Acton Toyota of Littleton Saves 3 to 4 Deals a Day with New Call Monitoring System

Acton Toyota of Littleton Saves 3 to 4 Deals a Day with New Call Monitoring System

The phone can be a problematic blind spot in the dealership where customers and profits are lost in every department, every hour of every business day. Dealers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on advertising to get their phones to ring, yet many fail to invest in a process to effectively monitor the way their advertising leads are handled once a call comes into the dealership.

Too often, representatives who answer the phone, regardless of department, mishandle customers and not only lose deals for today, but potentially lose customers for life. Subsequently, the phone system can be one of the biggest profit leaks a dealership consistently faces.

Recognizing this systemic problem, many dealers try to have their management team listen to all recorded inbound calls, but the effort proves to be mathematically impossible. With hundreds of calls coming in over a busy weekend by the time an opportunity opens during the week to catch up on reviewing calls it’s too late to save deals or repair CSI concerns. Sporadic spot checks also prove to be ineffective because it means that for the few calls that are actually reviewed and responded to in a timely manner, the majority of calls go unchecked.

Acton Toyota of Littleton, located just outside the Boston metro market, has long subscribed to a monitoring service that recorded all their calls, but it left the dealership facing the same ongoing issue: high call volume with little time and manpower to review calls. Recognizing the phone was an area in need of more attention, Acton Toyota implemented a new call monitoring system that now monitors every incoming call with live call center operators who score each call and notify Acton Toyota’s management team with text alerts to their smart phones whenever a call is mishandled.

“This new system has been eye-opening and extremely enlightening for our managers,” said Mike Hills, General Manager of the Acton Toyota store. “It was amazing to see how poorly calls were being handled. We just didn‘t realize how big a problem we had, but now we receive real-time alerts that allow our managers to immediately address problematic calls and help coach the sales team on the spot.”

“There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t save 3 or 4 deals with an immediate callback to the customer from the manager,” said Glenn Hoffman, Assistant General Manager.

The real-time text alerts quickly highlighted some of the biggest trouble spots for the Acton Toyota store, as with so many dealers: sales calls were not reaching a sales rep in a timely manner resulting in hang-ups, calls were incorrectly routed after-hours, calls were being sent to voicemail of which many elected to leave no message, connected calls were being ‘off-lined’ for a call back, and a low percentage of sales calls were resulting in appointments. Now managers are able to readily step-in, follow up on any misdirected or lost calls and address issues with the sales rep right away. Acton Toyota’s managers are proactive in coaching a sales rep when the lost opportunity is timely and relevant and then they quickly follow up with the customer and set the appointment.

Daily, weekly and monthly reports further provide valuable information like the individual closing rates for sales reps which has helped to improve the overall performance and accountability of the sales team.

“This gives us a huge competitive advantage. Being able to immediately coach our sales reps on how to better handle a sales lead has improved sales. Our reps have added 2 to 3 additional sales deals per month, each! Two to 3 additional sales per month multiplied by 20 or so sales reps – that’s a big deal,” said Hills.

Acton Toyota of Littleton has always been dedicated to customer service, receiving the highest CSI scores in their region for Toyota. Customer service is their thing. They provide stellar service from the minute the customer walks in the door, from giving them a tour of their state of the art facility, introducing them to staff, overwhelming them with kindness – they ‘wow’ the customer. Once the customer walks through the door, odds are pretty good they will do business with Acton. So improving their ability to turn inbound sales leads into an actual appointment over the phone and get the customer into the store is critical.

“There’s ‘good phone’ and there’s ‘bad phone’. If we give ‘good phone’ and get the customer into the store, we blow them away once they’re here,” said Hills.

Now every single inbound call is monitored, reviewed, transcribed and reported. Real-time text and email alerts are sent for matters needing immediate attention within minutes so management can respond right away and daily reports are emailed to management each morning by 8:30.

“We can’t imagine operating without this tool. The opportunity is so huge for us given our high call volume. The phone has become a big differentiator,” said Hoffman.

Since implementing their new call monitoring service, Acton Toyota has been focused on righting the wrongs of ‘bad phone’, but they’re anxious to begin taking advantage of some of the other benefits of their full service monitoring system like using ad tracking to help them better allocate their marketing dollars on advertising sources that generate the best response rates.

The call monitoring transcription helps to identify what source a call has generated from with reports that detail the customer call. “I’m looking at your newspaper ad and have questions about the Camry you have for $299/month,” despite the fact that the call came in on the web site’s toll-free number, it was actually generated from the newspaper ad source. The ad tracking will allow Acton Toyota to make better marketing decisions.

“Without listening to calls you can’t accurately track what ad sources work well because many consumers will view the paper or a mailer, visit the dealer’s website and then call the toll-free number on the site. The dealer thinks the source is the website when in reality it was the print campaign that generated the call,” said Chip King, President of www.CallRevu.com, the call monitoring company Acton Toyota of Littleton uses.

By switching to a new full service call tracking system, Acton Toyota of Littleton has been able to identify, troubleshoot, and correct their phone system’s problem areas enabling them to greatly improve how calls are being handled by their own staff and effectively converting calls into profitable customers.

In A Nutshell

  • Actively monitor, review, transcribe and report on call activity to improve your profits by improving how you handle customers who call your dealership.
  • Use call monitoring to help identify areas where training is needed to improve your sales team’s ability to set appointments and turn sales leads into real deals.
  • Subscribe to a call monitoring system that will transcribe all your calls so you can accurately track which ad sources generate the best response and help you allocate your marketing dollars more wisely.
  • Use a call monitoring service like www.CallRevu.com to monitor all your calls and provide daily updates and text alerts in real-time to help you save deals.

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Save Customers, Save Deals, Save Money

Save Customers, Save Deals, Save Money
Call monitoring system helps Rick Case save deals, make better ad decisions

It is a well known fact that dealerships spend a lot of money on advertising to generate leads and make the phone ring. Too often, however, dealership representatives who answer the phone, regardless of department, mishandle customers and not only lose deals for today, but potentially lose customers for life, not to mention jeopardize their reputation. While dealerships have come a long way with tracking advertising sources by attaching trackable toll-free 800 numbers to each ad to determine which mediums are generating the best customer response, dealers still are not doing enough to monitor and verify how calls are being handled by their own staff or how effectively they are converting calls into profitable customers.

That is not so for Rick Case Honda of Davie Florida. ”We spend a lot of money to make the phone ring so we wanted to make sure every single customer was handled the right way,” says Richard Bustillo, general manager of Rick Case Honda, one of the top Honda dealers in the world. Rick Case has every one of their calls monitored and their managers receive alerts to their cell phones whenever a customer is mishandled. “If we get an alert we listen to the call first, then we call the customer and more times than not we save a deal, solve a CSI problem, avoid a lawsuit and most importantly win over a customer.”

Rick Case has always been fanatical about customer service and doing the right thing for his customers. “We spend too much money to make the phone ring only to have those customers mishandled, and it gives me great peace of mind to know that every single call is being monitored and should anything go wrong our skilled management team is alerted in real-time so they can immediately contact the customer and make things right. It’s my business, but also my reputation how I handle my customers, which in many cases are my family and friends in my community,” says Rick Case, owner of the Rick Case auto group.

Saving Lost Deals

Rick Case Honda has always asked their management team to listen to all the recorded inbound calls, but the effort proved to be mathematically impossible. The Davie-based dealership averages 120 sales appointments per weekend. By the time a gap opened up in the weekly schedule to catch up on reviewing calls it was too late to save deals or repair CSI concerns. Sporadic spot checks also proved ineffective because it meant that for the few that were actually reviewed and responded to in a timely manner, the majority of calls went unchecked and lost.

Today every single inbound call is monitored, reviewed, transcribed and reported. Real-time text and email alerts are sent for matters needing immediate attention within minutes so management can respond right away. Daily reports are emailed to management each morning by 8:30, and each manager has a dedicated online portal that continuously updates in real-time the calls that come in to each profit center, and resolutions are posted upon completion to ensure every opportunity is addressed.

“Our monitoring system has proven to be invaluable. We measure ROI on everything we do and the alerts we get save us 50-70 customers a month,” says Bustillo.

Mistakes that Ad-Tracking Numbers Make

The call monitoring has increased Rick Case’s appointments and has helped them spend their advertising budget more effectively with mediums that generate the most appointments. “Without listening to calls you can’t accurately track what ad sources work well because many consumers will view the paper or a mailer, visit the dealer’s website and then call the 800 number on the site. The dealer thinks the source is the website when in reality it was the print campaign that generated the call,” says Chip King, president of www.CallRevu.co, the call monitoring company Rick Case uses. By monitoring and reporting on their calls, it became evident when reports read: customer calls, “I am looking at your newspaper ad and I have questions about the Accord you have for sale for $199/month,” despite the fact that the call came in on the web site number, it was actually generated from the newspaper ad source. Now Rick Case’s ad tracking is more accurate and helps them make smart marketing decisions.

The most important number to track is not how many calls each ad source generates, but how many appointments are set. Two ad sources could generate a hundred calls, one source has a 50 percent appointment rate and the other a 25 percent rate, thus half the total appointments. Effectively one ad generates 50 appointments and the other generates 25. “Taking a closer look and tracking appointments gives Rick Case real results and helps them spend money on what gets better results. It is more effective to judge advertising by appointments set than on calls generated because actual appointments indicate a better return on investment,” adds King.

Profit Leaks Identified by Listening to Calls

By listening to all their calls, Rick Case was able to identify, troubleshoot, and correct many problem areas including new car sales calls never reaching an agent or hanging up while on hold, calls being sent to voicemail of which half elected to leave no message, sales agents failing to identify themselves, sales agents failing to get contact information from caller, connected calls being ‘off-lined’ for a call back, a low percentage of sales calls resulting in appointments, appointments being set with no time or date specified or being set for future dates, and failure to create a pleasant and positive impression with the primary call handler. By monitoring all their calls Rick Case identified and resolved these issues and continues to monitor all their calls so they can track the effectiveness of their ads, people, processes and phone system.

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How Penske Honda of Ontario went from 24th to 10th in 8 months

How Penske Honda of Ontario went from 24th to 10th in 8 months

After changing their marketing strategy, Penske Honda of Ontario, CA, jumped from 24th to 10th in the highly competitive Southern California region, one of the most competitive regions in the country.

Since the fall of 2010, when Penske Honda of Ontario changed up their marketing strategy, their sales are up 20 percent over the same period last year, and are up 154 percent year to date over 2010 – jumping 14 spots in regional manufacturer rankings.

At the time, Penske was relying a lot on traditional mass marketing that was increasing in cost and shrinking in results. After reviewing the dealership’s ad tracking numbers it became clear that a lot of the mass marketing was not generating calls and business for sales or service.

Research: “We used to spend more of our ad budget on mass marketing for TV, radio and print, but our market research showed that the majority of our business comes from a localized area,” says Roger Penske, Jr., owner of Penske Honda of Ontario. “The goal is clear, we want to target those consumers living in our primary marketing area who are in the market to buy or service their vehicles with us,” Penske, Jr. says.

“Ultimately this saves us money. We used to spend a lot of money advertising to people who were simply not in the market for what we sell and not even in our primary marketing area, so the chances of them buying or servicing with us were slim,” says Gaby Katrib, general manager of the Penske Honda of Ontario store.

The first step the dealership took was to conduct extensive market research that helped Penske identify the consumers in their market that have the best chances of spending more and coming back more often. “By using manufacturer research, R.L. Polk market data, historic sales and service data from their DMS and a few other databases it was possible to identify what we call the “perfect prospects” who have the highest statistical probability of buying and servicing today and returning tomorrow,” said Sean Wolfington, owner of www.Tier10Marketing.com, the marketing company Penske hired to help them implement their new marketing strategy

Market where Consumers Shop – The Internet With over 90% of today’s Honda consumers using the web to research, Penske has implemented an in-depth digital marketing strategy that includes search engine optimization, display banner ads, email and text marketing, social media and reputation management. When consumers look for the vehicles Penske sells in their market they find them on the top of the leading search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. “When customers search for a dealers name or their town and brand on Google the first thing they will see is Google Places – a map of the store along with the dealerships review rating from 1-5 stars,” said Wolfington. “It is imperative for the dealership to have a high star rating or they could lose business in the short term and their reputation in the long term.” Penske has implemented a detailed reputation management strategy that helped them achieve a 5 star rating that every customer sees when they search their name on Google. “The new word of mouth reaches thousands of consumers who search for a dealer’s name so reputation management is essential to a dealer’s strategy,” added Wolfington.

Penske also has a very active social media marketing strategy with a custom Facebook, twitter and YouTube page with active friends and followers. “The Penske brand is perfect for social media because it is a name people trust and consumers are interested in their race team and Roger himself,” says Wolfington. The entire dealership group utilizes social media to connect with their customers and to build a larger database they can use to communicate for free in the future when there is an attractive promotion or an important sales objective they need to make.
Penske implemented an intelligent targeted marketing strategy that communicates with all in-market Honda consumers by sending custom offers based on exactly where they are in the ownership cycle of their vehicle, and level of service activity with the dealership. Penske sends custom campaigns via targeted direct mail and email with customized offers based on their vehicle’s mileage that promote all their profit centers, new, used, finance, service and parts.

“We use our data to send the right offers to the right customer at the right time,” says Roger Penske, Jr. “If a customer is driving a 3 year old vehicle that has equity we will send both a sales and service offer so it generates business either way. All our campaigns have the same clear message and theme throughout all our marketing mediums, so our digital ads, social media, targeted mail and email all relay the same cohesive messaging,” he notes.

“Penske’s communication strategy starts after they take delivery and continues throughout their ownership cycle until they buy another vehicle. Each customer receives a thank you letter and email, introduction to service, information about accessories, service reminders, lease renewals, equity alerts and an invitation to upgrade their old vehicle when they can get a new one for the same payment, explains Budd Blackburn of www.TeamVelocityMarketing.com, the targeted marketing company Penske Honda uses. Penske’s regular communications keep their active customers coming back more frequently and activates their less active customers with more aggressive service offers to lure them back to the dealership. As a result, Penske increased their customer retention rate by 76 percent and have improved both their sales and service revenue.

Penske is known for excellence and Roger sets the bar high for his employees to maintain a superior level of customer service. “We conduct ourselves with the highest standards of professional ethics, honesty and integrity,” says Katrib. With the majority of all leads coming in via the phone, Penske Honda has made many efforts to ensure those calls are converted into appointments that show up to the dealership.
To ensure all incoming calls are handled properly, Penske Honda monitors, tracks and transcribes every inbound call and managers receive instant mobile alerts whenever a call is mishandled or needs escalation to management. Additionally, managers receive daily, weekly and monthly reports that help them manage their appointments and track their advertising based on which source generates the most appointments for the dealership. As a result, their appointments have increased and they are spending their advertising more effectively with mediums that generate the most appointments. “Without listening to calls you can’t accurately track what ad sources work well because many consumers will view the paper or a mailer, visit the dealer’s website and call the 800 number on the site. The dealer thinks the source is the website when in reality it was the print campaign that generated the call,” said Chip
King, president of www.CallRevu.co, the call monitoring company Penske uses. “The most important number to track is not how many calls each ad source generates, but how many appointments each source generates. Two sources could generate a hundred calls but one has a 50% appointment rate and the other 25%, thus half the total appointments. It is more effective to judge marketing by appointments generated rather than calls because this indicates the results and return on investment better.”

Penske Racing has done very well on the track this season and Penske Honda has also improved their position rapidly in a highly competitive market in Southern California. Their integrated marketing strategies that combine traditional and digital advertising has helped them grow a lot in a little time and their competitive desire to constantly improve will surely help them grow even more in the future.

The Bottom Line

Penske Honda of Ontario jumps from 24th to 10th in the highly competitive Southern California market; sales are up 154 percent year to date and they have increased customer retention by 76 percent.

What They Do:

1. Use extensive market research to identify consumers that have the highest statistical probability of doing business with their dealership now and in the future.
2. Use integrated campaigns throughout multiple marketing mediums, including digital, social and targeted mail and email to convey a clear and cohesive message to the customer.
3. Send targeted direct mail and email with custom messaging that is unique to the customer’s vehicle status with clear calls-to-action to buy or service.
4. Monitor all inbound calls to improve customer service, quickly resolve potential CSI issues, and track what ads generate the best response.
5. Protect and promote their positive reputation on and offline by delivering a world class customer experience and inviting their happy customers to share their reviews online.

Resources They Use:

1. DMS: Reynolds and Reynolds (www.ReyRey.com)
2. Marketing Agency: Tier 10 Marketing (www.Tier10Marketing.com)
3. Targeted Marketing Company: Team Velocity Marketing (www.TeamVelocityMarketing.com)
4. Call Monitoring System: CallRevu (www.CallRevu.com)

Recommended Actions:

1. Conduct extensive market research to define your ideal market and identity consumers that have the highest statistical probability of doing business with their dealership.
2. Implement a smart integrated marketing strategy that communicates a cohesive message across multiple marketing mediums.
3. Use intelligent communications with custom messaging that reflects the appropriate status of your customers’ buying and servicing activity.
4. Actively monitor all inbound calls to preempt and resolve potential CSI issues, improve appointment-set ratios, and train staff on proper call-handling.

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Put an End to Your Biggest Profit Leak

Put an End to Your Biggest Profit Leak

Dealers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on advertising to get their phones to ring, yet many fail to invest in a process to effectively monitor the way their advertising leads are handled once a call comes into the dealership. The phone system is undoubtedly one of the biggest profit leaks a dealership consistently faces.

The phone is the primary method of customer contact before, during and after the sale and most dealers will readily admit that their phones are not handled the way they would like. Countless sales are lost, customers are mishandled, and CSI issues go unresolved.

This industry-wide problem has some surprisingly poor statistics with 19% of new car sales calls never reaching a sales representative, 6% of new car sales calls hanging up while on hold and 13% of new car sales calls are sent to voice mail with almost half of those callers electing to leave no message.

With most sales calls costing a minimum of $150 to generate, dealers cannot afford to let these calls slip through the cracks. With an average of only 24% of all sales calls resulting in an appointment, the return on investment can be a challenge. Further studies show that 16% of all sales agents fail to properly identify themselves and a shocking 45% of all sales agents fail to get contact information from a caller, a total loss for the dealership.

It is essential that dealers invest in a call monitoring service, whether internal or by hiring a third-party specialist, to provide 24/7 call monitoring and real-time alerts directly to its management team so that any mishandled call can be followed-up with immediately.

“Not only do we have real-time alerts providing us with immediate call-to-action information to save deals and customers, we also have a live online view of all calls as they happen. With this tool we will never miss an opportunity again,” says Richard Bustillo, general manager of the Rick Case Honda Davie store. In addition to real-time alerts Rick Case Honda Davie also gets unlimited toll-free numbers, ad-tracking, daily and weekly reports that not only help them monitor customer calls, but also enables them track what advertising is generating the biggest response from customers.

An average of 28% of all connected calls are ‘off-lined’ for a call back and as many as 32% of all appointments set have no firm appointment time which risks that the customer will end up on the back burner and ultimately lost. However, with a system that provides Real-Time monitoring reports a dealer will be able to ensure that these types of calls are followed-up with quickly to confirm that the call turns into a firm appointment and a sale. The call monitoring service that Rick Case Honda Davie uses provides a Real-Time view of all calls as they happen and daily reports by 8:30 am each morning, so Bustillo can review the previous days calls over a 20-minute cup of coffee and verify that every required action was taken on the previous day’s calls.

“The Rick Case group is dedicated to measuring their customer’s experience,” said Chip King, president of CallRevu, the call monitoring company that Rick Case uses. “The best processes have the most value when they are engaged with passion. Rick Case demonstrates the ultimate in engagement and customer-centric processes and it shows.”

The phone is a dealership’s lifeline to its customers. Dealers need to sustain that lifeline with proper vigilance. More than four times as many customers call a dealership than walk-in, so it is imperative that dealers actively listen, monitor and measure all their call activity to improve customer retention, manage CSI and increase profits.

Implementing a call monitoring system enables a dealership to take control of incoming phone calls. Having a highly trained staff or third-party specialists available 24/7 to listen, categorize, transcribe and summarize all phone calls and provide a detailed report every morning will allow a dealership to manage all aspects of their phone traffic.

Customers tell you every day what you need to do to improve your bottom line – all you need to do is listen.

Real-Time text alerts enable you to never miss an important call.

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Intelligent Marketing Plan Helped Brickell Motors Grow 1000%

Under the leadership of Mario Murgado, President and CEO, Brickell Motors has sold more Honda and GM vehicles in the last 10 years than over the previous thirty years combined by using intelligent, innovative and integrated marketing strategies that have helped the organization grow over 1000%.

To build a successful business, Murgado knew he would need a highly-effective marketing strategy to affect multiple marketing mediums including traditional, digital, targeted, social, media, publicity, niche marketing, and reputation management. Murgado also felt strongly that pro-active involvement in the local community and effective advertising to the local Latino population would be key to the success of the Brickell organization.

This Success Story highlights some of the processes and practices that Brickell Motors has developed to grow its organization over 1000% by attracting, servicing and retaining more customers profitably for less cost in a competitive metropolitan market.

The basis of Brickell’s strategy begins with market research. Brickell sought to identify consumers with the highest statistical probability of doing business with their dealerships and to target those customers and prospects with custom messaging based on the status of their vehicle. “We use a combination of manufacturer research, Polk market data and the dealer’s historic sales and service trends to map out which customers to target now and in the future,” said Budd Blackburn, owner of www.TeamVelocityMarketing, the targeted marketing company that Brickell Motors uses. “With the market data and our state-of-the-art print technology Brickell not only targets the best customers, but is also able to talk intelligently to their customers based on their vehicle status,” Blackburn added.

Brickell’s marketing strategy consistently communicates a cohesive message throughout the five year life cycle of the customer that begins by thanking new customers, providing maintenance and service reminders, recall notices, and extended service warranty information. Brickell also has sales retention campaigns that target off-lease and retail finance customers. All Brickell’s customer communications are delivered with a message that is unique to the customer’s status whether they are due for minor service or are eligible to upgrade to a new vehicle.

Additionally, Brickell incorporates bi-lingual messaging on all its marketing given the large Latino population in the Miami metropolitan area. With approximately 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S. Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in the nation and represent over half of Brickell’s market. “For us to market successfully within the Hispanic community it is important to be in-touch with the emotional, cultural and traditional values of the community,” said Murgado.

Brickell has always been actively involved in the community partnering early on with Camillus House, a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian services to men, women and children who are poor and homeless. “Camillus House extended its hands to the first Cubans who arrived in this country. Partnering with this organization was a way to tell the community ‘we are here for you’, and we are still here for them today,” said Murgado. With the continued growth of the Hispanic and Latino population nationwide it is essential for dealers to understand how to market effectively to this demographic and Murgado’s background gives him a natural sensibility that is authentic.

“It is very easy to work with Mario to market Brickell Motors because he is deeply involved and respected in the community so he is very aware of what consumers want and what they will respond to,” said Sean Wolfington, owner of www.Tier10marketing.com, the company that does all of Brickell Motors’ marketing in both Spanish and English. “There are more Latinos in the U.S. than there are Spaniards in Spain or Canadians in Canada, it is imperative to know how to market effectively to this population.”

Always looking for opportunities to reach out to the community, Brickell also developed a special niche marketing program for local teachers with a “Back to School” promotion that honored all Miami area public and private school teachers with an exclusive special of only $50.00 over Brickell employee pricing on any new Honda in-stock, and the teachers kept all incentives. “We consider today’s educators pillars of the community who continue to educate our youth during a time of unprecedented budget cuts and economic adversity. We would like to extend this special thank you to them,” said Murgado. Their investment in the community is sincere, whether through special teacher programs or charitable works the Brickell organization is a true member of the community.

Brickell’s commitment to outstanding customer sales and service has made them a stand-out in the Miami area. They are rated the #1 Honda Dealer in Miami by Google reviews so when you google Brickell Honda every result is positive which is not typical for most dealers. “To make it easy for our customers we built a web site, www.BrickellMotorsReviews.com, that gives our customers step-by-step instructions on how to share their positive reviews,” Murgado explained.

Brickell is also a member of the Automotive Advertising Network (AAN), the 3rd most popular lead generation platform, after Auto Trader and Cars.com, which generates thousands of in-bound links that increase Brickell’s online ranking. “If you search google for “Miami Honda”, Brickell Honda pops-up as the first Honda dealer for the region and in a competitive online market that’s where you want to be – on top,” said David Boice, co-founder of AAN (www.automomotiveadvertisingnetwork.com).

Brickell also utilizes Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) to appear at the top of search engines for highly competitive search phrases. Consumers in the Miami market who search for vehicles online immediately find positive videos about Brickell and the cars they sell because Google gives 55 times more authority to video than text results, said Karry Moore, President of www.Car-mercial.com, the VSEO company that Brickell uses. “Video combines the power of sight, sound and motion that gets the customer excited and drives them to Brickell,” added Moore.

Murgado has a passion for excellence and sets the bar high for his employees to make sure that every customer is handled with the utmost care, “We strive to clearly and honestly explain the products and services that we offer. Our customers want to be respected and understood, and it’s up to us to make this happen,” said Murgado. “Every call that comes into the dealership is monitored 24/7 and we send real-time alerts so the dealership can repair broken relationships before it’s too late,” said Chip King, owner of www.CallRevu.com, the company Brickell uses.

“This system also helps us track our advertising to see what marketing initiatives are generating the most response – it’s a real eye-opener when you discover that calls you thought were simply coming in off our web site are actually initiating from other campaigns that directed consumers to our web sites. It helps us prioritize our marketing dollars more efficiently,” Murgado explained.

“We spend a lot of money to attract customers and we want to make sure we exceed their expectations. My managers are alerted immediately whenever a potential problem or concern arises so that we can quickly reach out to the customer and hopefully fix whatever concerns they may have and create a customer for life,” said Murgado.

In A Nutshell

Brickell Motors has sold more Honda and GM vehicles in the last 10 years than over the previous thirty years by implementing an intelligent marketing strategy across all marketing mediums.

  • Brickell Motors conducts in-depth market research to find customers with the highest statistical probability of buying or servicing a vehicle with their dealership.
  • Brickell targets the best in-market customers and prospects with custom messaging specific to the customer’s vehicle status
  • Brickell Motors uses Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) to appear on top of the search engines for the most popular search phrases in their market.
  • Brickell has a comprehensive bi-lingual marketing strategy that targets the growing Latino community.
  • Brickell monitors all customer phone calls to ensure sales and service calls are being handled properly and alert management so they can save a deal today and customers over the long term.
  • The Brickell organization is deeply involved in the local community.

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Teddy Nissan Averages Over 60% Sales Call Appointments Set and Consistently Captures Over 95% of All Inbound Service Calls

After discovering in early 2010 that approximately 20% of all sales calls were going to voicemail and over 30% of service calls were going unanswered, Steve Risso, President of Teddy Nissan, began keeping a watchful eye on all inbound calls, the phone system and processes.

Every morning Risso begins his day with a deep dive into the previous day’s calls. He receives daily reports that identify areas for improvement in marketing, call process, phone system and follow up. Calls are reviewed and transcribed in a few-sentence summary and Risso uses these reports to customize training to improve their people, processes, and results.

“By charting our lost opportunities by hour and day we are able to better staff and train specific departments when problem areas are identified,” said Risso. “We are now under 5% missed calls for both Sales and Service and voice mail is almost non-existent. We have much greater confidence in our ability to manage these opportunities,” added Risso. As a result Teddy Nissan has increased their advertising budget and has seen a significant increase in their return on investment.

Teddy Nissan’s calls are recorded with ad source, time, department requested, and representative who handled each call. “We are very surprised at the number of callers who request departments other than the ad source line they call in on like our website sales line gets a lot of service appointments, and vice-versa,” noted Risso.

Risso is planning to start a daily competition for best inbound appointments set and best follow up results. “Phone calls are serious business. The phone and internet are the Dealership. Initially we spent millions on our showroom, but failed to realize our dealership is built first by phone or internet communications,” explained Risso.

“I no longer focus on appointments that are set, rather my total focus is on the calls that did not set an appointment. I receive an alert for every sales call that does not end with a hard appointment. Then I have key management get that door closed and the customer into the dealership. Once the customer is here 70% will buy a vehicle,” said Risso.

Risso and his management team receive instant alerts when a customer call is mishandled so they are able to follow up with the customer immediately. The instant text alerts include a short summary of what happened and a recording of the call. “Teddy’s team has one of the fastest alert response rates of any dealership we work with,” said Chip King, Managing Partner of www.CallRevu.com the company that Teddy Nissan uses for call monitoring. “When a call is not handled the right way Risso’s team immediately reaches out to the customer to resolve the issue. The customer is usually pleasantly surprised by the quick response and in the end Teddy Nissan saves the deal or the day,” said King. “Our DealerRater.com scores have us ranked at #1 in New York for Nissan,” added Risso.

Another key benefit to their monitoring system is the ad-tracking. “We closely track our ad sources to see which ads are generating the best results, so we can shift more marketing dollars toward campaigns that bring in the customers,” said Risso. “This has ultimately saved me money. I put the budget where it needs to be to make the phones ring.”

Teddy’s sales and service business has greatly increased by improving the customer experience over the phone. “Our service department has grown steadily as a result of using the information we get from monitoring our phone process and our RO volume is up as well,” said Risso. “We set an all-time sales record in the Bronx for Nissan in 2010, in a down market, and now we’re pacing to sell 265 units for March 2011, up from a previous high of 225,” said Risso with a smile.

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The Phone – Your Biggest Profit Leak or Greatest Asset

One of the largest profit leaks in a dealership is the phone system. Dealers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on advertising to get their phones to ring, yet many fail to invest in a call tracking process to effectively monitor this markedly greatest asset.

The phone is the primary method of customer contact before, during and after the sale and most dealers will readily admit that their phones are not handled the way they would like. Countless sales are lost, customers are mishandled, and CSI issues go unresolved. This industry-wide problem has some surprisingly poor statistics with 19% of new car sales calls never reaching a sales representative, 6% of new car sales calls hanging up while on hold and 13% of new car sales calls are sent to voice mail with 6% of those callers electing to leave no message.

With most sales calls costing a minimum of $150 to generate dealers cannot afford to let these calls slip through the cracks but only 24% of all sales calls result in an appointment, not a favorable return on investment.  Further studies show that 16% of all sales agents fail to properly identify themselves and 45% of all sales agents fail to get contact information from a caller, a complete loss for the dealership.

Aware that the phone is a blind spot where customers and profits are lost in every department, every hour of every business day many dealers require their managers to single-handedly listen to all in-bound calls, but often this is not practical during peak sales periods.  Dealers really need to invest in a system or process that ensures every call is handled properly.

Capital Honda, located in Okemas, MI, began using a call monitoring service last year that provides 24/7 call monitoring and provides real-time alerts directly to its management team so that any mishandled call can be followed-up with immediately.  In addition to alerts Capital Honda also gets  unlimited toll-free numbers, ad-tracking, daily and weekly reports that not only help them monitor customer calls, but also help them track what advertising is generating the most buzz.

“The alerts help me save deals and the ad tracking reports help me spend my marketing money smarter,” said Anthony Gomez, Owner of Capital Honda.

An average of 28% of all connected calls are ‘off-lined’ for a call back and as much as 32% of all appointments set without a firm appointment time, that’s a lot of uncertainty that will likely end up on the back burner and then lost. However, with a system that provides daily monitoring reports a dealer will be able to ensure that these types of calls are followed-up on quickly to confirm that the call turns into a firm appointment and hopefully a sale.  The call monitoring service that Capital Honda uses provides daily reports by 8:30am each morning, so Gomez can review the previous days calls over a 20-minute cup of coffee, find out what deals need attention and remedy any customer concerns right away.

“Capital Honda does an incredible job responding to customer concerns within minutes of receiving real-time text alerts,” said Chip King, President of CallRevu.com the call monitoring company that Capital Honda uses.  “Their team has saved many a deal with quick reaction time.”

The telephone is naturally an industry-wide sales tool and can be a dealer’s greatest asset if managed properly. Implementing a call monitoring system enables a dealership to take control of incoming phone calls.  Having a highly trained staff available 24/7 to listen, categorize, transcribe and summarize all phone calls and provide a detailed report every morning will allow a dealership to manage all aspects of their phone traffic. More than four times as many customers call a dealership than walk-in, so it is imperative that dealers actively listen, monitor and measure all their call activity to improve customer retention, manage CSI and increase profits.

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Paragon Honda & Acura Soar to #1 New & Certified Pre-Owned Honda & Acura Dealer in the U.S. in Short 6 Month Period

Paragon Honda & Acura Soar to #1 New & Certified Pre-Owned Honda & Acura Dealer in the U.S. in Short 6 Month Period


Paragon Honda and Acura grew from #17 to the #1 New & Certified Pre-Owned Honda & Acura Dealer in the U.S. in a short 6 month period during one of the most challenging periods in the history of the automotive industry by redefining their marketing, sales and service strategies. “Overall, it was our best year in business despite being one of the worst years in the industry,” said Brian Benstock, GM and partner of Paragon Honda and Acura, and their new strategies laid the foundation that continues to breed success and phenomenal results.

Paragon took a close look at the marketing practices they had in place and found that they were using multiple vendors to execute their advertising and it was confusing for their customers because the TV and radio commercials had one message, direct mail had another, and email communications had another, yet none of the messaging was consistent with what was on their web site or the merchandising materials in the dealership.

“In the past we worked with 12 different companies to execute every part of our strategy, but the vendors didn’t work together so the campaigns were not integrated. It was confusing for our customers,” said Benstock. “We wanted a more cohesive message and once we took steps to consolidate our vendors our advertising strategy improved dramatically. We hired one company to develop and implement one integrated marketing strategy that is completely connected and consistent.”

Paragon carefully assessed who they were targeting. “We had always spent more money on mass marketing through TV, radio and print, but market research showed that over 90% of our business came from less than 10% of the city, so we began targeting our marketing to the consumers that live in those areas and that are in the market to buy or service their vehicle in the near future,” explained Benstock. Paragon conducted extensive market research to identify consumers that have the highest statistical probability of doing business with their dealerships now and in the future. “We use the manufacturer’s research, Polk Market data and the dealer’s historic sales and service trends to identify which customers to target,” explained Sean Wolfington, Owner of www.Tier10Marketing.com, the marketing company Paragon hired to help them revise their strategy.

Traditional advertising on TV, radio and print is expensive in New York, like other major metro markets so Paragon shifted their traditional ad budget toward more targeted marketing efforts that generate better returns. “This saved us a substantial amount of money that we used to waste on people who were either not in the market for what we sell or who were not in our geographical market and therefore had a low probability of coming in for sales or service,” said Benstock.

However, since Latinos make up half of Paragon’s market, Paragon does leverage some good buys on Spanish radio, as well as, print ads in the New York Times where they include QR technology, a barcode that links consumers’ mobile phones to Paragon’s website where they can learn more about the offer and contact the dealership. “We recently did a radio buy that promoted a film premiere we sponsored in Queens,” said Benstock. “We invited people to visit our website and Facebook pages to enter to win tickets to the premier and provided additional entries for people who shared the promotion with others on Facebook and twitter.”

Online and social media marketing is also a large part of Paragon’s strategy. With over 90% of Honda consumers using the web to shop, Paragon has an in-depth strategy for search engine optimization and marketing, email marketing, banner ads on popular websites like Facebook, social media marketing, online reputation management and mobile marketing. “We have a lot of friends and followers on the top social media platforms including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Bebo,” said Benstock. “As a result of our digital marketing campaigns, we increased the size of our database by approximately 50,000 in the last 6 months and we are sending out professionally designed emails that have credible themes and clear offers that generate leads from consumers who will buy and others who need service.”

All of Paragon’s digital marketing efforts drive consumers to campaign micro sites where the message, offers, look and feel are consistent with every other part of the campaign. The campaign micro site is designed to convert the maximum number of visitors into email, phone and showroom leads. Some examples of their micro sites are www.ParagonHondaInfo.com and www.ParagonExpressService.com.

“Our best source of leads are our own websites because the closing ratios and average gross profits are much higher than the typical lead providers, as most 3rd party lead generators sell the same lead to multiple dealers,” said Benstock. “We only work with lead providers that generate a good return and have a lower cost per sale compared to our other marketing. We use www.AutoTrader.com, www.Cars.com and www.AutomotiveAdvertisingNetwork.com because all three of them deliver exclusive leads which means they don’t resell the same leads to all of our competitors.”

AutoTrader and Cars.com have long done a good job with pre-owned and they give dealers exposure to clients they may not otherwise reach. The Automotive Advertising Network promotes Paragon’s vehicles on the most popular search engines and social networks and sends them unlimited leads for a nominal flat membership fee. AutoTrader and Cars.com are more expensive but often generate more leads.

With the majority of consumers using search engines to find their next new vehicle, Paragon uses organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) and targeted pay-per-click search marketing campaigns to attract in-market consumers who are shopping for Acuras and Hondas to their website and dealership. As a result, Paragon appears on top of the search engines for the most popular search phrases in their market “New York Honda” and “New York Acura”.

Paragon tracks what consumers are searching for on Google and they implement search strategies to appear on top of the results for popular search phrases. For example, during cash for clunkers Paragon generated over 5,000 leads in less than a month through Paragon’s website, www.CashForClunkersNY.com, which was the #1 result when customers typed in “NY Cash for Clunkers”. When Toyota’s recall was announced, Paragon received leads from the Automotive Advertising Network who optimized a website called www.ToyotaRecall.org, which appears on top of the results when consumers search for information about Toyota’s Recall. “The Automotive Advertising Network also provides thousands of inbound links to Paragon’s website, which increases search authority and position on the search engines,” explained Brian Pasch, founder of the Automotive Advertising Network that Paragon uses.

Traditionally, television advertising has worked well for dealers because consumers experience the sight, sound and motion that other mediums don’t deliver. And now Paragon is using video to promote their dealership but they are optimizing the videos to appear on top of the search engines for the most popular search phrases their consumers use to find an Acura or Honda. “We hired a VSEO company, to produce and position hundreds of positive videos about our dealership on top of the search. They also post comparison videos for consumers who are searching for competitive brands like Toyota and Nissan, so they can see the advantages of the Honda and visit our website to get an instant price quote,” said Benstock. “Google gives advantage to video results over text results and consumers like video more than text,” said Karry Moore, Owner of www.Car-Mercial.com, the company Paragon uses for their VSEO strategy.

Paragon also communicates with all in-market Honda and Acura consumers by sending custom offers based on their vehicle, miles and position in their ownership cycle. Paragon sends custom campaigns via mail and email to promote all their profit centers, New, Used, Finance, Service and Parts. “We dial into Paragon’s DMS to target in-equity customers and we use variable print technology to send a custom message to each consumer that shows them how they can get a newer vehicle for a lower payment,” said Budd Blackburn, owner of www.TeamVelocityMarketing.com the targeted marketing company that Paragon uses. “We also include offers that promote the service the customer needs, extended service agreements and accessories.”

To further integrate their messaging, Paragon Honda and Acura make it obvious that something is going on at the dealership even if consumers don’t know about their sale, by the merchandising that quickly reminds them they’re lucky to have stopped by at the right time. “We want our customers to see a consistent message through our advertising and our in-store posters, tri-folds, balloons, hang tags and brochures,” said Benstock.

Just as important as communicating an effective and cohesive message to new customers, Paragon works hard to implement a detailed loyalty strategy to bring back customers for service and to resell their customer base more often. “We have a 360° customer communication process from the moment a customer buys to the time they renew into a new vehicle and everything in between,” said Benstock. Paragon uses email, phone, voicemails and direct mail to communicate with their customers when they need service, accessories, an extended warranty or a new vehicle.

Paragon Honda and Acura are the #1 Certified Pre-Owned in the world. Actually, Paragon Honda sells more than twice the certified pre-owned vehicles of the 2nd place Honda Certified retailer and broke Honda and Acura’s all-time record by selling over 300 Certified Hondas and over 100 certified Acuras in one month. “We source most of our certified vehicles from trade-ins because we have increased our new vehicle sales to customers who trade-in 2 and 3 year old vehicles as a result of our targeted marketing,” said Benstock. “We give every customer an autobiography that includes the vehicle’s history, lemon check, service history, and pricing information on competitive vehicles so our customers have a lot of confidence when they buy a Certified pre-owned vehicle from our dealership,” explained Benstock.

To make sure that everything they put into place is working Paragon tracks their advertising, employees, and how their customers are treated by listening to every call that comes into their dealership. “We use a company called www.CallRevu.com to monitor all our calls 24/7 and they send real-time alerts to our managers when a customer is mishandled on the phone,” said Benstock. “Our managers save a lot of deals because they contact customers immediately before it’s too late.”

In A Nutshell

Paragon Honda and Acura grew from #17 to the #1 New & Certified Pre-Owned Honda & Acura Dealer in the U.S. in a short 6 month period during one of the most challenging periods in the history of the automotive industry by redefining their marketing, sales and service strategies that promotes all their profit centers.

WITH COMPANY SITES

  • Paragon Honda & Acura use www.Tier10Marketing.com to deliver a cohesive marketing message across all marketing mediums to promote all their profit centers in sales and service.
  • Paragon only works with lead providers like www.AutoTrader.com, www.Cars.com and www.AutomotiveAdvertisingNetwork.com that generate a good return and have a lower cost per sale compared to our other 3rd party lead providers.
  • Paragon target-markets to quality single-owner trade-ins for their Certified Pre-Owned program.
  • Paragon uses www.Car-mercial.com for Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) to optimize videos to appear on top of the search engines for the most popular search phrases their consumers use to find an Acura or Honda.
  • Paragon works with www.TeamVelocityMarketing.com to target in-market customers and prospects who have the highest statistical probability of doing business with your dealership today and for the long term.
  • Paragon uses www.CallRevu.com to monitor all customer phone calls to ensure sales and service calls are being handled properly – and act quickly when CSI concerns arise.

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Hendrick Lexus Soars Ahead 14 spots in Market Share in Just 3 months

Hendrick Lexus implemented new marketing strategies across multiple mediums that improved their sales and service profitability and positively affected all their profit centers, while reducing their overall costs per sale.

This flagship Lexus dealership opened its doors in 1989 and has become the #1 luxury retailer for the Hendrick Automotive Group, the largest privately owned group in the country. Located in Charlotte, NC, Hendrick Lexus has grown into a national leader for Lexus in numerous categories and currently ranks as the #1 volume dealership in the Carolinas. In addition, they are the only dealer in the country to win back-to-back awards as the #1 Certified Pre-Owned Lexus dealer in the nation.

“We are consumed with delivering a world class customer experience that far surpasses our customers’ expectations – we want to WOW our customers every chance we get,” said Brian Gendron, General Manager of Hendrick Lexus. “We believe that no one will treat our customers as well as we do, so we owe it to everyone in our market to make sure they know about Hendrick Lexus and have the opportunity to enjoy the experience our employees create.”

To ensure that every eligible customer knows about Hendrick Lexus, Gendron took time to assess and reengineer the dealership’s entire marketing strategy to attract, serve and satisfy more customers for less cost than they spent before. “We need a holistic marketing plan that communicates a consistent message through every touch point with the customer,” said Gendron. “We were spending too much money with too many companies who were sending out different messages to our customers with a different look and feel. This confused our customers and our even own employees.” Hendrick Lexus’ new strategy uses the same messaging, designs and offers across all advertising mediums: TV, radio, print, outdoor, web, search, social, email, mail, publicity, point of sale merchandising and retention. “We work with one company rather than 15 different vendors and we are spending less for a more integrated strategy that delivers a positive and consistent message to the market.”

While Hendrick Lexus continues to provide the award-winning experience that their customers and employees have come to expect, they are now able to let more people know about it through their new marketing strategy that promotes all their departments, New, Used, Service & Parts, and Finance. “Too many dealers focus most of their marketing only on sales despite the fact that their service departments are the life-line when the market slows down,” said Sean Wolfington, owner of www.Tier10Marketing.com, the marketing company that Hendrick Lexus uses. “It is critical for dealers to integrate all 10 tiers of marketing so the dealership has the same message, look and feel in all their advertising and marketing materials,” Wolfington added.

“We now promote both sales and service to customers who have a better chance of doing business with our dealership,” said Gendron, and their dealership has saved a lot of money by shifting their focus from more expensive traditional mass marketing to a more targeted advertising that speaks to consumers who have the highest statistical probability of buying and servicing their vehicle with the dealership.

“Customers that live far away are naturally less loyal, but customers who live closer to a dealership’s “perfect market” have a much higher probability of returning more often, spending more money and referring more of their friends,” said Budd Blackburn, the creator of the “perfect prospect predictor” and the owner of www.TeamVelocityMarketing.com, the targeted marketing team that works with Teir10Marketing.com for targeted email and direct mail campaigns for Hendrick’s sales and service departments. “We use the manufacturer’s research, Polk Market data and the dealer’s historic sales and service trends to target in-market customers who buy and service more often with the dealership over their lifetime,” added Blackburn.

“We are making an effort to spend money more effectively by attracting and retaining customers who spend more with us, not just today but over their life time,” said Gendron. “When the press said we were in the worst market in 18 years, we actually felt some wind in our sails because of this new strategy. We were connecting differently with consumers and it drove them to us. We had moved up 14 spots in YTD rankings over 2009 in only 3 months and it was evident our plan was definitely working.”

Another component to Hendrick’s new marketing strategy is online videos to promote the dealership. Today over 70% of online car buyers initiate their new vehicle search online and Hendrick uses video search engine optimization (VSEO) to appear on top of the search results with hi-impact videos that promote their dealership and the products they sell. Google changed their algorithm so that video results have more search authority than traditional text results so Hendrick uses VSEO to appear on page one for the most popular search phrases in their market. “Google gives advantage to video results over text results and consumers like video more than text because it combines sight, sound and motion,” said Karry Moore, Owner of www.Car-Mercial.com, the company Hendrick uses to produce, optimize and place hundreds of positive videos on top of the search engines.

In addition to attracting new customers, Hendrick works very hard to create customers for life by delivering a world class customer experience. “We want to astonish our customers with extraordinary service. We monitor how our customers are being handled so we can make sure that they receive a 5-star experience at our dealership,” said Gendron. Hendrick monitors 100% of their inbound calls so they can measure their advertising and track how their customers are handled on the phones, the number one entry point for consumers today. “Our managers get instant alerts whenever a customer is mishandled so they can contact them immediately to resolve issues, save a deal and save a customer in the long term. We save multiple deals a week and repair broken relationships that could lead to lost customers and even worse, bad word-of-mouth,” explained Gendron.

Hendrick uses their call monitoring strategy to ensure that every customer is handled properly and their advertising is generating the highest yield. “Within minutes of Hendrick’s management team receiving an alert, they are able to contact the customer directly and resolve their concerns,” said Chip King, president of www.CallRevu.com, the company that provides the call monitoring service to Hendrick. Hendrick uses the reports to measure the effectiveness of their advertising and to monitor all customer phone calls through daily, weekly and monthly reports, as well as, real-time alerts that save deals and prevent potential CSI concerns. “Our team’s compulsive focus on serving the customer has enabled us to become the proud recipients of the ‘Elite of Lexus’ award for several years in a row,” said Gendron. “While we have had a fantastic year, we have a lot of areas we need to improve on so we look forward to improving and growing in 2011.”

In a Nutshell

  • Hendrick Lexus moved ahead 14 spots in YTD National rankings in less than 3 months by implementing a holistic marketing strategy that combines traditional advertising with digital, social media, reputation management, publicity, targeted marketing, point of sale merchandising and retention.
  • Hendrick Lexus’ advertising has the same look, feel and messaging so consumers are exposed to a consistent professional message and creative.
  • Hendrick Lexus executes a highly-effective comprehensive marketing strategy with clear calls-to-action across all marketing mediums.
  • Hendrick Lexus targets consumers who have the highest statistical probability of doing business with their dealership today and in the long term.
  • Hendrick Lexus promotes all their profit centers with cohesive messaging.
  • Hendrick Lexus optimizes their online visibility with search marketing, video search marketing, targeted email campaigns and banner ads.
  • Hendrick Lexus monitors all customer phone calls to ensure customers are handled properly, examine ad tracking, and assess employee call performance.

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Brickell Motors Adopts Innovative Marketing Strategies to Grow Over 1000%

Dealer Magazine

February 2011

The Brickell organization has sold more Honda and GM vehicles in the last 10 years than over the previous thirty years since the organization was purchased in 2001 by Mario Murgado, President and CEO.

Murgado, a Cuban exile immigrant who came to this country in 1966 and a 20+ year veteran of the automotive industry, is credited with reviving each of the ailing dealerships of the Brickell organization which includes Pontiac, GMC and Honda.

Murgado is a visionary who is deeply involved in the local community, very in-sync with what consumers want, but also keenly aware of the big picture and emerging trends. Under his leadership, Brickell implemented an innovative marketing strategy across all marketing mediums including digital, targeted, social, media, publicity, niche marketing, reputation management, as well as, active involvement in the local community and effectively advertising to the Latino community. This cohesive marketing strategy has proven extremely successful in attracting more customers for less cost and Murgado shared a bit of what Brickell has done to grow its organization in a competitive multi-cultural metropolitan market.

Brickell Motors relies on extensive market research to identify consumers that have the highest statistical probability of doing business with their dealerships now and in the future. This in-depth market research enables Brickell to target the best audience with the right message to consumers who are most likely to either buy or service vehicles with the dealership. “We use the manufacturer’s research, Polk Market data and the dealer’s historic sales and service trends to plan which customers to target now and in the future,” said Budd Blackburn, owner of www.TeamVelocityMarketing, the targeted marketing company that Brickell Motors uses.

Brickell has an intelligent marketing strategy that consistently communicates a cohesive message throughout their customer’s life cycle that starts by thanking new customers, then provides maintenance and service reminders, recall notices, extended service warranty or retention campaigns targeting off-lease and retail finance customers all with a message that is unique to the customer’s status whether they are due for minor service or are eligible to upgrade to a new vehicle. And with Miami having a large Latino population, Brickell always has bi-lingual messaging.

Murgado recognizes that with approximately 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S. Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in the nation and represent over half of Brickell’s market. “For us to market successfully within the Hispanic community it is important to be in-touch with the emotional, cultural and traditional values of the community,” said Murgado.

Brickell has always been actively involved in the community partnering early on with Camillus House, a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian services to men, women and children who are poor and homeless. “Camillus House extended its hands to the first Cubans who arrived in this country. Partnering with this organization was a way to tell the community ‘we are here for you’, and we are still here for them today,” said Murgado. With the continued growth of the Hispanic and Latino population nationwide it is essential for dealers to understand how to market effectively to this demographic and Murgado’s background gives him a natural sensibility that is authentic.

“There are more Latinos in the U.S. than there are Spaniards in Spain or Canadians in Canada,” said Sean Wolfington, owner of www.Tier10marketing.com, the company that does all of Brickell Motors’ marketing in both Spanish and English. “It is very easy to work with a leader like Mario Murgado to market Brickell Motors because Mario is deeply involved and respected in the community so he is very aware of what consumers want and what they will respond to.”

More recently, Brickell developed a special niche marketing program for local teachers with a “Back To School” promotion that honored all Miami area public and private school teachers with an exclusive special of only $50.00 over Brickell employee pricing on any new Honda in-stock, and the teachers kept all incentives. “We consider today’s educators pillars of the community who continue to educate our youth during a time of unprecedented budget cuts and economic adversity. We would like to extend this special thank you to them,” said Murgado. Their investment in the community is sincere, whether through special teacher programs or charitable works the Brickell organization is a true member of the community.

Brickell’s commitment to outstanding customer sales and service has made them a stand-out in the Miami area. They are rated the #1 Honda Dealer in Miami by Google reviews so when you google Brickell Honda every result is positive which is not typical for most dealers. “To make it easy for our customers we built a web site, www.BrickellMotorsReviews.com, that gives our customers step-by-step instructions on how to share their positive reviews,” Murgado explained.

Brickell is also a member of the Automotive Advertising Network (AAN), the 3rd most popular lead generation platform, after Auto Trader and Cars.com, which generates thousands of in-bound links that increase Brickell’s online ranking. “If you search google for “Miami Honda”, Brickell Honda pops-up as the first Honda dealer for the region and in a competitive online market that’s where you want to be – on top,” said David Boice, co-founder of AAN (www.automomotiveadvertisingnetwork.com).

Brickell also utilizes Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) to appear at the top of search engines for highly competitive search phrases. Consumers in the Miami market who search for vehicles online immediately find positive videos about Brickell and the cars they sell because Google gives 55 times more authority to video than text results, said Karry Moore, President of www.Car-mercial.com, the VSEO company that Brickell uses. “Video combines the power of sight, sound and motion that gets the customer excited and drives them to Brickell,” added Moore.

Murgado has a passion for excellence and sets the bar high for his employees to make sure that every customer is handled with the utmost care, “We strive to clearly and honestly explain the products and services that we offer. Our customers want to be respected and understood, and it’s up to us to make this happen,” said Murgado. “Every call that comes into the dealership is monitored 24/7 and we send real-time alerts so the dealership can repair broken relationships before it’s too late,” said Chip King, owner of www.CallRevu.com, the company Brickell uses.

“This system also helps us track our advertising to see what marketing initiatives are generating the most response – it’s a real eye-opener when you discover that calls you thought were simply coming in off our web site are actually initiating from other campaigns that directed consumers to our web sites. It helps us prioritize our marketing dollars more efficiently,” Murgado explained.

“We spend a lot of money to attract customers and we want to make sure we exceed their expectations. My managers are alerted immediately whenever a potential problem or concern arises so that we can quickly reach out to the customer and hopefully fix whatever concerns they may have and create a customer for life,” said Murgado.

The Bottom Line

The Brickell organization has sold more Honda and GM vehicles in the last 10 years than over the previous thirty years by implementing an intelligent marketing strategy across all marketing mediums.

What They Do:

1. They conduct in-depth market research to find customers with the highest statistical probability of buying or servicing a vehicle with their dealership.

2. They use Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) to appear on top of the search engines for the most popular search phrases in their market.

3. They have a comprehensive bi-lingual marketing strategy that targets the growing Latino community.

4. They monitor all customer phone calls to ensure sales and service calls are being handled properly and alert management so they can save a deal today and customers over the long term.

5. They are deeply involved in the local community.

Resources They Use:

1. DMS System: Reynolds & Reynolds

(www.ReyRey.com)

2. Targeted Marketing Company: Team Velocity

(www.TeamVelocityMarketing.com)

3. Ad Agency: Tier 10 Marketing

(www.Tier10Marketing.com)

4. VSEO Company: Car-mercial

(www.Car-mercial.com)

5. Call Monitoring: CallRevu

(www.CallRevu.com)

6. Lead Generation: Automotive Advertising Network

(www.AutomotiveAdvertisingNetwork.com)

Recommended Actions:

1. Target in-market customers and prospects who have the highest statistical probability of doing business with your dealership today and for the long term.

2. Assess your marketing efforts and develop clear, cohesive messaging across all marketing mediums so customers and prospects ‘know’ and easily recognize your products and dealership.

3. Align your dealership at the top of search pages for the most popular search phrases in your local market and improve your dealership ranking among the most popular search engines.

4. Monitor and improve your customer processes and get managers involved early when a customer has concerns.

5. Become actively involved in organizations that your consumers are passionate about.

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