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3 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Dealership

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January 20, 2017 by: Joseph Robinson

New year, new you!  Gym memberships are up, the fruit sections of supermarkets are disappearing at unprecedented rates, and I haven’t seen this many people outside running since the class clown pulled the fire alarm in grade school.

Whether we will keep up with our personal resolutions is yet to be seen.  One thing’s for sure, our professional resolutions are just as important for the health of our businesses.  It’s a given that confirming pricing, photos and comments are showing online is part of the day-to-day of the job.  But if you haven’t thought up any new resolutions to improve your online presence in 2017, we have a few suggestions for you below.

Check the Phone Numbers and Lead Forms on Your Websites Each Month
I know, I know- this is day one stuff…but do you know where your leads are going right now?  Set a monthly calendar reminder to check your website and top 3-5 lead generators (to start out) and get to work!  This is laying the foundation to ensure you’re not squandering any opportunities where people are basically waving money in your general direction.

Advertise Your Vehicles Purchased at Auction Faster
Smart decisions at the auction can speed up vehicle delivery and advertising.  You’ll need to do some homework, but the returns are worth it.

Make sure the vehicles you want to buy have a physical title present to cut down on crippling delays at the auction—which can reach up to 30 days in extra processing time.  Additionally, working with other dealerships along the same transportation route can help cut your costs and fill up delivery trucks so they can get on the road faster.  Finally, utilize In-Transit Merchandising to show the car online before it hits your lot to generate interest earlier, which can lead to lower days to turn.  You’ll want to consult your local and state advertising laws before exploring this last option.

Monitor and Manage What People Are Saying About You Online
Unfortunately, the old sticks and stones adage doesn’t apply here.  Words can definitely hurt you if they’re in a negative online review.  On the bright side, they can also help!  In a recent survey conducted by BrightLocal and cited by Forbes.com, 88% of consumers polled said they trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations¹.

The ramifications of this finding are palpable.  To take full advantage, continue providing top level customer service to gain positive reviews.  When (not if) a negative review rolls in, respond by letting the reviewer know that you’ll do whatever you can to make the situation right.  It will show future customers that you are committed to providing an excellent buying experience.  If you are monitoring and cultivating positive reviews for your dealership, you can have a significant advantage over competitors who are not doing the same.

Here’s to hoping everyone has a great and profitable 2017!  If you’re looking for tools to help you take action on some of these resolutions, Homenet’s IOL Overdrive and IOL Ultimate products come with RepGauge, a reputation management component that will allow you to easily monitor reviews, social media activity, keywords and other media.  We also offer Rapid Retail, a product that allows your vehicles from Manheim Auctions to be merchandised and on the web shortly after purchase.

1. Local Consumer Survey Review, BrightLocal, 2014

Joseph Robinson is a Manager in Homenet’s Account Management Department where he oversees the on-boarding of all Retail and Major Accounts.  In his free time he enjoys traveling, running 5ks and spending too much money on music gear.  You can contact him by emailing Joseph.Robinson@HomenetAuto.com or connecting with him on LinkedIn.

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