Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Too Little, Too Late?

By Jim Bell on Aug 23, 2011

 

When is it too little too late for a dealership?  Honda of San Marcos recently ran an auction on eBay for a 2009 Nissan GT-R.  The winning bid was at $55,100.  There was a ‘mistake’ on the listing within the auction and the final auction price wasn’t going to be honored by the dealer and they were offering the customer the same vehicle for $59,000.  Later, the dealership said that they would honor the winning bid and it was their mistake. 

I am all about dealers being successful, especially Honda dealers since I work at one.  Unfortunately, this dealer is hurt and is going to feel the hurt for a while over this ‘mistake’ on their eBay listing.  Their online reputation is completely shot and currently has 61 reviews with a 1.5 star rating.  There is now a Facebook page with 829 ‘likes’ that is bashing the dealership.  Honda of San Marcos actually shut their Facebook page down and is inactive due to this and opened another Facebook account where you have to request friendship with them.

So when is it too little too late?  When you have a mistake within management, you must own up to it.  Unfortunately, this is not what they did.  They did admit right off the bat that they had made a mistake and put it on the listing agent who was off for the week, but they didn’t own up to it and offered the vehicle to the customer for almost $4,000 more than the winning bid.  They shouldn’t have dodged the phone calls from the customer on that Monday morning.  This may take a while for their online reputation management to get back up to par.  Yes, a lot of the reviews happened after the auction ended, and who knows how many of them are legit.  They will have to sort through all of this with Google and Dealerrater and the other online review sites that they have been bashed on. 

Honda of San Marcos will have to come up with a plan to overcome the hurt that has been placed on them.  They will have to get every one of their happy customers to try to bury all of the negative comments. 

You can read the whole story here with the customer comments and responses from Honda of San Marcos.     

Comments

There is nothing for a dealership to even think about here. When you auction cars on eBay you need to know exactly what you would do in a situation like this and do it instantly. Great post Jim. After reading this, I'm sure lots of dealers know what they would do and how fast they would do it.

Aug 23, 2011

I think the point here is that the response needs to be TIMELY and RELEVANT. Years ago there would always be the one picketer who may show up and someone would immediately go out and determine whether to address their issue, ignore it or call the Police. There is no lag time luxury in todays world. The Highway your located on is Digital and therefore worldwide. Whether this was to be honored or not, addressing it immediately and a pre-emptive Press Release may have been well advised. Now their "Dealer name" sucks page has their only social presence. Ouch! Probably not even a true reflection of the majority of their customer's experience.

Aug 23, 2011

Exactly what I was trying to get across Brian.

Aug 23, 2011

Comments 1 - 3 of 0

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Jim Bell's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • How quickly can you say "YES?"

    At Autosoft we pride ourselves on customer service and have done so for over 25 years. So when a current customer’s service manager walked out without notice, the general manager was at a loss for what he was going to do. The parts manager just joined the team, the old advisor quit and the new advisor wasn’t due to start for another week. That left him with a brand new crew with no experience and a service department without the ability to wait on customers!!! Out went the phone call to the local business development manager… “can you help?” Read post

  • Auto/Mate Announces the Successful Completion of First Annual User Summit for Auto Dealers

    ALBANY, N.Y. – October 27th, 2014 –Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (http://www.automate.com) announced the successful completion of its first annual User Summit for auto dealers. Dealers and managers from around the country attended the summit on September 19th in Albany, NY. The User Summit was designed for Auto/Mate's dealer clients to learn the newest features of Auto/Mate's dealership management system (DMS), as well as best practices for implementing new technologies into dealership processes. Additionally, attendees enjoyed networking with peers and fellow Auto/Mate users.   "It was really nice to have so many of our customers in one place and to get their feedback and input on various aspects of our software," said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems. "The Town Hall meeting that we hosted was very informative and we came away with a greater understanding of our clients' needs than we could get in any other way."   The two most popular sessions...Read post

  • 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit Recap

    For the sixth year in a row, DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES) sold out to an enthusiastic and progressive-minded audience. With the Bellagio Hotel as our venue, we were all treated to an impressive main stage, plenty of space, and exquisite food catering—and, of course, the most advanced content in the industry!   Day One We began the conference earlier than ever before, kicking off at 1:30pm on Sunday, October 12th—and that's not considering our Canadian breakout session sponsored by e-Dealer, Glovebox, and SCI Marketview that started at 8:30am or the Cox Automotive brunch and panel presentation that commenced at 10:30am. DSES indeed had a packed schedule! And then, the audience was shown the 2014 DSES Kickoff Video: Introduced by event emcee, Charlie Volgleheim, the founder and CEO of DrivingSales, Jared Hamilton, provided a high-level overview of Executive Summit, what the attendees could expect from the conference, and a brief look at the auto industry as a whole....Read post

  • DSES: Can You Feel Me Or Is It The Customer Experience?

    DrivingSales Executive Summit 2014 is officially in the books. It was a sold out event once again that enveloped the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas for the better part of three days. Planned was a (digital) star-studded keynote speaker list plus some of the finest breakout speakers, many dealers, for those in attendance. Here's some highlights form the event from IM@CS' perspective: Day One Just as last year, there was a Canadian Breakout Session housing some of the top companies from our neighbors to the north along with some powerful presenters including Grant Gooley and Jeremy Wyant. Jay Radke and Brent Wees definitely brought the "eh" for a second time. Rumor is that next year will be bigger and better (and DSES will NOT be during Canadian Thanksgiving!). After Emcee Charlie Vogelheim’s grandiose welcome of the attendees, DrivingSales' founder Jared Hamilton managed a uniquely powerful opening recognizing a few members of the car dealer community from stage for thie personal tr...Read post

  • Dealerbaby Announces Newest Customer – Blevins Brothers

    Dealerbaby Announces Newest Customer - Blevins Brothers Blevins Brothers Launch Their First Native Mobile App  Saratoga Springs, NY: Dealerbaby (www.dealerbaby.com), a custom mobile app platform for auto dealerships, is proud to announce that Blevins Brothers, an auto group in Ogdensburg, NY has launched their first native mobile app via the Dealerbaby mobile platform.  “Dealerbaby allows us to connect with our customers like never before.  It puts our store literally in the palm of their hands, anywhere, anytime,” said Marc Blevins, Sales Manager at Blevins Bros. Blevins Brothers, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership, serving Gouverneur, Canton, Watertown, Potsdam and Fort Drum, NY, has been a family run business since 1983. Last year, Blevins Brothers, began looking for a new way to reach current and potential customers. After a thorough review of options, Blevins Brothers, choose to invest in mobile for the following reasons: reach, loyalty, and the future of car bu...Read post

  • DrivingSales Announces Innovation Cup and Dealer Best Idea Award Winners for 2014

     New Car IQ from Pearl Technology wins 2014 Innovation Cup Award and “YouTube Postal Service” from Robert Karbaum E-Commerce Manager, Weins Canada Inc./Don Valley North Lexus, wins the 2014 Dealer Best Idea Award; presented at 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit     Salt Lake City, Utah – October 20, 2014 – DrivingSales today announced the winners of the 2014 DrivingSales Innovation Cup and Dealer Best Idea Awards. “New Car IQ” from Pearl Technology won The Innovation Cup Award for the most innovative dealership solution of the year. Robert Karbaum, E-Commerce Manager, Weins Canada Inc./Don Valley North Lexus took the Dealer Best Idea Award for “YouTube Postal Service.” This is the second year in a row Karbaum has won the award. The awards were presented in Las Vegas on October 14th at the sold-out DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES). Over 1,000 dealers and industry professionals attended the three-day event, which concluded on Tuesday.   “It always gives me g...Read post

  • Auto/Mate Integrates DMS with etfile Document Management System, Streamlining Auto Dealer Workflow

    ALBANY, N.Y. – October 20th, 2014 – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (http://www.automate.com) announced today the integration of its dealership management system (DMS) with etfile's electronic document management solution. Auto dealerships using the etfile document imaging, filing & retrieval system can now receive deals from F&I and Repair Orders (RO's) from service, via real-time delivery from Auto/Mate's DMS. The integration also allows dealers to identify all documents that were not scanned on a given day.   "Auto dealers can create hundreds of documents on a daily basis, and if they're using an electronic filing system the ability to retrieve documents out of their DMS in a timely manner is critical to increasing efficiencies," said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems.   "Partnering with Auto/Mate will allow hundreds of dealerships to take advantage of the benefits associated with our document management system, which include saving tho...Read post

  • The Importance of DrivingSales' Exclusive and Community Blog Sections

    If there's one thing that gets me riled up, it's the types and degrees of education in the automotive industry. The car business has always taken care of me, so I try to always take care of the car business. On many of the blogs and networks in our industry, there are sections for exclusive content and separate sections for "community posts" or syndicated content. Both serve an important role and I publish profusely in both. Here's why: Community Content is General There was a time when I didn't agree with posting the same article to multiple places. It seemed obtuse from a search perspective and annoying from a dealer perspective to see the same content republished over and over again on a wide variety of sites. A friend and someone who manages one of the sites changed my opinion on this. He pointed out that content of general interest to the majority of dealers are better served when a post is published in multiple places. While the vendors seem to be on all of the networks, he p...Read post