Better Car People Blog

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

image from huffingtonpost.com

image from huffingtonpost.com

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year….”

That song, while beautiful, always seems slightly ironic to me. It is a wonderful time of year--the decorations, the wonderfully bad for you food, the parties…..it is enough to keep you constantly busy.

Internet leads don’t realize you are at a holiday party or shopping for presents. They don’t care. (they are inanimate, so that could be part of it…..) All the lead knows is that it needs to be answered. As a dedicated Internet Manager, Director of E-Commerce, or BDC Manager, you know those leads need to be answered in less than 10 minutes. And not with an autoresponder.

How is that possible during the holiday season?

Overnight BDC.

BetterCarPeople created Overnight BDC for people like you. People who know the value of leads--especially the ones which come in after hours or on weekends. Overnight BDC will answer your leads 24/7/365 or whenever you want to switch us on. But we don’t only answer the lead--we answer it with live people. We create a customized, professional, engaging response to every individual inquiry. Each response will be answered as you, for you with images, value propositions, engaging questions, welcome videos featuring the individual salespeople, and very specific call to action directions for your potential customer. Overnight BDC also gives you the tools to customize anything within the response. You can add pricing statements, your own personal value propositions--the sky's the limit.

And we do this all in under 10 minutes.  

Busyness is inherent in this season. We do want to slow down and enjoy the moments, but there just aren’t enough hours in a day. So when you add working in a industry with a selling cycle that never turns off, it only adds to the “most wonderful time of the year.”

Imagine a date night, a party, a Christmas Eve, a New Year’s Eve, or any night without having to worry about an initial response.  A night without your phone buzzing or having to log into your CRM. Imagine a Monday morning with all of your leads answered and organized. All you would need to do is call the customer.

Would you sell more cars?

Would you have more time?

It is not too late to enjoy the season. Contact us to see how we can not only change your end of the year, but your 2015 as well! Until then, hum your favorite carol while you finish sending those emails!

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Published on December 17, 2014 by Better Car People.

Late Night Tire Kicker or Serious Customer?

How long does it take you to respond to an internet lead? An hour? Two? Ten?

working around the clock

I am in the market for a new vehicle and have been shopping around to my local dealers. I put in a lead at 3 pm (a prime time to submit leads) and I am penning this article at 10 pm.

Still no response to that lead.

And I really wanted someone to contact me. I guess I am moving on to the next dealership.

If you think this scenario has not happened to you, you either have an amazing internet process in place or are in denial.

I have written previously about the many (and I mean many) researched articles which have studied the viability of internet leads. These studies were lengthy (some up to three years) and analyzed/quantified large amounts of data. From the Harvard Business Review to The Lead Response Management Study, they have all concluded the same results.

10 minutes

That is the amount of time in which you need to respond to a lead.  

Seriously…

10 minutes to pen an amazing email or call a customer. That is what you have. After 30 minutes, the viability of making contact with the potential customer decreases 21%. After an hour, the likelihood drops significantly to almost the same percentage as a cold call (Lead Response Management Study).

That is fine during the day. That should be more than attainable. Regardless if you have a BDC in place, or an internet team, or if the salespeople are taking turns answering the leads--10 minutes should not be an issue during normal business hours. After all, an internet lead should be no different than a person walking into the showroom, right? You would never imagine making a person wait that long to be greeted.

But what about your after-hour leads?

When you close your doors and turn off the lights to the dealership, what is your first hello to those leads that come in at 9, 10, or 11 pm? There is a dangerous school of thought which deems late night internet leads as nuisances. Kids on the computer. People bored at night, but not really serious.

But we know, and the industry knows, that internet research is not going away. The average car buyer is looking at multiple sources (18.2 ring a bell?) online before he ever steps foot on lot. And by that point, he has by all indication, made his decision.

So when is he shopping? He is shopping after work. After things have settled down and he has time to take a moment for himself. The internet is your digital showroom, and it is open 24 hours a day. We need to treat is as such so we don’t lose valuable customers.

We also know from our research that about 30% of all leads come in after-hours. 30% of your potential business is submitting leads when your doors and closed and your lights are off.

If you respond with an autoresponder--turn it off. The customer knows you are not working at 1 am. No need to tell him/her with an automated e-mail. Automotive News highlighted this notion in a January article which detailed how autoresponders actually hurt the sales process, opposite of what was previously thought.

You need to respect that online customer just as you would the customer who walks into the dealership at 3 pm. The only difference is that one finally had a moment to look online after hours. Are you missing out on 30% of your business? The dealerships across town may not be….

That reminds me, I need to keep looking for my new car.


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Published on December 11, 2014 by Better Car People.

When Quick Isn't Enough

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We have all been there. You send out an important e-mail, are excited when a response pings into your inbox, and anticipate what you will soon read. You click on it, only to find a canned, automated response.

“I will be out of the office until….”

I almost wish there was no response rather than that response. 

It is a response which is not a response.

How many times do we send that to our potential customers?

Not a very nice first hello. This is more of an index finger in the air--wait until I want to talk with you-- response.

Leads are valuable. They are not only leads--they are potential customers. And whether you purchase those leads or if they are OEM leads, they have monetary value; regardless of when they come into your system.

I recently read a study in the Harvard Business Review  which described the value of leads, and how quickly they should be responded to. To capture the lead--to try to convert the lead from online to on-lot, you need to respond to the potential customer quickly--and not with an auto-responder. If you wait more than an hour, the lead is statistically no longer interested.

So, here is what we know:

  • You need to respond to each online customer in 10 minutes

  • You need to be professional, consistent, personal, and engaging

  • You need to be grammatically correct.


You need to personally respond to each online customer

Regardless of the hour, you need to personally respond to the customer. Auto-responders are not an effective way to get a customer from online to on-lot. It is just a digital answering machine. Those customers shopping at night are there for a specific reason--that is when they have time! The work day is over, the dinner is made, and the kids are in bed. That is his/her first free moment to shop. Reach out to that customer where he/she is.

It is doable. And that does not mean that you have to have your phone or computer next to you at all times or sleep with it at night. We have a great tool to respond to these leads which is not an auto-responder, but that will be a writing for another day. But being the first and the fastest is not enough. 

You need a professional, consistent, engaging response

Professional means the response is just that--professional. Your first hello should be the best possible you. When a customer walks into the dealership, you turn on your genuine smile, walk with authority, shake with a firm grip--you want to make the best possible first impression.

When responding to customers, you need to make sure that your responses are consistent between all employees, at all times, with all mediums of technology. Whether using a computer or a phone, you should provide the same quality of response.

You need to be grammatically correct

Nothing is worse than receiving an e-mail or a text with incorrect punctuation, capitalization and spelling. It looks unprofessional and childish. Take the time (the extra five minutes) to review your work. If you are not confident in your written skills, have a co-worker review your responses. Never hit send without a second read through.

So, What Now?

We have a saying at BetterCarPeople--You won’t sell a car with one e-mail, but you can definitely lose a sale with a bad first hello. Make sure that your first hello to your customer is genuine, engaging, and professional. Take the extra moment and make that connection. You will see the ROI.

 

Permalink internet leads, BDC, OvernightBDC, e-commerce, internet, Lead Management Service

Published on December 05, 2014 by Better Car People.

Better Car People Dash for the Dominican 5k

Ready, set, go! If you did not participate in the Dash for the Dominican 5k walk/run last month then you truly missed out! We had the privilege and honor of being the title sponsor for the event. The youth of Shiloh Baptist Church are going on a week long mission trip to the Dominican Republic in June. They will be visiting Pasitos De Jesus which is an orphanage for young girls.

Already serving on mission in the Dominican Republic for several years, the Shiloh Baptist youth felt a calling to help the girls at the orphanage. Thus the mission project  “A Heart for the Dominican Republic” was started. The youth group had the idea to do local mission projects to raise $30,000+ in order to pay for a year’s worth of education for all of the girls at the Pasitos De Jesus orphanage.

As a business in Union County, we understand the importance of supporting our local community. Sponsoring this great event was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up. The Better Car People crew thoroughly enjoyed the healthy competition as they raced past one another and other race participants. Although it was raining, it didn’t put a damper on the event at all.

Music was blaring through speakers and everyone was in good spirits. As runners sped down the straight away and through the finish line, announcers, volunteers and finished runners cheered. Water, bananas and granola bars were on site for tired runners and walkers. The best part of the race may have been the “swag bag” that participants received. Inside the bag, there was an awesome race shirt and tons of coupons for local businesses.

The 5k raised over $13,000 for the mission trip. Better Car People is happy to help such a great cause. We are inviting you to embrace the Shiloh Baptist youth’s mission by helping them reach their goal. Please visit the Shiloh Youth Missions website to donate today!

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Published on April 14, 2014 by Michelle Lide.

New York and New Jersey GM Service Club Meetings

Paul LeMay and Mike Kotek

Paul LeMay and Mike Kotek

Mike Kotek represented Better Car People at the New York and New Jersey GM Service Club Meetings. He did an exceptional job representing the Better Car People Team! We wanted to give a huge shout out to Paul LeMay for inviting us to attend the meeting and being such a gracious host, without his support we wouldn't have been as successful as we were!

Mike Kotek is one of our National Sales Managers and he does an amazing job demonstrating the benefits of Better Appointments for OnStar. Better Appointments is an entirely new approach to optimizing OnStar service notifications, it provides the customer with an easy to use scheduling process and it provides customers an opportunity to select different services or parts that they may be interested in receiving for their vehicle. Better Appointments was developed as a way for customers to schedule appointments without ever having to fill out a form, it simplifies the serve appointment process for the generation who likes conducting business via their smart phone. More importantly, Better Appointments was designed to help dealerships make additional revenue.

Better Car People’s mission is to reach out and engage existing customers, new customer, and to solicit feedback and interest in Better Appointments, well, Mike Kotek did just that by signing up a new record number of deals for a Service Club Meeting.

Since release, Better Appointments has gained new customers at a rapid rate, in just over 6 months an additional 500+ products have been installed into dealerships and the success stories received from dealerships have been amazing! The Better Car People team strongly believes in and stands behind its products and we want everyone to know about them.

What are you waiting for? Speak to a Better Car People representative today at (855) 448-4219.

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Published on February 28, 2014 by Michelle Lide.

Casino Night Company Celebration

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This post is a little late, but better late than never! Better Car People has been very busy answering dealership sales and service leads since the start of the new year! For our holiday party, back in December, we went a more traditional route compared to what we have done in the past. But, like true Better Car People fashion, our party had a twist and was great fun! Our party had a casino theme and did not disappoint. The Loft, an old, rustic space in downtown Monroe, was rented out and our employees dressed to the nines!

Upon entering the party, you were immediately handed a champagne cocktail and a playing card. After you took the stairs up to the main event space, you couldn’t help but be amazed at the setup. A live band was playing in the corner, tables filled the center of the room and a full buffet and bar were set up on the right of the room. A photo booth, with all sorts of props, was also there to help capture the night.

Employees and their guests, along with some of our influential clients, helped themselves to endless amounts of food provided by Kate Clyde’s Catered Creations. While eating, a raffle took place where employees had the chance to win gift cards and other neat prizes. The winners, of the raffle, were determined based on the playing card they received when they first arrived.

The food was delicious and the band was great, but the best part had to be the casino tables that were set up on the other side of the venue. Dealers and tables were brought in and provided a real Vegas feel! Guests and employees left the party with full stomachs and big smiles!

To further celebrate the holidays we also had a luau themed office party. The week before Christmas we celebrated with brats, chicken, chips, pasta salad, brownies, cookies and all of the fixings.The entire Better Car People office had a blast. It is always so nice being able to celebrate the holiday season with coworkers.

Our OvernightBDC service provides a first response to your dealerships’ online sales and service leads, 24/7/365. Although members of our quality assurance team and support team worked some over the holidays, to answer your leads, they still enjoyed time with their loved ones.

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Published on February 13, 2014 by Michelle Lide.

Arizona GM Service Club Meeting

Better Car People, had the distinct pleasure of participating in a GM Service Club Meeting  in Mesa, Arizona.  There were over 30 different dealerships represented and Better Car People was given the opportunity to speak about Better Appointments for OnStar.  Better Appointments is an entirely new approach to optimizing OnStar service notifications.  It was developed as a way for customers to book an OnStar appointment without ever having to fill out a single form, it simplifies the service appointment process for the dealership and most importantly it helps dealerships make additional revenue.

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Mike Kotek, a Better Car People National Sales Manager, represented Better Car People and gave an amazing presentation, he even awarded a new Kindle Fire to the lucky Michael E. Hanna from Chapman Cevrolet Izuzu.  Better Car People’s mission was to reach out and engage existing customers, new customers, and to solicit feedback and interest in Better Appointments.  The meeting was a success, with at least one dealership signing up for the product at the meeting and many others giving verbal commitments.    

Since release, Better Appointments has gained new customers at a rapid rate, in just over 6 months an additional 500+ products have been installed into dealerships and the success stories received from dealerships have been amazing!  The Better Car People team strongly believes in and stands behind its products and we want everyone to know about them.  

What are you waiting for? Speak to a Better Car People representative today at (855) 448-4219.

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Published on January 22, 2014 by Michelle Lide.