Recommendations for Dealership Tools

Brian Miller
Darren, While "Peer Feedback" is great, service providers often get "tunnel vision" with regards their own product, rather then learning and adapting from direct user feedback. As for referral business, this portion of any business is a great "gauge" of the success of your product but does not replace good old fashioned prospecting by a well trained sales team. B2B marketing is not dead, and is essential for both sides of the equation, in order to adapt and best serve the dealer's customers.
Joe Webb
"Peer feedback" is a bit of a loose term. One of the hardest things to find in this industry is a trusted resource that one can call on and get an unbiased answer. Most dealers rely on calling one or two of the vendor's preferred referral dealers (if any) and take their word for it. At the same time, trusting ratings and reviews from unknown third parties isn't always ideal either. You need context. If you have three to four trusted dealership colleagues, by all means, their word (and, hopefully, personal experiences with the products/service) should lend some weight to any purchase decision.
Glenn Pasch
Darren, I agree with Joe. Finding the right trusted peers is key. Asking a vendor of a list of more than a few "perfect" referral clients, or reaching out as you are on the forums for people to give opinions is a great start. As with anything, you must take all feedback with a grain of salt. You do not know all of the circumstances in regards to the peer's relationship to the vendor/product but the more feedback you can get, the more helpful it will be.
Katie Colihan
I agree with the masses. I know that there is a service that I use for a simple iPhone application and I live by it. However, the feedback for the application, had I read it before I got the app, I may have not gotten in the first place. IN that event I'd have missed a great amount of multitasking and client integration as well. I think it comes down to whether the dealership tool gives you exactly what you want, and you have a proven means of getting in touch with their IT to solve any pending issues. Use your gut, I'd say.
Edward Parkinson
Darren, adding customer feedback to brochures is a good idea. Two years in a row we put out a customer survey and averaged about 2,000 responses each year because we are constantly trying to improve. I agree with the group that you must be cautious on reviews, referrals etc. Dig deep for TRUST. How vetted are the products & services and how deep and wide are they in the industry? Partner relationships with products and services can tell you a lot because they are scrutinized and often A/B tested before being deployed.

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