Company Press Release

DealerRater Introduces CustomerConnectâ„¢

New Capabilities Enable First-Ever Online Connections between Top Dealership Employees and In-Market Car Buyers

WALTHAM, Mass. – April 27, 2016 – DealerRater, the world’s leading car dealer review website with more than 5,600 Certified Dealership customers in the U.S. and Canada, today announced the release of CustomerConnect to help dealers elevate their top sales team members as consumers search for the right salesperson at the right dealership. CustomerConnect, the newest addition to DealerRater’s powerful suite of dealer-focused products, allows in-market car buyers to connect in real time with top-reviewed dealership salespeople in advance of their arrival at the showroom. CustomerConnect is available now.


According to a recent DealerRater survey, 97 percent of prospective car buyers would prefer pre-selecting a salesperson or service advisor to work with prior to visiting a dealership. CustomerConnect is the first product of its kind to allow dealers to meet this customer need. The product addresses the trepidation many consumers say they experience prior to visiting automobile showrooms by allowing them to interact directly with top-reviewed dealership employees earlier in the sales process.


Despite access to an abundance of online automotive resources that provide information on product, price, and place, national polling data indicates that buyer angst is considerable and points to two areas of concern to car shoppers – not knowing how they will be treated and with whom they will be working once they arrive at the dealership.


With CustomerConnect, dealers can now showcase top-reviewed employees on DealerRater search directories and vehicle detail pages and enable them to connect directly with in-market buyers via SMS texting, email, and click-to-call dialing. Such capability allows employees to communicate with prospects earlier in the sales process, at the critical point where they have made a decision about the vehicle they plan to buy, but are still deciding on which dealership they intend to make the purchase. By connecting in this way, salespeople can establish the high level of trust necessary to lower car-buyer apprehension, enhance the overall purchase experience, and accelerate business transactions.


“Cars are still sold one at a time, between two people,” says Gary Tucker, DealerRater CEO. “But today’s consumer wants a different car-buying experience than they have had in the past – one that respects the considerable time and effort they put into researching automotive products, pricing, and places online, and that lowers the anxiety prospects often feel before they have even set foot on a dealer lot.”


According to Tucker, CustomerConnect significantly and positively impacts the historical car-buying journey by bridging the “last mile” gap between the time a buyer completes their research and when they arrive at a dealership. By enabling a pre-visit dialogue between in-market prospects and specific dealership personnel – those who have garnered high customer praise and high rankings on – CustomerConnect enhances, streamlines, and speeds the sales process, and enables prospects to enter a showroom knowing exactly who to ask for when they arrive.


Andrew DiFeo, General Manager of Hyundai of St. Augustine and an early adopter of CustomerConnect, says, “We strive every day to make our sales experience more comfortable and more rewarding for our customers. CustomerConnect allows us to promote our top employees, have them engage prospects early, and build the kind of rapport that is critical to not only securing an immediate vehicle purchase, but to the lifetime value of that customer.”


To learn how dealerships can profit from digital connections between their sales and service employees and in-market consumers, download the highly-informative white paper, “Bridging the Car Buyer’s ‘Last Mile.’


For more information about CustomerConnect, visit


About DealerRater

Founded in 2002, DealerRater is the world’s leading car dealer review website that connects consumers with the right person at the right dealership. The site offers more than 2.5 million sales and service reviews across 41,000 U.S. and Canadian dealerships, including a network of over 5,600 Certified Dealers. More than 14 million consumers read DealerRater content across the web each month. By offering a product suite that allows qualified dealerships to manage reputation and achieve higher SEO rankings, DealerRater supports new customer connections by growing online presence. For more information, visit, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or contact 800.266.9455, ext. 1.

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