CHICAGO — A majority of consumers seek out online reviews about a dealership’s service department before making a car-buying decision, according to results from a survey commissioned by

In an independent Harris Poll, 64% of in-market shoppers indicated that a service department’s reputation is a factor when choosing where to purchase a vehicle. Furthermore, the research revealed more than half (57%) of shoppers would seek out a dealership’s service department reviews before purchasing a vehicle.

“These new findings show that reputation management can’t be limited to the sales floor; it needs be embraced throughout the entire dealership, especially in the service department,” said Jack Simmons, manager of dealer training for “Car shoppers read online reviews for both sales and the service department before buying because they want to know that the dealership will be a reliable, long-term partner for the entire life cycle of their new car.

“For dealers to earn shoppers’ trust, they must build their service department’s brand presence online and effectively communicate their positive reputation through a variety of digital channels, where today’s consumers are shopping most.”