Engaging The Online Shopper at J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Internet Roundtable
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Engaging The Online Shopper at J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Internet Roundtable

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Engaging The Online Shopper at J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Internet Roundtable

Engaging The Online Shopper at J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Internet Roundtable

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  • Hello and welcome to our workshop: A Matter of Trust: Online Advertising Builds Credibility and Drives Sales As part of our discussion today, we’re going to look at the importance of building trust with car buyers and how that trust can help you drive more traffic to your store and close more deals. We’ll look specifically at how you can leverage your online assets to build that trust, examining real-world situations and sharing with you proven strategies to build trust—and avoid eroding trust—that you can begin using today. As I said, this is a discussion. If you have any questions or comments about the issues raised in today’s presentation, please hold them until the question-and-answer session following the presentation. Don’t worry: We have plenty of time set aside.
  • Tell the people a little bit about yourself… This is me, Kathy Kimmel. Before I joined Cars.com as a training manager, I… Discuss DaimlerChrysler: Discuss AutoNation BDC role Understanding of what drives customer satisfaction and loyalty; identified customer concerns and then helped the stores implement processes necessary to improve these scores Reference progress: last in the country to third place Since coming to Cars.com approximately 18 months ago, I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of dealerships and _____ dealers across the United States to refine their internet advertising strategies and internet sales processes. We also hear a lot from consumers. We see a lot of data. We know what works, and we can bring this insight back to you so that you can incorporate them into your advertising and sales processes.
  • Tell the people a little bit about yourself… This is me, Kathy Kimmel. Before I joined Cars.com as a training manager, I… Discuss DaimlerChrysler: Discuss AutoNation BDC role Understanding of what drives customer satisfaction and loyalty; identified customer concerns and then helped the stores implement processes necessary to improve these scores Reference progress: last in the country to third place Since coming to Cars.com approximately 18 months ago, I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of dealerships and _____ dealers across the United States to refine their internet advertising strategies and internet sales processes. We also hear a lot from consumers. We see a lot of data. We know what works, and we can bring this insight back to you so that you can incorporate them into your advertising and sales processes.
  • Tell the people a little bit about yourself… This is me, Kathy Kimmel. Before I joined Cars.com as a training manager, I… Discuss DaimlerChrysler: Discuss AutoNation BDC role Understanding of what drives customer satisfaction and loyalty; identified customer concerns and then helped the stores implement processes necessary to improve these scores Reference progress: last in the country to third place Since coming to Cars.com approximately 18 months ago, I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of dealerships and _____ dealers across the United States to refine their internet advertising strategies and internet sales processes. We also hear a lot from consumers. We see a lot of data. We know what works, and we can bring this insight back to you so that you can incorporate them into your advertising and sales processes.
  • Tell the people a little bit about yourself… This is me, Kathy Kimmel. Before I joined Cars.com as a training manager, I… Discuss DaimlerChrysler: Discuss AutoNation BDC role Understanding of what drives customer satisfaction and loyalty; identified customer concerns and then helped the stores implement processes necessary to improve these scores Reference progress: last in the country to third place Since coming to Cars.com approximately 18 months ago, I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of dealerships and _____ dealers across the United States to refine their internet advertising strategies and internet sales processes. We also hear a lot from consumers. We see a lot of data. We know what works, and we can bring this insight back to you so that you can incorporate them into your advertising and sales processes.
  • Everything we do in life depends on trust, from personal and professional relationships to the products and services we buy. Without trust, we don’t know upon whom or what we can depend. Will my friends and family be there for me? Is my food safe to eat? Will the lights turn on when I flip the switch? Is the car I see in the ad the same one I’ll see on the lot? Will the car actually be on the lot, or was it “just sold five minutes ago,” before I arrived? By the time the average car shopper arrives at your store, he or she has completed several hours of research, reading about the cars they’re considering and the dealers who have them in inventory. You can trust that this person is in the market to purchase a car; in fact, studies show that once prospects reach this point in the sales process, they usually purchase within the next [ timeframe ]. Car shoppers, meanwhile, are accustomed to advertising that promises more than the product can deliver. They can see past the hyperbole—usually—to get the features and benefit information they need. Staying at a Holiday Inn Express, for example, may be a smart decision, but it doesn’t mean you’re now smart enough to fly a helicopter. Can the same be said about your online advertising and sales processes? What’s interesting about car shoppers is how they use the internet to both identify and eliminate options. Not only are they narrowing the list of vehicles until they arrive at the car they will purchase, they’re also trimming the number of dealers they’ll visit. They make these decisions without ever leaving home, thanks to objective reviews they read online and the impression they form from reading your online listings or your response to their quote requests. As with the other purchases they make, car buyers want to know they can trust you to a) treat them professionally and b) sell them the right car at a fair price. Yet a significant number of them begin the process with trepidation; one-third of lead senders tell us they’re afraid of dealers and dread the process. I know some of you don’t like to hear this statistic, but with 70 percent of car shoppers using the internet as part of their shopping process, it bears repeating. You probably don’t like to hear it because you hold yourself and your store to a high standard: The car in the ad IS the car on the lot. You respond to each and every quote request you receive—in one hour or less. The phone number(s) and email address(es) in your ads are consistent and accurate. The price on each of your listings is competitive. Even the doughnuts and coffee in your waiting room are fresh. At the same time, you see the opportunity in this statistic: The dealers who create for these prospects the shopping experience they want instead of the one they expect now have customers who are afraid of every other dealer, save them. And they’re now busy with both the immediate sale and the repeat/referral business these buyers bring their way. - - - - - Transition: We’re now going to take a look at how you can use your online advertising to build trust.
  • Ten years ago, “being on the internet” essentially meant tasking a salesperson with managing the emails and quote requests that came into your store. In the decade since, the internet has come into its own, helping millions of car visitors each month research the vehicles they’re considering and identify the dealers who have them in stock. While email and quote requests remain popular, perhaps the greatest shift in internet shopping has occurred in the role third-party sites play in qualifying prospects. (Advance slide)
  • When car buyers research vehicles online, they hope to save time by getting the information they need from internet listings to narrow down the list of cars they want to see in person. While every car on your lot may not merit 32 photos, many do – especially hard-to-find or unique cars. The idea is to use these photos as your opportunity to demonstrate that the vehicle is what you claim it to be and demonstrate how it meets the prospect’s needs. Keep in mind that the sales process already has begun; what the customer is doing and looking for in your virtual showroom is no different than what he or she would do or want to see in your actual showroom. To that end, you’ll want to show the car from every exterior angle and showcase its interior. For example: Seating capacity (with seats folded down or removed, as appropriate) Cargo capacity (with seats folded down or removed, if applicable) Audio system Navigation system Odometer Dashboard Cupholders Various electronic systems and accessories Other innovative photos: Owner’s manual Complete service records, if available Photo of the internet sales manager or this car’s lead salesperson Photos of your store Each of these photos contributes to the overall message of trustworthiness, albeit in a subtle way, that you want to be convey. - - - - - Transition: Now, what about things that are, shall we say, less than perfect? Do you show these pictures in your listings or let customers discover them for themselves when they take the car out for a spin?
  • If you’re not advertising certified cars as certified, then you’re not getting the added benefit of a certified program. Otherwise, these cars are just used cars from the consumer’s perspective. If you’re selling certified at the time of sale, you’re not getting the upfront benefit of bringing in these shoppers. CNW: $1700 premium on certified cars, March 2007 (Mention somewhere in the presentation, but not on this slide.) These shoppers are farther down the purchase funnel.
  • - - - - - Transition:
  • Within each of these points, - - - - - Transition: Thank you for joining us today to discuss “A Matter of Trust: Advertising Builds Credibility and Drives Sales.” I’ve enjoyed being with you today and look forward to any questions or comments you may have.

Engaging The Online Shopper at J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Internet Roundtable Engaging The Online Shopper at J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Internet Roundtable Presentation Transcript

  • Engaging the Online Buyer A Matter of Trust Kathy Kimmel, Cars.com
  • Moderator: Kathy Kimmel
    • Began automotive career as DaimlerChrysler district sales and service representative
    • CSI manager for 26 AutoNation stores
    • Former BDC manager for two AutoNation Mercedes-Benz stores in Illinois
    • Training manager for Cars.com, consulting dealers on internet advertising and sales processes
  • Panelist: Matt Lamoureux
    • Acton Toyota
    • Internet sales director
    • Single-point store in Massachusetts
  • Panelist: Nancy Stracione
    • Fred Beans Family of Dealerships
    • Internet director
    • 23 franchise stores in Pennsylvania
  • Panelist: Jerry Winder
    • Larry H. Miller Dealerships
    • Director of e-commerce/internet
    • 43 franchise and pre-owned stores in the western United States
  • Trust Fuels Your Business
  • Overcoming Perception
    • Perceptions of car salesmen and the car shopping process must be overcome:
      • Americans rank car salesmen last among public service professions for honesty and ethics*
    * Gallup Poll: Honesty / Ethics in Professions, Dec 8-10, 2006
  • Internet’s Influence Continues to Grow
    • Internet yields greater
    • influence on decisions than
    • ever before:
      • 80% now research online*
      • 68% claim the internet has an impact on make/model**
      • 49% note the internet has some influence in choosing the seller from which they purchase**
    *Cap Gemini **J.D. Power & Associates 2006 Used Autoshopper.com
  • Shoppers Narrow Dealerships Online
    • Shoppers are visiting fewer dealerships:
      • Shoppers visiting only one dealership has doubled since 2004*
    *Automotive Retailing Today – Image 2006 Shoppers & Non-Shoppers Survey Results (September 2006)
  • What We’ll Learn Today
    • How to build online ads and listings that engage buyers and instill confidence
    • How to monitor and influence your online reputation
  • Online Ads That Build Trust
  • Avoid Trust Busters
    • Trust Busters
    • Inaccurate information in your ad
    • Different pricing information in the same ad
    • Inaccurately advertised mileage
    • False equipment in the listing
    • Too many phone numbers
    • Bad grammar and misspelled words
    • No pictures of the vehicle
    • Advertisements for inventory that’s not in stock or that has already been sold
  • Include Trust Builders
    • Trust Builders
    • Quality photos that alleviate doubts
    • Pictures of the sales staff
    • Detailed information about the vehicle’s history
    • Maintenance records, inspection report or reconditioning report
    • Information about your dealership and its reputation
  • Buyers Believe What They Can See
    • How do photos engage buyers and build trust?
  • Buyers Believe What They Can See
    • Trust Building Photos:
      • Problem areas
      • Use multiple, good-quality pictures
      • Price on the vehicle window
      • Odometer reading
      • Under the hood
      • Owner’s manuals with keys
      • Maintenance records
      • Vehicle History Reports
      • Sales staff or ISM
      • Tire tread – with penny test
      • Actual photos of new- vehicle inventory
  • Keep Your Inventory Fresh
    • I had a very poor experience at this dealership on 6/7/07. After speaking with the internet sales department to confirm vehicle(s) were actually on the lot and to tell him I'd be there that evening, to my dismay, the vehicle was not on the lot. The quoted vehicle was now only available at $900.00 additional (running boards I didn't want) the classic bait and switch. In short my experience was extremely annoying, frustrating and a colossal waste of my time. I would never recommend this dealer to friends and family. *
    • Outdated inventory leads buyers to believe they have been a victim of “bait and switch” sales:
      • Remove sold vehicles from your listings immediately
      • Never post inventory you don’t have in stock
      • Know what’s in your inventory when buyers call
    * DealerRater.com
  • Build Confidence in the Car
    • Call out special features that build trust in the vehicle:
      • One-owner vehicle
      • Bought and serviced here
      • Inspected by our certified technicians
      • Vehicle History Reports
      • Certified pre-owned
  • Certification Gives Peace of Mind Cars.com/Experian Automotive Consumer Purchase Behavior Analysis Certified leads close at a higher rate than used leads Lead Type Certified leads close almost a week faster Days to Close
  • Show Buyers You Have Nothing to Hide
    • Vehicle History Reports reduce real or perceived risks in the buyer’s mind:
      • VHRs are growing in importance to used-car shoppers
      • Of those who obtained a VHR, 57% would not have purchased the vehicle without the report*
    *J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Used Vehicle Sales & Certification Study
  • Offer Reasons to Trust Your Dealership
    • Tell buyers about your dealership to earn their trust:
      • Articulate your business philosophy
      • Mention longevity in the business
      • Note community involvement
      • Feature accolades and awards
      • Establish the expertise of your management team and sales staff
  • Going Beyond Your Website
      • Using social media to engage buyers and build trust in online communities
  • Roadmap to Ads That Engage Shoppers
    • Build the car’s credibility through quality photos, accurate pricing and detailed sell copy
    • Leverage certified inventory and VHRs to give buyers peace of mind
    • Set a trustworthy tone for the sales process
    • Reinforce your store’s positive reputation
    • Be consistent across all channels – online and offline
  • Managing Your Online Reputation
  • Monitor What’s Being Said
    • Evaluate the conversation about your dealership online:
      • Monitor blogs and chat rooms
      • Read consumer reviews
        • DealerRater.com
        • Seller ratings on eBay Motors
      • Take negative feedback to heart and make it right
  • The Power of Consumer Reviews
    • Increasing numbers of consumers are turning to the opinion of others online:
      • 75% of shoppers say it’s extremely or very important to consult consumer reviews before buying*
    I used the team at Acton I and the experience was extremely excellent. The whole process worked seamlessly. I had very little time and needed someone willing to work via email and phone as well. The staff was great to work with and was very responsive and more importantly was pro-active without being intrusive. The process gave me their best price right away (and it was a fair price) and I never felt or found anything but straight and honest discussions. I have already recommended them to friends telling them they have to at least give Acton a try when they look for a car. ** *2007 Survey by Bazaarvoice and Vizu Answers – Effect of Consumer Reviews **DealerRater.com
  • Influence Your Reputation Online
  • Would You Trust This Dealer?
  • Trust Drives Success
    • Trust plays an essential role in the sales process
    • Build buyer confidence in your advertising by:
      • Fully advertising your listings with photographs/video and sell copy that accurately shows the car’s condition and gives buyers peace of mind
      • Promoting the value of your brand and communicating your reputation
    • Earn buyers’ trust with best practices for lead follow-up, managing email, phone and walk-in traffic
    • Monitor and influence your online reputation to build trust in your store
    • Leverage trust and credibility to build relationships and drive more sales
  • Questions & Answers Thank You