Great Post. It all starts at the top and trickles down. Embracing the digital world needs to be a mindset and built into the culture of the dealership. I believe that the biggest problem is training. As dealers, we often complain about bad habits and members of our teams being "old school." The real problem is that we dont provide the proper training and provide insight into the digital age and our expectations on how to conduct business in this new environment. We can not blame our staff for the faults and views until we take the time and effort to properly inform, train, and train some more. As a General Manager, I feel that it is my duty to properly engage my staff. Yes, some people may not be capable to adapting but that is normally the exception not the rule. Step one is to find our who cares about you, your business, your customers, and their fellow employees. If they pass step one I would bet that they can adapt to the rest.
This is an actual recent customer interaction - Scary.Before you invest 10, 20, or 30k in your next direct mail piece, add or switch vendors I want you to think, who’s handling all of the leads that these campaigns generate? See, every advertising venture that you embark on involves your BDC having the first interaction with your potential customers, so doesn’t it make sense to train them so that every advertising opportunity is worked to the fullest to generate a showroom visit? We’ve seen countess missed opportunities from mishandled phone calls resulting from YOUR advertising dollars. it’s bad enough that the BDC rep taking this call was unaware of the direct mail piece the customer received and wasn’t properly trained on how to handle the call, but even worse, she talks the customer out of scheduling an appraisal. Now you may be thinking, that wouldn’t happen in MY store, but I promise you, it does AGAIN AND AGAIN - day in and day out. If your BDC does not know how to handle every possible customer scenario that aligns with your marketing initiatives, your BDR's,, Internet and sales staff are saying things like “UM, MAYBE, IT JUST DEPENDS” like you hear in this call.
Ricky - with tools like vAuto and Firstlook I see dealers getting market averages for pricing and supply/demand metrics.
But it seems like dealers need to manually go deeper to be able to look at specific competitor locations for what they stock, how they price, how quickly they turn individual cars, etc.
I also haven't seen vAuto and Firstlook provide individual competitor advertising insights (where competitors buy advertising, how much they pay for that advertising, how well it works).
I just wondered if there were any tools out there that went much deeper into specific competitors' operations? And if not, what specific features that would be very helpful but not currently offered by anyone?
Things like vAuto and Firstlook seem to take care of that or am I missing something?
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I've met recently with a lot of dealers who periodically scan their competitors' websites to look at inventory and pricing.I have seen a few examples of spreadsheets these dealers use to compare Make/Model inventory and pricing over time.Does anyone actually have a software tool they like that they use to monitor competition? Are there any product features that are missing that they'd like to have, but nobody currently offers?
I know that GM OneSource changed the lead distribution setup last weekend. Have any of you seen the problems with the lead source not being identified when it comes into your CRM?At first they would all show as "N/A" and now they show "The Cobalt Group: Professional Services". It has really destroyed our source-specific followup schedules. Anyone else seeing this or know of a solution?