The winner for Best Team in a Supporting Role is...the AutoRaptor Support Team!
We hear it every day from our customers: AutoRaptor's customer service and support are second to none. Whether it's on the phone, online, or for our lucky local dealers right there in the dealership, we make sure we keep our customers happy. Have a question about how a new feature works in AutoRaptor? Need us to walk through the application for a new sales person? Or just want to chat about how excited you are that it's finally spring training season (we're Red Sox fans, folks!)? Get in touch with our Support team anytime, and we'll make sure to give you all the help you need.
Congratulations on your Oscar win, Support Team! Thanks for always being there to make our customers happy! Now hurry up and get off the stage before the Jaws music starts.
Every up sheet should have a source. This tells you how the lead originated, is helpful for reports, and
provides background information on your customer.
E-leads will come in with their source named, which is great because then you know this customer is an
internet shopper, and you hopefully have an email address to keep in touch with him/her. But, manually
created up sheets need to be assigned a source. Was this a walk-in, referral, friend, previous customer,
or did the customer come to you through an advertisement?
Having the source in all of your up sheets gives accurate reporting statistics that managers can use to
see where money on advertising in best spent, but can also be helpful to a salesperson. Knowing where
your most fruitful leads are coming from tells you where to use more energy when trying to close a sale.
Having the source in there is another way to filter your customers, too.
Using sources properly starts with the account administrator taking time to make sure the dealership’s
AutoRaptor account has the sources that it needs and can use in the future. This step is critical early on
to ensuring that sources get used properly. For example, just entering the source “referral” may not tell
you much. Maybe you want a category called “referral” broken down into sources specifying from whom the referral
came – customer, employee, family, friend, etc. Each dealership is different and can choose their sources based on their needs.
Do you have the sources you need in your AutoRaptor account? Are your salespeople assigning sources to all leads?
New rules for used-car window stickers require them to state if there is a factory warranty remaining on the vehicle. This is helpful information for buyers.
BUT, if there is no warranty remaining, then used car dealers write "as-is" on the sticker. As Consumer Reports notes, an "as-is" statement may not be the proper way to say this. One example sticker said after as-is, "The dealer won't pay for any repairs. The dealer is not responsible for any repairs, regardless of what anybody tells you."
Since there are fraud laws in all 50 states, it is just not true that the dealer is not responsible for any repairs. It seems to me that they should find a better way to say it. Maybe just "no current warranty." There should also be regulations that dealers cannot add language to the sticker - it either states the warranty time or that there is no warranty. Otherwise, buyers are stuck with conflicting information.
What do you think about the new laws? Helpful or in need of some changes?
Especially in a down economy, many people do not have the good credit required to get a car loan. Clint Williams gives five tips for those needing auto loans. The first couple highlight the importance of doing research on loans prior to visiting a dealership. Mr. Williams also recommends going with a shorter loan period as that means paying less in the long run.
The problem, of course, is that those with poor credit often cannot afford the higher payment each month that comes with a shorter loan period. Auto Credit Express points out that many can use their income tax refund as the down payment they otherwise may not be able to put aside, which helps their credibility.
Tax season can be a good time to buy a car, but considering Mr. Williams' advice is probably a good idea, too.
We are planning to head to NADA soon, so an article titled NADA Convention & Expo to Feature Used-Car Side of Business, Too in Auto Remarketing caught our attention.
Most of our business is with used car dealers, and we hope to see some of you at the NADA Convention. The fact that NADA is gearing sessions toward used car sales backs up our recent post about the need for independent dealers to find ways to compete with franchises that are putting more energy into their used car departments.
Of course, we wish all car dealers success, and our business is here to help dealerships of all types sell more. But, for the independent and BHPH dealers out there maybe a little extra advice can't hurt. Take note of Brent Carmichael's 5 Biggest Mistakes in BHPH. They are lack of:
Make sure your business is doing all it can to compete in the current economy and be successful!
AutoRaptor CRM updated how users work with contacts not too long ago. Any new up sheet or additional contact added to an up sheet begins with typing in just the name and a phone number or email address. Then, AutoRaptor searches for matches before you enter more information, so you do not create duplicate contacts.
This makes it quicker and easier to add contacts and up sheets, which saves you and the customer time. But, you do need to go back and complete as much information as you can about a contact. All phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses you have should be entered. Remember, a CRM is more valuable with more information.
Additionally, AutoRaptor made it easier to access important dates and other notes about the customer with the contact information. Important dates is used to add a customer’s birthday, anniversary, or other special date, and then AutoRaptor reminds you a couple days before the event so you can wish your customer well. This is such an important feature, because it lets you add a personal touch to correspondence with your customer and keeps you in their thoughts when they are ready to buy a vehicle again.
Contacts also include a notes section, which can be used to remind yourself what you know about this customer and what you’ve talked about with him or her. You might put here, “Joe has two teenage daughters and likes to go fishing.”
Are you personalizing your customer relationships? If not, start to by using these important features in the contact section of our CRM.
With the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in place car dealerships are among the businesses that will be more closely scrutinized. Customer complaints can result in a review by the CFPB, which could result in hefty fines.
Ken Shilson of NABD has made some recommendations to BHPH dealers including to make sure they are complying with all of the regulations, not putting out any false advertising, and establishing consumer complaint procedures in writing. This advice is helpful for all dealers.
Mr. Shilson also recommends following up with customers to proactively see if they are happy or have any complaints. Then, deal with any complaints seriously. At AutoRaptor CRM, we always recommend following up with customers who have purchased from you, and our CRM can help you do that.
With good management oversight, a CRM can help your dealership stay on top of customer issues and complaints before they spiral out of control, leading to investigations and fines.
Long known as mainly an industry for men, women are making more and more advances in the auto industry. Auto Dealer Monthly just announced their 2012 Sales Professional of the Year, and it was awarded to Tiffany Kruzer of Ganley Honda in North Olmsted, Ohio. She was one of only two female Sales Professionals of the Month in 2012 in Auto Dealer Monthly.
In addition, the Urban Wheels awards', "the official multicultural event of the North American International Auto Show," honorees this year were all women, recognized for their innovation and leadership in the auto industry.
Women still only make up about 21% of motor vehicle manufacturing workers with about 58% of them in office or clerical positions, while, as of 2010, only 13% of salespeople at dealerships were female, and less than 3% of dealership owners were women. There have been surveys done that show women are often the ones making auto buying decisions for U.S. families. Maybe they would like to see more female faces at dealerships.
Tiffany Kruzer, the Sales Professional of the Year, says her goal is to own a dealership someday. We wish her luck in that goal!