The Three-Part Growth Equation to Their Success 

This article was originally published in Dealer Service Magazine

In November 2017, New Smyrna CJD moved into a brand new facility in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Built with the service customer experience in mind, the design is in stark contrast to the store’s old facility — and most other dealerships — which were built to optimize sales.

Before the move, General Manager Jack Holcomb identified service as one of the areas with the most potential for revenue growth. “My goal moving into this store was to double my service revenue,” he said. Read More

Did you know credit scores can range as much as 100+ points between bureaus? The average range across all three bureaus is 30-40 points. Even a 10-point range can mean the difference between a Tier 1 and Tier 2 credit score which affects consumers’ interest rates.

Our valued partner 700Credit hosted a webinar exclusively for ELEAD1ONE clients, “The Benefits of Multi-Bureau Pulls: Fund the Best Deal for your Customers” to share how dealers who pull more than one credit score are gaining higher closing ratios and gross profits than dealers who pull only one.  Read More

We’re thrilled to share a recent AutoSuccess feature of one of our successful clients – Alfa Romeo Fiat of Fort Worth!

When the owners of Alfa Romeo Fiat Fort Worth in Texas purchased the franchise in July 2017, just 12 vehicles were sold in the month prior to the close. That’s new and used sales, combined. 

“Before we bought the dealership, we examined its overall business operations and sales processes through the customer’s eyes. In one instance, I stood out on the lot for an hour pretending to be a customer. Not one person came out to greet me,” said Chris Hamud, the store’s current partner and co-owner. “In almost every area of the mystery shopping process, one thing was evident — the staff really didn’t seem to care. So once we acquired the store, one of the first things we did was to re-staff, eliminating all but two team members.”

In the first month under new ownership, Alfa Romeo Fiat Fort Worth sold 110 vehicles and ranked No. 1 in Fiat sales in the nation, a title the dealership has held ever since. One year later, the store averages between 270 and 280 car sales per month — a whopping year-over-year sales increase of more than 2,000 percent.

Turning Things Around
After more than two decades of working in the car business, Hamud teamed up with his three brothers and his best friend to form Fort Worth Brothers LLC. It was their dream to buy a dealership, and when they found Alfa Romeo Fiat Fort Worth, they knew it was a diamond in the rough. Read More

Every year dealers, industry experts and automotive professionals attend NADA to catch a preview of the hottest new product offerings, learn new business processes and keep up with the latest in industry trends. NADA 2018 was an incredible experience for ELEAD1ONE and we would like to thank our existing and new clients, as well as industry friends who visited our booth and helped us achieve record-breaking success.

If you couldn’t make it to the show, it’s not too late to join the conversation. We’ve gathered some of the most important highlights, technology updates and processes improvements from NADA to help you gain business advantage in 2018.

Customer Experience Takes Center Stage

With more and more of today’s consumers demanding an easy, Amazon-level shopping and customer service retail experience, it’s little wonder that Customer Experience was the hottest topic of NADA 2018. The most successful dealers are examining every aspect of the Customer Experience, from the first website visit all the way to the way they are servicing vehicles. So how do you truly put customers first?

Establish a comfortable, open and inviting culture that helps you to stand out from the competition. The key to an authentic, genuine experience lies within your staff and environment. Industry experts shared tips on how to build a culture that values customer experience.

High-pressure selling is out, and consultative selling is in. Most car buyers conduct substantial research before visiting a dealership, so it’s critical that your staff has the right information at their fingertips to answer customer questions quickly as a knowledgeable, trusted advisor. Your customers want options, not obligations. Instead of pushing a specific vehicle or service repair, present several options and let your customers choose.

We all know technology can never replace the human element of the business. The takeaway here is that to provide the genuine, authentic customer experiences your customers expect. You must choose technology partners who understand and value every aspect of experience – for your interactions with customers throughout their journey with your business.

Digital Retailing Spotlight

Digital Retailing was all the buzz at NADA 2018, which speaks to the larger trend of meeting today’s automotive shoppers on their terms – providing technology that provides them the convenience to shop when, where and how they want. While some dealers are reluctant to embrace digital retailing for fear of losing control of the sales process, it’s here – ready or not. And, we don’t see that happening. Most customers still want to visit the dealership for test drives and to sign paperwork. It comes down to time, value and convenience. Many manufacturers, large auto groups and third parties have introduced a variety of digital solutions for online car buying. So, what should you look for in a digital retailing solution?

Avoid solutions designed to cut your dealership out of the process by allowing customers to build their own deals on a third-party website. Without your inventory, these solutions can hardly offer consumers a seamless sales process. They are essentially selling you deals as leads.

As a dealer, consider giving your customers the best of both worlds. A hybrid, or integrated, approach that gives customers the technology to complete some or all of the car-buying process on your Website. Most important, look for a solution that allows customers to seamlessly pick up where they left off inside the dealership Look for solutions that help consumers overcome obstacles such as trade-in valuations, credit and financing.

The good news is, solutions are available that keep your dealership central to the car-buying process. It doesn’t have to be complicated; just think of digital retailing as another way to engage Website visitors, enhance your customers’ shopping experience and gain a competitive edge.

Innovations in Service Bring Increased Efficiency and Build Lasting Relationships

With only 10 percent of U.S. dealerships utilizing a service software solution, today’s dealers are still unsure how technology will pay off in the long-term. Dealers are hesitant to change because they are still making money. But there is one fundamental truth to encouraging big gains in market share and profits: staying the same equates to falling backward. Doing things the same old way will result in a decrease in future business. Why? Customers choose the best experience, and dealers must provide an excellent service customer experience to keep customers coming back — or its competitors will. The goal for the industry’s most profitable service departments? To streamline the communication between service advisors, service technicians, the parts desk, and most of all – with customers.

Forward-thinking service departments such as Scott Clark Toyota in North Carolina are improving customer experience, increasing efficiency, and streamlining communication with ELEAD1ONE’s Service CRM, Service1One. By adding fixed ops accountability and retention programs, the results are increased profits and higher customer satisfaction scores.

Given the rapid evolution of the service customer’s needs and desires, it’s critical to find a partner with an eye on the future and consider future integration needs. Video and texting capabilities will be the baseline for comparison between solutions in the Fixed Operations space. And, today’s innovators in the service space have incorporated tools to help Service Managers make more informed decisions on pricing to achieve their profit goals.

NADA 2018 was truly a show for the books in terms of gaining all the latest training on refining processes and for technology advancements. The ELEAD1ONE team was proud to be the most-awarded automotive CRM bringing home 10 awards. Customer experience drives everything we do at ELEAD1ONE, so we are immensely honored that our clients take time out of their busy schedules to recommend our company.

As always, we are grateful for the wonderful opportunity to connect with our customers, industry partners and friends. Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe for the latest in helpful tips, tricks and tech updates as we continue to reimagine Genuine Customer Experience with you in 2018.

With competition at an all-time high and sales margins shrinking more and more each month, no dealership can afford to ignore inbound call handling. In this eye-opening one-hour webinar recording, Bill Wittenmyer of ELEAD1ONE shares strategies, tips and tricks to improve inbound call handling performance and convert more valuable phone leads into appointments.

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Fixed Operations at DigitalDealer22

Profit-generating strategies for fixed operations has been a hot topic for auto dealers this year. As dealers from the across the United States poured into Tampa for Digital Dealer 22 – the premier automotive retail industry event of the Spring – ELEAD1ONE’s all-in-one core platform GRAVITY and the company’s award-winning service drive technology, Service1One, topped the list of dealership software to watch.  If you weren’t able to join us, here are three things you won’t want to miss:

1. Turn Your Service Drive Into a Profit-Generating Machine

Profit-generating Service Drive Technology

The ever-energetic Bill Wittenmyer provided solid, actionable approaches to help dealers take their service customer experience from average to AWESOME with video and mobile technology.  The highly sought after automotive retail expert and partner at ELEAD1ONE helped kick off day one of the three-day event with valuable insights on leveraging technology to streamline the experience in service and grow customer retention.  Attendees received valuable advice on:

  • How to identify and fix problems in service and parts operations
  • How to create the most efficient, streamlined service experience
  • How to develop effective marketing processes and build lasting customer relationships

Click here to download Bill Wittenmyer’s full presentation.

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