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AutoConnections Conference and Exposition (AutoCon)

More than three dozen auto industry sites and media channels throughout the blogosphere, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Slideshare, Wordpress and other popular auto industry targeted networks.


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by Willow Adams some of the insights from my client's website

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by Willow Adams some of the insights from my client's website

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dealerELITE Featured Blogs

Former Dealer and Founder of Hire The Winners is subject of new documentary on his life "Wrestled Away" The Lee Kemp Story

"Wrestled Away" The Lee Kemp Story was released globally on October 1, 2019 on most of the Video on Demand platforms including:

iTunes: https://t.co/nBw1YBSnNT

Amazon: https://t.co/kIW0f06FgG ;

GooglePlay: https://t.co/5BDfXMyfW8

Four Steps to Productively Process Disappointment

Disappointments are a fact of life. The question isn't whether we'll experience them, but whether we'll use them to our advantage and get better because of them; or, be abused by them when they happen, and let them hijack our attention, focus, productivity, joy, and more. How we handle disappointments is key to living the game changer life, and this podcast episode shares key steps to help you process disappointments productively and shift your thinking so you remain focused, energized, and…

Is Your Store Ready For Training?

I have been hired numerous times to perform training in stores that are not mentally or physically prepared for growth. Mentally, because their advisors think they are doing well enough and don’t see the growth potential in their position. Physically, because the shop is already full, or scheduled work is backed up for days. 

In order to help you get…

Who is Eating Your Profits?

Sometimes you have to get rid of a bad apple. This article is an oldie, but goodie from our archives.

-by Sally Whitesell for AutoSuccess Magazine.

Terminating someone is never pleasant and not to be taken lightly. As a former service manager I only had to fire one service advisor -and I did not make that decision lightly. However, in…

dealerELITE for Sale ??

dealerELITE available for Sale ???

If you have an interest contact Chris Saraceno 

at cbsaraceno@gmail.com or text me at 

321-960-6133

or 

Mike Myers 

mikekmyers0427@yahoo.com

(610) 657-4171

ADM Professional Community Videos

Witt's Wise Words: Rethinking Your Vehicle Subscription Service


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VP of Sales CDK Global Bill Wittenmyer shares a tip on how dealers should be evaluating a vehicle subscription model at their dealership.

Three Keys to Changes in Google's Algorithm


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Local Search Group CEO & Founder Jim Flint share some tips for dealers on how to keep up with Google's algorithm changes in this video blog.

Profit By Action Quick Tip: Effective Labor Rate


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Profit By Action Quick Tip on Effective Labor Rates (ELR) with Andy Church.

How Subscription Models Can Affect Dealership Valuation


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Can the trend in dealership subscription services affect dealership valuation? Scot Eisenfelder shares his opinion in this video blog.

100% Digital Doesn't Mean 100% Coverage


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In this video blog, CEO & Founder of Local Search Group Jim Flint shares why dealers shouldn't confuse their digital efforts with its effectiveness.
 

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Latest Activity

Kevin Gomez posted a blog post

The Benefits of Plasti Dip

Are you wishing for a new car but simply can’t afford it?  Do you wish for an easy way to change your car’s color and revive its exterior?  Repainting your car can be expensive and difficult.  Consider the benefits of plasti dip today, a low-cost alternative to a total repaint, allowing to you customize and bring new life to your old vehicle!Why Consider Plasti Dip?While…See More
Apr 5
Kevin Gomez is now a member of Automotive Media Partners, LLC
Apr 5
Joyjoy updated their profile
Mar 4
Joyjoy is now a member of Automotive Media Partners, LLC
Mar 4

Featured Blog Articles from the ADM Professional Community

Accessibility is Good Business!

That feeling of dread – the letter arrives at the dealership with a return address from an attorney you don’t recognize, addressed to "Owner" or "General Manager." Inside is a demand letter indicating that your website or mobile application is inaccessible as required under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). You need to contact them right away to…

Dealer Websites Fail to Meet Customer Expectations

A recent Affinitiv survey of 1,000 automotive consumers reveals that dealerships are falling short when it comes to delivering personalized, online shopping experiences to customers. In the same study, we analyzed a sample of 100 dealer websites to better understand the current level of personalization that dealers are offering.

 

Why the focus…

Blog Posts

Car Dealer Resource Links for Automotive Professionals

Automotive Industry Online Resources for Car Dealers and Automotive Professionals

Listed Below are several groups of useful and important links

for Automotive Professionals and Car Dealers seeking to improve

business operations, marketing and sales for new and used vehicles,

service, repairs, parts and accessories...…

Continue

Posted by Ralph Paglia on February 18, 2010 at 5:10pm

Forum

Intelligent Lead Routing; What Is It?

Have you ever been in a situation where you were able to review leads prior to assigning those leads to a salesperson?If so, and if you are a sales manager who cares about increasing sales, you most likely looked at the characteristics of each lead before deciding which salesperson to assign that lead to... For example, when I would see a Corvette lead come into BuzzTrack at Courtesy…Continue

Tags: Lead Routing, Internet Sales Manager, Internet Leads, Intelligent Lead Routing, Assigning Leads

Started by Ralph Paglia in Internet Lead Management Dec 7, 2010.

Internet Sales Managers; What is the Biggest Challenge You Have Faced Lately?

We would like to hear from some ISM's out there about what it is like being an Internet Sales Manager today and What is the Biggest Challenge You Have Faced Lately?

Tags: Lately, You Have Faced, Biggest Challenge, What is, Internet Sales Managers

Started by Ralph Paglia in Internet Sales Department Aug 3, 2010.

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ADM Professional Community Forum Discussions

Electric Vehicle is the Future

What is Electric Vehicle?

An electric vehicle, which is also known as an EV, is a vehicle that uses more than one electric motors or traction motors for propulsion. An electric vehicle can be powered through a collector system by electricity from off-vehicle sources or can be self-contained as well. Electrical vehicles are self-contained through electric generators (to convert fuel to electricity), solar panels or a battery. Types of electric vehicles include passenger cars (PC) as…

Email marketing

How often did you come across the fact that SMS or email was effective? I am sure very often. I want to offer you an excellent service, I will not persuade you and tell you about the pros and cons (I'm not a marketer), but visit atompark.com and I think you You will find many advantages, and the support service can solve many of your problems associated with this. Start here and read…

5 Ideas for car dealers FB page

If you want to promote your inventory using Facebook, do it on  for car dealers or add a Shop section to your Facebook business page and list your vehicles there.

Content is an integral part of Facebook business page. So here are 5 great Facebook post ideas for car dealers:

1. Industry news, controversial topics,…

what is Self-help techniques for self-growth?

Here is some good news. It is possible to improve people’s lives by removing negative programs from their subconscious minds, which dictate their personality and lives.

One very interesting technique that can help to achieve this, is listening to certain sounds and certain music that have the ability to break down negative subconscious material. This will gradually result in the improvement of behavior, the reduction of psychological and physical problems and the…

Study Of 1000+ Car Dealers Raises Concerns About Industry’s Lead Handling Issues

Opportunity Max, a Maritz Company, recently completed a program with a major OEM. As part of the program, 1,037 assessments were run on dealerships to identify holes in their lead handling processes.

The results were very telling, and point to bigger concerns with the industry as a whole.

  • 66% of Dealers Received Failing Marks

Utilizing our …

dealerELITE Latest Activity

Bill Wittenmyer posted a blog post

Bill Wittenmyer posted a blog post

3 Strategies to Cultivate Enthusiastic and Loyal Fans

It costs most dealers about five times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain those they already have. Yet, increasing customer retention by as little as five percent can increase profits by up to 95 percent, according to the research group Bain & Company. That’s because loyal customers and enthusiastic fans will keep coming back - and they’ll refer friends and family to your dealership. Loyal customers also tend to prioritize great customer service over price and scoring the best deal. Bottom line? It pays to put time and resources into nurturing your existing customer relationships.  Begin cultivating loyal customers immediately with these three retention strategies. Build loyalty in the service lane. Customers are wary of being sold unnecessary services. A multi-point inspection tool with photo and video capabilities allows service advisors to show customers what needs to be done, instead of just telling them. This goes a long way to build trust and loyalty. Prioritizing customer convenience by implementing helpful technology also improves customer satisfaction. The J.D. Power 2019 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study found that satisfaction is 75 points higher (on a 1,000-point scale) among customers who have an all-digital experience where they can schedule service online, communicate via text message and view service recommendations on a tablet. Some of the best results happen when service advisors change their communication strategy to emphasize the safety aspects of necessary services. When customers learn that a faulty spark plug or alternator could leave them stranded on the side of the road, they will be more likely to approve the service. They’ll also feel gratitude towards your service department for recognizing and fixing the problem. Capitalize on your BDC. The human connection goes a long way to create loyal buyers. Customers will reward companies that take the time to build genuine, personal relationships. Give your sales associates and service advisors that time by delegating everyday tasks to your BDC. Don’t have the resources to handle these tasks? You might look at outsourcing the work, or a portion of it, to a trusted virtual BDC. Your BDC should handle the majority of inbound and outbound phone calls, especially in the service department. When inbound service calls are handled properly by your BDC, up to 72 percent convert to an appointment. Your BDC should also help with personalized, targeted marketing campaigns that build loyalty. Use your CRM to schedule event-based marketing triggers that re-engage customers at the perfect time in the buying cycle. For example, create a special offer for service customers you haven’t seen in six months. Then, have your BDC follow up with phone calls. Well-targeted cross-channel campaigns build momentum and loyalty because you’re offering a relevant message that meets your customers’ unique needs. Practice Strategic Data Mining Data mining can help you build loyalty at both the sales desk and in the service drive. It’s also a great way to source well-maintained vehicles for your pre-owned inventory without paying auction and delivery fees. The best way to execute this strategy is to have a dedicated data mining expert or team. These individuals keep an eye on service appointments for customers in an equity position with vehicles that are in-demand in your market. Eligible customers receive a written trade-in offer and suggestions for a new vehicle with confirmed incentives, interest rates, and lease options, if applicable. Keep in mind that few customers will accept a deal on the spot, so have a process in place for BDC follow up. Customers who accept a deal will get a fair price for their trade-in vehicle, plus a new vehicle with the most modern safety and technology features, all fully protected by a manufacturer’s warranty. This way, you meet vehicle needs your customers may not even know they have, which helps to engender loyalty and increase the likelihood they will return to your dealership for future service.  Plus, now you have well-maintained vehicles to stock your pre-owned lot. It’s a win-win. Good selling!   See More

Scot Eisenfelder posted a blog post

Scot Eisenfelder posted a blog post

Auto Dealerships’ Online Shopping Experience Fail to Meet Customer Expectations, Affinitiv Study Finds

Predictive personalization key to matching precedent set by non-auto retailersChicago, IL—November 11, 2019— The online shopping experience offered by the majority of dealerships fails to meet customer expectations, according to a new Affinitiv survey of 1,000 automotive consumers. While 76% of recent car buyers said it was important for the dealer website to be personalized, only 26% of respondents agreed that dealers provide a highly personalized experience on their website. The data is highlighted in the Affinitiv whitepaper Predictive Personalization: The Evolution of the Customer Experience.“The website is often the first point of contact with a dealership, but most dealer websites were built using unsophisticated technologies that reflect an antiquated notion of how consumers buy cars,” said Doug Van Sach, Affinitiv’s Vice President, Strategy & Analytics. “To meet customer expectations, auto retailers must evolve their shopping experience to match the precedent set by retailers in other industries.”Predictive personalization is the key to making this happen, according to the survey. Every day, consumers interact with non-auto retailers who provide a highly personalized online shopping experience. Amazon, Nordstrom and Apple are role models that consumers expect dealers to follow.Affinitiv’s survey found that the online shopping experience offered by dealers falls short in three key areas. When customers were asked what part of the website experience they wanted dealers to personalize, the top items were vehicles of interest, vehicle features and vehicles within my budget.While 65% of consumers want websites to personalize vehicles of interest, only 47% of dealer websites proactively recommend vehicles of interest based on the customer’s browsing behavior. Fifty-eight percent of consumers want vehicle recommendations based on specific features of interest, but in the study sample of websites, not a single dealer website recommended vehicles based on features of interest. “Considering its high importance, recommending vehicles with relevant features is one of the single greatest opportunities for dealer websites to increase conversion rates and better meet the expectations of online shoppers,” said Van Sach. Additionally, 52% of consumers expect a dealer’s website to help them find affordable vehicles and 62% said that finding a vehicle with a specific monthly payment was as important, or even more important than finding a vehicle within a specific price range. However, only 9% of dealer websites allow customers to search by payment range and 11% of websites incorporated the customer’s credit score into the payment estimate. “If websites aren’t dramatically improved to elevate the shopping experience and make personalized recommendations based on browsing behavior, dealers risk alienating potential buyers before they ever visit a showroom,” said Van Sach. “It’s up to dealers to challenge their vendors to demonstrate how their websites react to browsing behavior and deliver relevant vehicles with the right mix of features within a customer’s budget.” Affinitiv’s Predictive Personalization study surveyed 1,000 auto consumers and analyzed a sample of 100 dealership websites to better understand the level of personalization that dealers are offering. For more information about Affinitiv, visit www.affinitiv.com or call 847-955-9740. About Affinitiv Affinitiv is a leading marketing technology company serving automotive manufacturers (OEMs), dealership groups, and individual dealerships. Through a technology-driven and consultative approach, Affinitiv enables dealerships to produce, manage, measure and optimize omni-channel communications to drive brand loyalty and increase revenue. Affinitiv’s marketing automation and technology platform is designed to provide a 360° view of customer, vehicle, dealership and marketing campaign effectiveness all in one place. Affinitiv’s digital and analytics capabilities support a consistent customer experience through the entire ownership lifecycle. Affinitiv was formed in 2016 and is headquartered in Chicago, IL.See More

Latest Activity at the ADM Professional Community

Jon Hedges posted a blog post

Jon Hedges posted a blog post

The Best eCommerce Platform for Auto Parts

If you're in fixed ops for an automotive dealership you may be selling auto parts online or you may be considering it, so we put together a comprehensive list of nearly three dozen auto parts eCommerce website builders.Obviously, vehicle fitment is a major consideration when selling auto parts online and any website platform or website builder needs to be able to work with fitment.Auto Parts eCommerce Platform OptionsSome automotive eCommerce website builders have proprietary platforms, like PartSites or RevolutionParts, for example. Some use open source platforms to build sites, such as Magento or WordPress. We explain the differences in open source vs. proprietary platforms or software as a service (Saas) web platforms to sell parts.Open source platforms can be marketed as "free," but that's not really the case as any new eCommerce website needs development work by an auto parts eCommerce website builder. Some open source websites can cost tens of thousands of dollars when fully built out.Our list of website builders includes companies that work with WordPress (and WooCommerce, the WordPress shopping cart plugin), Shopify, Drupal, BigCommerce, Volusion, Joomla, Magento, and ASPDotNetStoreFront. It also covers platforms marketed as SaaS, like Miva or Net Driven.Best eCommerce Platforms for Auto Parts and The Importance of FitmentWhen considering platforms and website builders, fitment data can come from multiple sources.For OEM parts, website builders tend to specialize in specific brands. For example, RevolutionParts markets their services for websites selling parts for GM, Ford, Honda and other brands.For websites selling aftermarket products, fitment data can come from many different sources including DCi, the SEMA Data Coop or Paramount Data Management. These sources usually depend on ACES data for fitment.ACES is a data standard unique to the automotive aftermarket that covers the obvious year/make/model but also things like transmission type, pickup bed length, drivetrain including FWD, RWD or 4WD, and so on.Selecting an Automotive eCommerce Platform for Your DealershipWhen considering a website builder or platform, first start with your product line. Will you only sell OEM parts, or are you interested in also selling aftermarket brand parts?Talk to website builders and find out how they host websites and how they handle credit card processing. Do they charge more for custom development or do they offer a "cookie cutter" website for their clients?And dig into the product data including fitment as well as product descriptions, photos/images, responsive design, and other elements that play a role in converting browsers to shoppers.It's important to know how products will be selected and added or dropped from the website. For example, if you're selling OEM parts, maybe you just want every SKU for a brand. Or perhaps you don't want to get involved with complex shipping issues and want to exclude SKUs that require truck freight.Or perhaps you want to sell OEM parts along with some aftermarket parts. If so, how can you select products and add them to your website?Also find out how a developer's website shopping cart would help identify and prevent fraud.Our List is Evolving, Help Us Keep It CurrentCheck back often if you're looking for an auto parts eCommerce website builder. We've tried to build a neutral list and we're continually adding developers to the list or updating details.Also if you look through our list and find an error please let us know! We want to maintain an accurate list.Read through our comprehensive list of automotive website builders here.See More

Bill Wittenmyer posted a blog post

Bill Wittenmyer posted a blog post

3 Strategies to Cultivate Enthusiastic and Loyal Fans

It costs most dealers about five times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain those they already have. Yet, increasing customer retention by as little as five percent can increase profits by up to 95 percent, according to the research group Bain & Company. That’s because loyal customers and enthusiastic fans will keep coming back - and they’ll refer friends and family to your dealership. Loyal customers also tend to prioritize great customer service over price and scoring the best deal. Bottom line? It pays to put time and resources into nurturing your existing customer relationships.  Begin cultivating loyal customers immediately with these three retention strategies. Build loyalty in the service lane. Customers are wary of being sold unnecessary services. A multi-point inspection tool with photo and video capabilities allows service advisors to show customers what needs to be done, instead of just telling them. This goes a long way to build trust and loyalty. Prioritizing customer convenience by implementing helpful technology also improves customer satisfaction. The J.D. Power 2019 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study found that satisfaction is 75 points higher (on a 1,000-point scale) among customers who have an all-digital experience where they can schedule service online, communicate via text message and view service recommendations on a tablet. Some of the best results happen when service advisors change their communication strategy to emphasize the safety aspects of necessary services. When customers learn that a faulty spark plug or alternator could leave them stranded on the side of the road, they will be more likely to approve the service. They’ll also feel gratitude towards your service department for recognizing and fixing the problem. Capitalize on your BDC. The human connection goes a long way to create loyal buyers. Customers will reward companies that take the time to build genuine, personal relationships. Give your sales associates and service advisors that time by delegating everyday tasks to your BDC. Don’t have the resources to handle these tasks? You might look at outsourcing the work, or a portion of it, to a trusted virtual BDC. Your BDC should handle the majority of inbound and outbound phone calls, especially in the service department. When inbound service calls are handled properly by your BDC, up to 72 percent convert to an appointment. Your BDC should also help with personalized, targeted marketing campaigns that build loyalty. Use your CRM to schedule event-based marketing triggers that re-engage customers at the perfect time in the buying cycle. For example, create a special offer for service customers you haven’t seen in six months. Then, have your BDC follow up with phone calls. Well-targeted cross-channel campaigns build momentum and loyalty because you’re offering a relevant message that meets your customers’ unique needs. Practice Strategic Data Mining Data mining can help you build loyalty at both the sales desk and in the service drive. It’s also a great way to source well-maintained vehicles for your pre-owned inventory without paying auction and delivery fees. The best way to execute this strategy is to have a dedicated data mining expert or team. These individuals keep an eye on service appointments for customers in an equity position with vehicles that are in-demand in your market. Eligible customers receive a written trade-in offer and suggestions for a new vehicle with confirmed incentives, interest rates, and lease options, if applicable. Keep in mind that few customers will accept a deal on the spot, so have a process in place for BDC follow up. Customers who accept a deal will get a fair price for their trade-in vehicle, plus a new vehicle with the most modern safety and technology features, all fully protected by a manufacturer’s warranty. This way, you meet vehicle needs your customers may not even know they have, which helps to engender loyalty and increase the likelihood they will return to your dealership for future service.  Plus, now you have well-maintained vehicles to stock your pre-owned lot. It’s a win-win. Good selling!   See More

Scot Eisenfelder posted a blog post

Scot Eisenfelder posted a blog post

Auto Dealerships’ Online Shopping Experience Fail to Meet Customer Expectations, Affinitiv Study Finds

Predictive personalization key to matching precedent set by non-auto retailersChicago, IL—November 11, 2019— The online shopping experience offered by the majority of dealerships fails to meet customer expectations, according to a new Affinitiv survey of 1,000 automotive consumers. While 76% of recent car buyers said it was important for the dealer website to be personalized, only 26% of respondents agreed that dealers provide a highly personalized experience on their website. The data is highlighted in the Affinitiv whitepaper Predictive Personalization: The Evolution of the Customer Experience.“The website is often the first point of contact with a dealership, but most dealer websites were built using unsophisticated technologies that reflect an antiquated notion of how consumers buy cars,” said Doug Van Sach, Affinitiv’s Vice President, Strategy & Analytics. “To meet customer expectations, auto retailers must evolve their shopping experience to match the precedent set by retailers in other industries.”Predictive personalization is the key to making this happen, according to the survey. Every day, consumers interact with non-auto retailers who provide a highly personalized online shopping experience. Amazon, Nordstrom and Apple are role models that consumers expect dealers to follow.Affinitiv’s survey found that the online shopping experience offered by dealers falls short in three key areas. When customers were asked what part of the website experience they wanted dealers to personalize, the top items were vehicles of interest, vehicle features and vehicles within my budget.While 65% of consumers want websites to personalize vehicles of interest, only 47% of dealer websites proactively recommend vehicles of interest based on the customer’s browsing behavior. Fifty-eight percent of consumers want vehicle recommendations based on specific features of interest, but in the study sample of websites, not a single dealer website recommended vehicles based on features of interest. “Considering its high importance, recommending vehicles with relevant features is one of the single greatest opportunities for dealer websites to increase conversion rates and better meet the expectations of online shoppers,” said Van Sach. Additionally, 52% of consumers expect a dealer’s website to help them find affordable vehicles and 62% said that finding a vehicle with a specific monthly payment was as important, or even more important than finding a vehicle within a specific price range. However, only 9% of dealer websites allow customers to search by payment range and 11% of websites incorporated the customer’s credit score into the payment estimate. “If websites aren’t dramatically improved to elevate the shopping experience and make personalized recommendations based on browsing behavior, dealers risk alienating potential buyers before they ever visit a showroom,” said Van Sach. “It’s up to dealers to challenge their vendors to demonstrate how their websites react to browsing behavior and deliver relevant vehicles with the right mix of features within a customer’s budget.” Affinitiv’s Predictive Personalization study surveyed 1,000 auto consumers and analyzed a sample of 100 dealership websites to better understand the level of personalization that dealers are offering. For more information about Affinitiv, visit www.affinitiv.com or call 847-955-9740. About Affinitiv Affinitiv is a leading marketing technology company serving automotive manufacturers (OEMs), dealership groups, and individual dealerships. Through a technology-driven and consultative approach, Affinitiv enables dealerships to produce, manage, measure and optimize omni-channel communications to drive brand loyalty and increase revenue. Affinitiv’s marketing automation and technology platform is designed to provide a 360° view of customer, vehicle, dealership and marketing campaign effectiveness all in one place. Affinitiv’s digital and analytics capabilities support a consistent customer experience through the entire ownership lifecycle. Affinitiv was formed in 2016 and is headquartered in Chicago, IL.See More

Mike Esposito posted a blog post

Mike Esposito posted a blog post

Auto/Mate Wins “Best Places to Work” Award for 10th Straight Year

Albany, N.Y. – November 11, 2019– Auto/Mate Dealership Systems has been recognized as one of the 48 Best Places to Work in New York State’s Capital region by the Albany Business Review. Auto/Mate is one of 12 companies honored in the “large companies” category with more than 150 employees. This  marks the 10th straight year that Auto/Mate has won the award. "The first few years we won this award we ranked in the small-business category, but as our company has grown we have kept the focus on employee satisfaction," said Mike Esposito, president and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems. "If you have happy employees you have happy customers, so it’s no coincidence that our customer retention rate is 99%.” The Albany Business Review honors just 48 companies every year with the “Best Places to Work” distinction. The business journal partners with Quantum Workplace, a Nebraska based research firm, to conduct anonymous employee engagement surveys.  “A great company culture doesn't happen by accident; we focus a lot of our resources into creating an environment where people want to come to work every day,” said David Druzynski, Auto/Mate’s chief people officer. "The effort is worthwhile as we continue to attract highly-qualified job candidates and our employee turnover rate is very low." Auto/Mate provides world-class software and support to auto dealerships nationwide. Employees receive many perks including an onsite gym, tuition reimbursement, casual dress environment, wellness program, employee discount programs and paid time off for volunteering. Additionally, Auto/Mate frequently hosts events designed for fun, including Hawaiian Day, happy hours, Bagel Thursdays and visits from cupcake and ice cream trucks. A celebratory luncheon will honor the "Best Places to Work" award winners in December. For information on career opportunities, contact Auto/Mate at (877) 340-2677 or visit http://www.automate.com/careers About Auto/Mate Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system software to retail automotive dealerships, typically saving dealers thousands of dollars per month from their current provider. AMPS® is a user-friendly, feature-rich DMS in use by more than 1,500 auto dealers nationwide. Auto/Mate has received multiple consecutive DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards. Auto/Mate’s employees have more than 1,500 years of combined experience working in franchised auto dealerships, the foundation of its By Car People, For Car People™ slogan. Auto/Mate is committed to winning its customers’ business each and every month with no long-term contracts and free software upgrades.See More

Courtney Evans posted a blog post

Courtney Evans posted a blog post

5 Essential ORP Communications

Your dealership has probably been using an owner retention program (ORPs) for years, but when was the last time you evaluated the effectiveness of each communication?One thing is certain. Sending out the same communications with the same messages via the same channels, again and again, isn’t a winning strategy. The goal of an ORP is to increase customer loyalty and improve marketing ROI. To accomplish this goal, you may have to modernize your ORP touchpoints to reach and engage more customers. Start with the five most essential ORP communications. New Car Thank You, Sales to Service HandoffThis communication is the first one that your customers receive after purchasing a vehicle. This should be an elevated piece that hits the customer when they are most excited about their new purchase. The primary goal is to set the tone for your relationship going forward. Everyone loves driving their new car, and sending a message that warrants the amount of time and money they spent on their vehicle is a great way to keep customers’ excitement levels high. This communication also presents an opportunity to sell accessories. Many dealers send either an email or a letter. Some do both. Using only one channel for this communication limits your reach to just a small percentage of your new customers. How can you establish a relationship if the customer never hears from you again? A direct mail piece is a good strategy here since the customer just purchased a vehicle, so they might think the letter is something important related to that purchase. Better yet, use social media to reach that customer with the same message. The more channels you use to send this message, the greater your reach and the more relationships you will build. Declined ServiceMultiple channels may be required to ensure that the customer sees and hears this message. A highly effective strategy is to have a Service BDC conduct outbound declined service call campaigns. These will be most effective if scheduled shortly after the customer receives an email and/or sees the reminder in their Facebook or Instagram feed. The most important strategy with this communication is to make the message relevant and personalized. Let’s say your customer declined a wheel alignment and tire rotation. When your customer clicks on the email or social media link, they should be taken to a specific landing page that plays a video on the importance of doing a wheel alignment and rotation. Interim or Education Pieces, NewsletterMany dealers believe that if a communication isn’t designed to immediately generate a repair order (RO), then it’s a waste of money. Nothing could be further from the truth. Remember the goal of marketing is to build customer loyalty and retention, which increases long-term revenue. Not every campaign needs to have immediate ROI. The purpose of these communications is NOT to sell, but to inform, educate and entertain. One dealership I know of invites their customers to bring gifts to the showroom every holiday season. The customers place the gifts in a new vehicle. When the vehicle is full of gifts, the dealer drives it to the nearest children’s hospital and distributes the gifts. Stories like these generate a lot of goodwill and help to cement your dealership brand in your customers’ minds. A quarterly newsletter is a great way to share educational information about your customers’ specific models, such as how to use the infotainment center, how to operate the sunroof or how to check tire pressure. You can also invite them to upcoming events and share the latest news about the manufacturer or your dealership. Inactive/Reactivation/Lost CustomersHow do you reach customers who haven’t been into your dealership in the last 18 months? Generic marketing messages and offers won’t cut it. If they haven’t worked in 18 months, what makes you think they’ll work now? The key to re-activating lost customers is personalization. First, get to know these customers by analyzing your customer data. Then, create campaigns designed to drive action. Many dealers make the mistake of creating campaigns targeted towards the vehicle, and not towards the vehicle owner. The more data you have on a customer, the more likely you can find the reason why they defected in the first place. Was it a bad experience? Did they move? Did their warranty expire? Purchasing third-party data about these customers can give you insights into how to win them back. Did a customer just have a new baby? Buy a new house? Recently married? Life-changing events are powerful indicators that a customer may be in the market for a new vehicle soon, if they aren’t already. Focus messaging on your customers’ needs, not on the vehicle needs. Service Thank YouAgain, many dealers might believe this communication isn’t important since it doesn’t generate ROI. That’s short-term thinking. The primary goal of this thank you message is to solicit feedback from customers. The Customer Service Index (CSI) score is essential to track what went well and what didn’t go well with your service experience. The most valuable information is collected within a week of your customers’ visit, when the experience is still fresh in their mind. During this short window customers want to share feedback whether their experience was good or bad. Of course, feedback is only useful if you actually use it to improve your service processes. Before sending out these communications, make sure that the purpose of each communication is clearly defined. To drive customer action, keep your messaging clear, complete and concise. Most of all, make sure each communication is relevant for every customer. Follow these steps to improve both your customer retention metrics and ORP ROI.See More
 
 
 

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