Lakeland, FL – 2/15/2022 – Lakeland Ford is awarded a 2022 Dealer of the Year Award in Florida by DealerRater, a leading car dealer review and reputation management platform and company of Cars.com Inc. (NYSE: CARS). The Dealer of the Year Award recognizes auto dealerships across the U.S. and Canada that are evaluated first-hand by shoppers and report best-in-class in customer service, quality of work, friendliness, pricing and overall experience in their reviews in their state.
“DealerRater.com experienced record consumer review volume in 2021 – more than 1.1 million. This is a strong testament to the ability of dealers and their teams to adapt quickly to new shopping expectations. They’ve stepped up in a big way to meet consumer needs with outstanding service, and Lakeland Ford stood out among its peers,” said DealerRater General Manager Jamie Oldershaw. “It is imperative, not just during challenging times, but also when our industry returns to normal to deliver above and beyond customer experiences to car shoppers and Lakeland Ford provided superior customer service in 2021.”
Top-reviewed dealers engage in digital-first services.
Home delivery and virtual appointments were powerful drivers of positive reviews. Winning dealers who offered these services scored on average a 97% positive review rate, nearly 5 percentage points higher than dealers without.1
The Dealer of the Year Awards indicate the value car shoppers place on dealers’ adaptability to provide the very best service even when the industry is challenged by inventory shortages and increased car prices.
Lakeland Ford has continued to drive the leading edge for consumer technology and service for all of Central Florida. This dedication to providing the best possible digital and retail experience for every customer (no matter how they prefer to shop) has been the foundation for our business growth. Providing the tools and “ease of use” for technology continues to be the priority for our teams every day while making sure every customer can find the resources, information and products they really want.
Successful dealers engage with customers, a critical component to their success.
The digital engagement of employees at dealerships proved especially critical this past year as car shoppers conducted the bulk of their research and vehicle purchases online. Award-winning dealers on average responded to customer reviews over five times more frequently than non-winning dealers.1 Dealers that go above and beyond traditionally respond within 24 hours.
Additionally, about 91% of winners provide their staff with Employee Profile Pages on DealerRater, which allows car shoppers to ask questions and connect with individual salespeople at a dealership before ever stepping on the lot.1
DealerRater Dealer of the Year Award Methodology
The DealerRater Dealer of the Year Awards are presented annually to the top U.S. and Canadian car dealers with 25 or more reviews based on categories such as customer service, quality of work, friendliness, pricing and overall experience, key drivers of repeat and referral business. The scoring algorithm considers the dealership’s average DealerRater star rating as well as the total number of reviews written about the dealership during the 2021 calendar year.
1 DealerRater Internal Data, January 2022
DealerRater, a Cars.com company, is a leading car dealer review and reputation management platform that empowers dealerships to efficiently grow their brands by accelerating, automating and amplifying positive review generation across digital channels. By offering a product suite that allows qualified dealerships to manage their digital presence and build and maintain their online reputation, DealerRater helps dealers drive new customer connections every day, achieve higher SEO rankings and, ultimately, generate higher-quality leads that close, faster.
Founded in 2002, DealerRater reviews cover 44,000 U.S. and Canadian dealerships, including a network of more than 5,000 Certified Dealers, that reaches an audience of more than 34 million consumers each month.
Lakeland Ford is a Ford Motor Company Franchise company located in Lakeland Florida serving Central Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Valrico, Plat City, Kissimmee, Winter Haven and Orlando. Our goal is to provide the best possible service to our customers and make sure your car buying experience is second to none. We are conveniently located at 1430 West Memorial Boulevard, Lakeland FL, 33815-1231.
We feature an extensive selection of new and certified pre-owned Ford vehicles, as well as used cars from many other makes. Lakeland Ford is committed to providing superior service in all departments, from sales to finance to parts and service, and we invite you to search through our online inventory and stop by our dealership for a test drive. If you have any questions, please give us a call at (863) 577-5030.