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AutoPoint Blog

17Oct
2014

Training: Mercedes puts its Money Where its Mouth Is

Posted by Manuel Soto

I’ve written many times about the value of training and professional development to employee retention. Training, in combination with a company culture designed to create engaged employees, can help make a dealership a force to be reckoned with. Employee retention has always been a pain point in the automotive industry, because many employees feel there is no job security. Until very recently, it has been up to the dealership itself to foster this environment and provide ongoing training for its staff. Mercedes, however, has decided to take matters into their own hands. ..


10Oct
2014

When the Economy Is Good Is When We Must Shine!

Posted by Manuel Soto

A recent article on Science20.com, explains how customers will be less focused on price and will emphasize the customer service experience when the economy is going well. However, when the economy softens, price becomes the motivating factor and the experience matters less. This makes sense – when times are better the customer is willing to spend more on purchasing a vehicle; or take their vehicle in for some long overdue service work. Whereas when times get tough, people naturally get thriftier with their spending. The article states that it would be wise to concentrate on making the experience of purchasing or servicing a vehicle the very best regardless if the economic times are good or bad. Not only will it yield greater revenue today, but also keep our customers returning, despite economic conditions. ..


27Sep
2014

Empowered Employees Bring Higher Levels of Customer Service

Posted by Manuel Soto

“The customer is always right” has been the trademark phrase used by businesses in the United States for decades. By and large, most reputable businesses believe this philosophy to some degree, and put policies and procedures in place to make sure that their customers are treated fairly and effectively when concerns arrive. ..


19Sep
2014

The Trick to Increased Service Revenue Is Keeping Your Bays Full

Posted by Manuel Soto

Many auto dealerships have technology in place that allows sales managers to monitor what’s going on in their departments. CRMs and phone call recording services are used by sales managers to ensure that Internet leads are being followed up promptly and that salespeople follow up with shoppers that visited the dealership but did not buy. Many dealerships, however, don’t take advantage of these technologies to monitor what’s going on in their service departments. ..


12Sep
2014

Are You Prepared For More Service Business?

Posted by Manuel Soto

Auto dealers know how important their service business is to the bottom line. There’s no doubt that service absorption is vital to the health and livelihood of many dealer’s financial statements at the end of the month. Automotive News recently reported that Honda has gone a step further. During a Honda dealer’s meeting in late June, Honda reportedly told dealers that they want them to increase their service facilities and capabilities as well as extend their hours of operation – some to the point of being open 7 days per week. This is all in an effort to make Honda dealers more competitive with independents and regain service business opportunities Honda dealers are currently missing out on. In addition, Honda feels that by 2018, service business will increase dramatically based on rising sales. While only a suggestion for now, according to the article, Honda dealers are feeling pressured by the factory to begin implementation of these changes including extending service hours, adding service bays and technicians, and remodeling flexibly in case more bays are needed later. ..


05Sep
2014

How Job Hopping Became Acceptable and How You Can Change It

Posted by Manuel Soto

When developing an employee retention strategy, a business must ultimately consider salaries. There’s no doubt that a long-term employee will feel slighted if a new employee joins at a higher pay. Chances are they may even feel slighted if the new employee receives the same wage. In the automotive industry (and business in general), it’s increasingly acceptable to see applicants with multiple jobs in short time spans. It was not too long ago that hiring managers reviewing applications would frown upon these attributes, harboring questions of stability and suspicions as to why a person couldn’t keep a job. It also wasn’t that long ago when people had only a single employer their entire lives. ..


29Aug
2014

How Simply Getting the Job Done Can Be a Bad Thing

Posted by Manuel Soto

Working at a car dealership often takes its toll on employees. The demands of a fifty, sixty or seventy hour work week often leaves the employee exhausted, mentally and physically. Generally, these employees are not clock-watchers, they are your commissioned sales people, your technicians, your management staff and they are the bread and butter for your dealership.  Are these long work hours the expectation that has been set by the organization, or it is part of the genetic makeup of these employees? Is their heart into it? Or are they only a cog that helps turn the wheel? ..


22Aug
2014

Random Acts of Generosity Can Build Loyalty

Posted by Manuel Soto

Finding a lost earring in the jewelry box, discovering the old autographed Tom Seaver baseball card when you clean out the attic, and learning that the shirt you are about to pay retail for is discounted, are all pleasant surprises.  How about walking into your bank and having the ATM talk with you and then give you a gift for being a customer?  Could that surprise highlight your day?  Such was the case during a special July day at four TD Canada Trust branches, according to this article.  Many customers received a $20 bill, but for some customers, the trip to the bank was much more rewarding. One lucky customer landed an opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game. And another got to take a trip out of the country to visit a sick family member. ..


15Aug
2014

Is Instant Customer Feedback In Your Future?

Posted by Manuel Soto

There’s no doubt that customer satisfaction is important to all car dealerships. Whether a dealership actually cares about making the customer happy, or merely wants to ensure that their CSI scores stay acceptable to the OEM, these scores play a major factor in the overall health of a dealership. Poor online reviews can sway a buyer to go somewhere else. Poor CSI scores can affect allocation and have serious ramifications with OEMs. Dealerships go to great lengths to protect these scores including pre-emptively surveying customers; either in finance or via e-mail surveys after their visits; hoping that they can intercept any issues before they become public. The challenge most dealers face is that many customers don’t complete the surveys, depriving dealers of valuable feedback. ..


08Aug
2014

Fix the Affliction

Posted by Manuel Soto

The adage “two brains are better than one” has long been used to think through matters and solve problems.  And to take it even further, excluding the human element, often two computers with different programming can solve problems more effectively than a single device. ..


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