plan.
Phase 1 was about growth, and consisted of building a healthy and honest score by collecting hundreds of reviews.
Phase 2 was all about boosting the business’s reputation, highlighting the company’s rating and sharing positive customer experiences.
Today, Fords of Winsford prides itself on managing its online reputation remarkably well with the help of Trustpilot.
Building trust and credibility to increase customer confidence
Trustpilot continuously helps Fords of Winsford acquire impartial reviews to give customers as much confidence online as they would have offline. With a business that has both a brick & mortar location and an online presence, it’s important for consumers to have a true representation of what their physical experience will be like when visiting the company’s website for the first time.
In addition to this, the emergence of reviews across many platforms was a real struggle for the firm as it was difficult to keep track and manage.
Thanks to Trustpilot’s strong SEO presence as a review management platform, Fords of Winsford can easily manage and showcase their customer reviews effectively on their own website, while benefiting from an SEO standpoint. This has considerably increased credibility and transparency for the business.
“Buying a car has a unique customer journey. People usually research products first and where to buy it from second. When customers are looking where to buy from, one word pops up above all others, even above price, and that word is trust. We needed to showcase trust and transparency across our media to ensure customers knew they could trust us with one of life's largest purchases” - Nathan Quayle.
Fords of Winsford review page is dedicated to highlighting reviews
Since they’ve started collecting reviews with Trustpilot, Fords of Winsford has been selecting one review per day to share on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Trustpilot’s social share functions and Image Generator makes it easy for them to pair beautiful imagery with reviews to improve engagement.
Fords of Winsford uses reviews as social proof on their Instagram account
With 78% of people admitting that companies’ social media posts impact their purchases, it’s safe to say that consumers use social accounts to learn more about your business and find out whether or not they can trust you. That’s why it’s essential to showcase social proof on social media in 2017.
Mastering online reviews to improve customer experience
Both the marketing and customer service teams are in charge of managing Trustpilot reviews, along with the management team, who jump in when 1, 2 or 3 star reviews are left on-site, to help solve any issues.
Positive reviews are very often shared by the line managers. The staff are commended on extra special reviews as they represent how Fords of Winsford have gone above and beyond for their customers’ happiness.
The company reviews their customers’ feedback quarterly to help them highlight any particular trends, and figure out what could be improved within the business in order to make their customer experience as flawless as possible.
Fords of Winford's TV ad featuring Trustpilot
These quarterly reviews have a big impact on Fords of Winsford’s future projects. The company is currently looking at turning customer reviews into a KPI and then use feedback to accurately measure customer satisfaction.
As Nathan explains, “We firmly believe that having this as a key KPI will help everything else fall into place.”
Including online reviews in the customer journey is part of Fords of Winsford’s long-term goal. They’re investing in a new website which will integrate reviews as well as their rating at key decision-making points throughout the customer buying journey.
This will help reinforce trust and transparency throughout the website, and will, ultimately, turn more quality visitors into customers.
Nathan Quayle sums up the value of trust for Fords of Winsford:
“We fully believe that reviews are one of the best ways for our prospective customers to gain trust in our service and offering before they commit to a purchase. It’s a chance for us to really show off to customers why we’re the best place to buy their next car. Integrating Trustpilot reviews into the Auto Trader marketplace is a great development for dealers like ours that operate transparently and openly. It’s also a chance for us to learn from our customers who share their experience of buying a car with us.”*
Auto Trader is the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace and recently signed a major partnership with Trustpilot to bring more trusted user-generated content to its platform. This new alliance means thousands and thousands of reviews written about UK car dealerships will be available for users to read directly on the Auto Trader website. Fords of Winsford is excited to see how this new partnership will benefit their commitment to their customers.
To learn more about how reviews and trust impact the auto retail review industry, check out our auto retail report or request a demo below to get a personalised look into our review management platform.