AutoSuccess: Vehicle Acquisition

An Inside Look At How to Fill Your Lot & Keep It Full

Like many retailers and manufacturers worldwide, the automotive industry was heavily struck by the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. With national chip shortages, back-ordered products, late deliveries and dwindled inventory, dealers today were forced to rethink the entire car-buying process from online transactions to proactive vehicle acquisition strategies. However, like many surprise success stories, COVID-19 provided dealers with record-breaking results despite low and scarce new inventory.

So, what has changed in this “profitable dealer’s market,” and how can dealerships stay competitive and continue to reach record profits?

The answer is simple, vehicle acquisition.

 

 

Consumer demand is at an all-time high. As vehicle prices rise and inventory declines, over 60% of consumers have admitted to not adjusting their car-buying timeline. As delays in new-car production continue to grow, the market value on high-quality pre-owned cars has increased by almost 45%. To combat market conditions today, dealers can optimize their current car-buying strategy with increased integrated online and offline efforts to ensure they are acquiring new and pre-owned vehicles at the right time, to the right person.

AutoSuccess: Embracing the New Reality

How Paragon Finished #1 in the Nation

Since 2020, the automotive industry has changed for better or worse. Automotive companies, retailers, and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are now forced to rethink the entire car-buying process. Two years later, enterprises and consumers worldwide have felt the pandemic-induced changes firsthand — empty store shelves, back-ordered products, late deliveries, and dwindled inventory. So, with this “new normal,” as we have all heard the state of the world being referred to as, how have automotive dealers stayed profitable and competitive during this time?

The answer lies in the dealers that have fully embraced the new reality.

Consumer behavior and dealership operations have fundamentally changed for good. To survive and ensure profitability, dealers needed to adapt to the new reality quickly. The “reality” – digital adoption and technological advancement. This refers to the ability for consumers to access immediate information online about the dealership, vehicles in stock, service scheduling, and more. It refers to consistent, relevant, and personalized marketing through email, search, social and text campaigns. And more importantly, it relates to the ability to complete an entire transaction from start to finish, with pick-up and delivery, all without ever setting foot on the showroom floor. In return, this meant adjusting dealers’ marketing campaigns and finding a way to create a more seamless and frictionless customer experience.

AutoSuccess: The Future of Integration

Connecting the Dots for a Better Customer Experience

See how dealers across the nation are unlocking the power of true performance, personalization and integration with customer experience solutions.

Today’s automotive ecosystem is being reshaped by seamless integration, digital adoption, technological advancements and empowered consumers. Thanks to companies like Amazon and Netflix, consumers no longer strive for personalization, convenience and speed, they expect it.

“It’s astonishing — dealerships today utilize about 10 to 15 different technology applications to communicate with customers. Like separated pieces of a puzzle that were never designed to integrate or fit with one another,” says David Boice, CEO of Team Velocity. “This siloed system leaves the customer more confused and frustrated than ever.”

Just in these past two years, we have seen the industry lean into a new digital and integrated era more than ever before. Companies regardless of industry are searching for new ways to stand out from their competition and provide the best possible customer experience across both online and offline mediums.

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AutoSuccess: The Sky is Not the Limit

The Sky is Not the Limit

New Technology Changes the Future of the Customer Experience

Thanks to companies like Amazon and Netflix, consumers are demanding highly personalized online shopping experiences. Automotive websites have been slow to adapt to meet these new customer expectations — until now. Spurred by necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dealerships have been offering better online services, including appointment scheduling, online transactions, repair reminders, upgrade offers, car pick-up, delivery and more.

“Instead of finding ways to bring the customer to the dealership, it’s how to bring the dealership to the customer,” Eric Frehsée, president of Jeffrey Kia, says. “That’s not something that any dealer can do on their own or something that any manufacturer can do on their own. It’s an evolution.”

In this ever-changing digital world, finding ways to bring the dealership to the customer in a personalized and automatic manner is the key to staying relevant and profitable. Customers’ needs have changed and as a result, the customer experience needs to change as well. “Personalization is no longer a ‘nice-to-have,’ it’s a must-have,”says Brian Benstock, Vice President and General Manager, Paragon Honda and Acura.. “Amazon’s model works because Amazon knows its customers. Dealers need to look at their website the same way. Customers don’t want to go through the hassle of filling out a form to schedule a service appointment because they expect you to already have all their information. If they are shopping for a new car, they expect to easily find out what upgrade options they have and what their payment would be. The data is there, it just hasn’t been used in automotive websites until now.”

 

AutoSuccess: Paragon Honda and Acura

STAYING AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION

Paragon Honda and Acura see a 133% increase in revenue using Team Velocity’s Retention Solution, Apollo Service.

In a time when customer retention has never been more critical, we sat down with Brian Benstock, vice president and general manager of Paragon Honda and Acura, to reflect on his success as he celebrates his 39th year in the industry. In the wake of COVID-19, Paragon achieved a 133% increase in revenue utilizing Team Velocity’s award-winning customer experience technology, Apollo. “2020 was the best year we have ever had, in the middle of a global pandemic. Team Velocity helped us achieve that,” says Benstock.

“The whole notion of having to come to a dealership for service is outdated. If a customer doesn’t want to set foot in the dealership, they shouldn’t have to,” says Benstock. “Our customers don’t have time to waste when buying or servicing their car. Technology has changed their expectations, so we have to change our approach and exceed those expectations.”

“I replaced the most popular legacy service scheduling tool with one from Team Velocity that is fully integrated with my website and my DMS, includes personalized service coupons for every one of my customers, and offers the ability to pick-up and drop-off vehicles. Not to mention, the entire process can be completed in about 30 seconds or less from a mobile device. Team Velocity’s service products have made it drastically easier for my customers to schedule service, which has increased our online service appointments by five times and played a significant role in helping Paragon achieve 133% growth in revenue,” says Benstock.

 

AutoSuccess: Murgado Automotive Group

DOUBLING DOWN

How One Auto Group Achieved Double-Digit Growth Amid the Pandemic with the Help of Integrated Technology

While other dealerships have scrambled to quickly adapt to changes brought on by this year’s pandemic, the Murgado Automotive Group’s position never wavered, thanks to the keen foresight Mario Murgado and his partners had during the economic recession from 2008 to 2010.

Mario Jr. serves as the Marketing and Operations Director at the Murgado Automotive Group – Brickell Motors, which his father founded back in 2001. The Miami-based business has over 18 locations that sell a wide selection of brands, ranging from mass-market Honda and Nissan to luxury Bentley and Ferrari.

“After graduating from college, I came back to the automotive world and focused on sales management. My return took place right after the 2008 – 2010 economic recession. Back then, we really had to change our business into an internet sales model, or digital-forward model, that a lot of the automotive industry really had not adapted to or taken initiative yet,” Mario Jr. said. “Being a little bit younger and exposed to more of the technological side of the business, it was a good opportunity for me to look into how we could create an internet sales department that would withstand the upcoming market change.”

 

AutoSuccess: Commonwealth Auto Group

Cultivating the Customer Experience

Commonwealth Auto Group Increases Net Profits by 20% YOY

Like many dealership leaders across the country, Charles Daher Jr. grew up in the family business. He worked his way up the ranks of Commonwealth Motors in Lawrence, MA, by cleaning cars, fixing dealership lots and selling vehicles any chance he could get. After graduating from college, his passion continued as he transitioned into sales and service management positions.

Commonwealth Motors started in 1991 by Daher’s father Charlie, who, over the past 30 years has grown the business to include five franchises — Chevrolet, Honda, Kia, Nissan and Volkswagen — along with a business development center, serving communities throughout Northeastern Massachusetts.

Today, one of the group’s biggest challenges is their location. Lawrence isn’t known for its affluence or attractions, making it crucial to connect with customers in surrounding areas, such as Boston commuters and residents of neighboring cities. Because of their location, they found a blanket approach to their marketing efforts ineffective and realized they needed a more dynamic strategy to reach their target audiences. The Dahers decided to partner with Team Velocity to help them implement a winning strategy focused on data and a personalized customer experience.

AutoSuccess: The Missing Piece

Paragon Honda Paves the Way with Personalized Customer Experiences

As a dealership partner and industry leader, Brian Benstock knows the importance of staying ahead of the technology curve.

For many years, the general manager and vice president of Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura in Queens, NY has made keynote speeches at industry events across the country encouraging dealers to leap into the new age of the frictionless customer experience, or risk getting left behind.

“There is a great quote by Steve Jobs that says, ‘You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.’ That is exactly what we’ve done here at Paragon,” Benstock said.

“We have been fighting an ecosystem of siloed applications for five years,” Boice said. “When we first started, Brian was using some of the leading companies in this space, which don’t integrate at all with each other or anything else. As a matter of fact, most of the time, they’re archenemies. So, we had to take a different approach. It’s been a five-year journey of building a new and integrated technology platform.

 

 

AutoSuccess: Going Virtual

Bringing the Dealership Experience Online in the Wake of the Coronavirus Outbreak

AutoSuccess: Going Virtual

Most of American life has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. With many states issuing stay-at-home recommendations or outright lockdown restrictions, it’s clear that daily business will not go on as usual in the near future.

Yet for all the unprecedented issues the coronavirus has brought to the world, engagement in online shopping has never been higher. From groceries to crafts to home office equipment, people are finding ways to purchase the things they need without leaving their homes.

Team Velocity Unveils Highly Anticipated Website Platform, Apollo Sites

Team Velocity® is proud to announce the release of its powerful new website platform, Apollo Sites. Fueled by the Apollo Technology Platform®, Apollo Sites is the first website to fully integrate with dealer DMS systems to deliver an unparalleled, personalized customer experience online.

Team Velocity first debuted Apollo Sites at NADA with the launch of longtime client Paragon Honda’s website, ParagonHonda.com.

“I wanted to have a website that would be unique to Paragon’s customers to give them a more personalized experience, and Team Velocity got it right. For the first time ever, our website is sitting on top of our DMS, making use of the first-party data to serve our customers better. It’s taking the friction out of scheduling service and car buying because it’s easier than ever for our customers to transact. It’s like we gave our customers each an Amazon Prime account for their car, and they love it,” says Brian Benstock, VP and General Manager of Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura.

Thanks to companies like Amazon and Netflix, consumers are demanding highly personalized online shopping experiences. However, automotive websites have been slow to adapt to meet the customer’s expectations.

“Personalization is no longer a ‘nice-to-have,’ it’s a must-have. Amazon’s model works because Amazon knows its customers,” says David Boice, CEO of Team Velocity®. “Dealers need to look at their website the same way. Customers don’t want to go through the hassle of filling out a form to schedule a service appointment because they expect you to already have all their information. If they are shopping for a new car, they expect to easily find out what upgrade options they have and what their payment would be. The data is there, it just hasn’t been used in automotive websites until now.”

Apollo Sites harnesses the data goldmines within the dealer’s DMS to provide every customer a unique, personalized, Amazon Prime-like experience. In addition to a public-facing website, Apollo Sites creates a personal website for every customer, dynamically customized to their unique information, including vehicle history, equity position, and shopping activity. Apollo Sites even generates personalized upgrade offers, recommended vehicles, service coupons, and recall notices, all based on unique customer data. These progressive sites also include interactive features like texting and service scheduling, and in the very near future, will offer the ability to complete the entire vehicle purchase process online.

“Throughout the past two decades, dealers have been plagued by ‘Mission Improbable’ – the impossible task of creating a seamless, personalized, omni-channel customer experience across every marketing channel – due to the numerous vendors and technologies on the market that simply do not integrate,” says Boice. “The vast majority of all consumers visit a dealership’s website before they purchase or lease a vehicle but are immediately put off by the huge discrepancies between the offers they receive via mail, email, or even what they see on Google, and what they see on the dealership’s website. Apollo® was designed to solve these integration challenges and make it easier for the dealer to provide the best consumer experience possible. The evolution of Apollo to include websites has brought that vision full-circle.”

Apollo Sites unlocks the unbridled power of true performance, personalization, and integration. Paired with other products like Apollo Ads, Video, Email, Mail, and Text, Team Velocity now offers a one-of-a-kind, fully integrated solution for customer retention, advertising, websites, and retailing.

Recently, OEMs – most specifically, Mitsubishi – have overhauled their current website and digital marketing programs to focus on the power of consistency through integration. In a recent interview with Automotive News, David Baum, Jr., General Manager of Lewisville Autoplex, discussed his store’s success with Apollo Sites, noting the unique ability to track customer activity and interaction on his website in real time, allowing his team to tailor their engagement with the customer to drive a service visit or sale.*

“In the past, I always had service coupons on my website, but I can think of only a handful that were ever presented. With digital coupons pushed to customers through their accounts and through email, just last month, we had 286 coupons redeemed from service customers,” David Baum, Jr., General Manager of Lewisville Autoplex.

Apollo is the only integrated platform that makes, manages, and measures all your automotive marketing. With its unique offer management system, dealers can price out all vehicles on lease, buy, and finance options daily and deliver those offers across all mediums. This includes websites, email, mail, search, video, social, and more.

“We are so excited and grateful for the abundance of momentum we are having with dealers and OEMs who are signing up and endorsing our platform. It is proof positive that our industry understands the demands of the customer and is rapidly moving forward with companies like ours who are helping to fulfill that frictionless and personalized customer experience,” says Justin Byrd, President of Team Velocity.

Original Source: PR Newswire