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Big Tom LaPointe

Big Tom LaPointe Digital Marketing Consultant

Exclusive Blog Posts

Why Social Media Marketers Won’t Replace Your Sales Team

Why Social Media Marketers Won’t Replace Your Sales Team

Social media is changing the marketing profession in remarkable ways. According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the social media analyti…

How To Find A Reliable Auto Body Repair Shop

How To Find A Reliable Auto Body Repair Shop

Finding a reliable and professional auto body repair shop is not as easy as it sounds. Unfortunately not every mechanic or auto repair shop will have your …

The Gap In Email Success - Part 3

The Gap In Email Success - Part 3

Yes Lifecycle Marketing recently released a study about gaps in email marketing. Check out the other parts of the series here: Part 1, Part 2. &n…

Are Remote Workers Happier Than Office Employees?

Are Remote Workers Happier Than Office Employees?

Here are some interesting insights about remote employees vs. office employees. I know many positions within a dealership don't have the option of remo…

Why You Need a Better Goal for 2017 than Simply “Sell More Cars”

Why You Need a Better Goal for 2017 than Simply “Sell More Cars”

The real driver of vehicle sales isn’t your new online buying widget, it’s access to credit. So, if your dealerships only goal for 2017 is to “sell m…

Don't ignore CSI and end up like the dodo – or Mercury

CarChat Live helps dealers surviveAutoWeek spotlighted the ’53 Mercury on their website, and it got me thinking how sad it is that such a storied brand has fallen by the wayside, and that dealerships that aren’t careful can also end up like the dodo bird or Mercury brand.

CSI is critical to SURVIVAL

One of the intangible benefits for our Live Chat products is that it can help guard your CSI. Not just the CSI the factory measures, but the one that has your customers posting great things on social media and telling their friends how great it iLive Chat from CarChat24 helps dealerss doing business with your dealership. The one that ensures you are still in business two years, five years, ten years down the road – or just the next recession or manufacturer dealer chop.

Years back when I was part of the management team of one of the top luxury dealerships in the world in both sales and CSI, our general manager continuously harped on the fact that from a business longevity point of view, the “WOULD YOU RECOMMEND US” question was more important than the TOP BOX / COMPLETELY SATISFIED question.

Relationships are the key

That same GM stressed that the RELATIONSHIP that every staff member had with every customer was critical to help ensure future business. I’ll never forget him sharing how his father’s insurance agent knew everything about their family so they could be an effective advisor, from “buffy the dog” to “uncle Harry’s liver operation”.

We were obsessively committed to a CULTURE that would help ensure this result and create customers who are AMBASSADORS in the community. I shared this with my brother, who lives in a rural area in the eastern U.S., when we were discussing how one of his small local dealers didn’t seem to care about customer service - but that it didn’t matter because they would always be in business. I told him to mark my words when the economy slipped and that dealership would fall by the wayside. Sure enough, it was an unfortunate casualty of the recession.

Three keys to stronger CSI

Is your dealership TRULY committed to the satisfaction of your customers? Here are three keys to help you achieve this holy grail:

  • Have every staff member commit to it – ensure they understand the critical importance in the long and short term
  • Make sure every employee can recognize a problem, and empower them to help begin the resolution
  • Measure – measure – measure, by every means you have to

Whether your relationship begins through live chat, walking on the lot, or as a phone up, a commitment to true satisfaction can help ensure your dealership doesn’t go the way of the dodo bird – or Mercury.


Tom LaPointe
Interactive Media Manager / Industry Analyst
24/7 Interactive Automotive Dealer Website LIVE CHAT Solutions
Hosted or In-House Options – FREE web chat software

Tom has an MBA in Marketing and is an automotive writer and author with more than 15 years experience in virtually every aspect of the retail auto industry. He has been a performance leader in everything from sales and service, to web development and viral marketing. / /




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