Written by Noel Graham, Internet Sales Director at North Hollywood Toyota.
Life is tough enough these days. The world we live in is faster and more demanding than ever. Customers can shop twenty dealers at a time with just a few clicks of the mouse. They can get my competitor’s price quote email on their Blackberry devices while they’re on my lot looking at my car. They can log into Yelp.com and see what every Assassin in the world has to say about my store (whether it’s true or not). And when things are not going their way by even the slightest degree, they can “check in” to my dealership on FourSquare.com and Tweet to the World Wide Web that Finance is taking too long!
Our customers have higher demands than ever. They want detailed, accurate information delivered instantly and flawlessly. There are now so many dealers in the Internet game that customers are no longer seeking stores to work with; they are looking for stores to eliminate! And believe me, it doesn’t take much to be crossed off their list. Didn’t respond fast enough? Forgot to mention the rebate? Made an error on the price? Didn’t answer professionally? Etc., etc.
So what’s an Internet Director to do? Personally, I recommend you quit. Life’s too short. Go sell smoothies on the beach or something more relaxing. Otherwise, adopt good tactics, training, and technology. This is just a spin on “good people and processes” really. If your approach to customers and the mechanics of business is good, and if you train your people and make them good as well, then all you need is a little bit of good technology to help with the rest.
We have used ResponseLogix for years to help us keep up. I know that our customers will get a fast response that is valid, error-free, professional, and informative. It takes a lot of stress out of the game and frees my people up to make more calls and send more follow-up emails. ResponseLogix has been a good partner to us and tends to look at things from a dealer’s perspective. This is rare for any vendor. They continue to innovate the product based on dealer feedback rather than guesswork. They help me measure my team’s performance and response time and saves me a lot of work, while allowing me to keep my finger on the pulse. While overall sales for dealers in general have dropped significantly over the past few years, our Internet numbers have remained fairly strong and consistent. I attribute much of this to the way we do business and to the advantage that ResponseLogix gives us.
North Hollywood Toyota has been a ResponseLogix dealership since 2008. Follow North Hollywood Toyota on Twitter @NoHoToyota
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