I want to start reevaluating our Internet processes in two different arenas…
Internal – what we do with the lead once it is generated
External – how efficiently we generate leads
On a fairly basic level, I want to measure the 3 things in each area that have the highest impact for our dealership group.
What do you believe those focuses should be?
Thanks for the question, Brad. Different positions at dealerships should be focusing on the improvement of different Internet processes. The way I read your question:
Internal = Lead management
External = Website presence
So here are my suggestions on elements you should be holding people to task on…
1) Timing – the first thing a dealership needs to strive for is insanely quick response times. An hour is acceptable. 15 minutes is better.
Filter this information down to each individual ISM/BDC agent.
2) Quality of content – one cannot overlook the importance of sending out the right emails with the right content (which includes multiple pricing options and alternative vehicles). At DealerKnows, we use our technology and service known as TaskTeacher as a gauge for this metric, but it needs to be reinforced from the top down.
3) Ongoing follow-up – when lead handlers double as salespeople, we see that they simply don’t have the time (nor dedication) to keep picking up the phone and trying to connect with each prospect. They give up easy. We can use TaskTeacher to help monitor this as well, but all lead handlers should be urged to make 4-7 call attempts over the course of the first 7 days of a lead’s arrival – or at least until the prospect is reached.
1) Inventory merchandising – If you want to make a significant impact to, not just your leads, but your showroom traffic through an actual increase on walk-ins, then your merchandising has to be held at a premium. 40+ photos of all used cars, 15+ pics of all new vehicles, incorporate in pictures of the dealership, showroom, the lot, the BDC/team, and dealer-branded watermarks/overlays. And include video, with well fleshed-out SERPs and VDPs.
2) Inventory pricing – all of the data shows that consumers generally end up at a similar price as to what Internet departments are sending out anyway. I know that “ePrice” call-to-actions do well, but we don’t feel that is enough. We strongly advise placing discounted “Internet” pricing on your website’s SERPs and VDPs. This monumental shift does indeed win you customers that never choose to contact you in advance. And it, once again, needs to be a top-down supported initiative, as it changes many elements of your team’s showroom process.
3) Conversion tools – your website is your most important advertising as it houses your inventory. To get the most from your sites, they need to be converting as well as possible. Tools to generate more leads from your website’s unique visitors allow you to eventually cease many 3rd party leads. From 30-second credit approval apps to trade evaluators. From online service scheduling tools to CarStory market reports, there are many different tools that consumers see value in that should reside on your sites. They all help you take consumers farther down the sale funnel.
If you had an Internet Process MISSION for your stores, on a basic level, as you asked, these 6 elements would be my focus. We, at DealerKnows, can help you evaluate many of these elements. Don’t hesitate to call.
That’s my $.10.