Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grand Theft Auto - Customer!

Grand Theft Auto - Customer:  It’s not a video game—it’s your real profits.  How do other dealers steal your customers?
They park a PPC campaign on your dealership name.  They use your dealership name in their SEO work.  They hijack your Google Places results (just found and undid one of those!).   And your Bing.  And Yahoo. And so on.  All because you’re not watching your digital presence and stopping it.
And you cooperate as theft victim, as well.  You push your customers to review you on third-party review sites that sell ad space around your reviewsto your competitors.  You pay to drive your customers to online inventory sites that lead shoppers off to other offers.   And I’ve even seen links within a dealer’s Internet Autoresponder that invite customers to visit these sites to get stolen by competitors!  In one particular case,  a dealer’s Autoresponder was sending the shopper to a review site where they had 2-star reviews…
And this is all before these other competing dealers make any honest effort to reach out via a marketing campaign to conquer your customers in your area.  And perhaps you help, as well, by not reaching out to your sold customers to get them in to your service drive—and your competitor has a strong customer retention program that keeps them once they get them.
So grab your Google Places, Yahoo, Bing, etc.  Get ready for Google’s new “+1” strategy.   Protect your dealership name with trademark and/or vigorous efforts as you can, plus SEO/PPC efforts of your own and (perhaps) a letter or two from a lawyer.  Give great customer service and get great reviews from your customers in both sales and service.  Get your sold customers in to your service drive.  Set up a great customer retention program.
And stop being a victim of Grand Theft Auto - Customer!

by Keith Shetterly, Copyright 2011
www.keithshetterly.comCome see me at Brian Pasch's PCG PitStop!
Dallas, L.A., St. Louis, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shut Up and Help Me Convert!

Those that know me or read my professional blogs know that I'm a GREAT believer in processes, and that I consider that many, many dealerships' profits would increase dramatically from just making THOSE EXISTING PROCESSES WORK FOR THEM.  And we never want process to fail us, sure, but it's especially painful when we've gotten a customer in from a call, landed them on a car--and our process blows up in, say, finance.  And they walk out.
Well, we need to consider our web conversions ARE JUST AS PAINFUL iF NOT MORE.  We do SEO, PPC, integrated marketing campaigns, email, etc. . . . spend many thousands of dollars a month on all that . . . to get the shopper on to our website.  And that visit somehow still blows up on, say, online pricing.  Or website usability.  Or unanswered questions and no one to talk to.  And they click out.  We call that "bounce rate", as in "We need a low bounce rate!!!".
Except what we should be saying is:  "We need a high conversion rate!!!"

My mantra for 2011 for all vendors, consultants, and 3rd parties I deal with who want a dealership's business:  "Shut Up and Help Me Convert!"  Or go home and come back when you can.
Your website better be fewest clicks to inventory and get the shopper to submit a lead.  You better support easy landing pages for a PPC campaign that offer incentives to convert.  Your chat better offer a great experience that leads the customer to give up contact information.  And your ability to drive phone calls from the web better be second to none.
I am not kidding.  You had better shut up and help me convert, or get the hell out of my way, for the rest of 2011.

by Keith Shetterly, Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved