Courtesy Chevrolet Case Study in Automotive Internet Sales and Marketing
Courtesy Uses eCommerce and eCRM to Build the #1 CHEVY DEALER IN U.S.
2007 eDealer of the Year and the nation’s of Phoenix, Edward Fitzgerald together with horizon by rising to the top as the #1 total
leading volume sales Chevrolet Dealer partner R. Mitchel McLure, created a dealer- sales volume Chevrolet Dealer in the nation.
is selling an additional 380+ vehicles per ship that was destined to become one of the Dealer Operator, William Gruwell, has been
month and lowering marketing costs per sale largest automobile franchises in the United a partner in the business since 1981. Upon
down to $300-$350 per unit! How’d they do States. It all began with two dreamers who the passing of Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Gruwell
it? By developing a successful Business De- shared one vision, an old farm house which became a partner with Mrs. Fitzgerald, and
velopment Center and leveraging the inter- served as the showroom and ofﬁce, and a tiny today they employ over four hundred staff
net as a marketing tool to promote all of their shed out back that doubled as a makeshift members, all of who have helped to build
proﬁt centers within the dealership, Courtesy garage and make-ready area. In spite of such Courtesy Chevrolet into the icon of success
Chevrolet is raising the bar for dealers across a modest beginning, Courtesy Chevrolet is that it is today. Apparently the acorn(s) didn’t
the country and the world. now leveraging the power of the internet to fall far from the tree. Gruwell’s sons, Mark
Back in 1955, on what used to be the outskirts dominate the market in the Valley of the Sun, and Scott, have inherited their father’s pas-
and has sion for the industry, have worked in sales,
broad- and are now Used and New Vehicle Sales
ened the Directors, respectively.
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heights. Today the BDC and Internet
eBusiness Sales by Team Sales Departments are the nucleus of the
(4076 Units Sold in 2006) dealership’s overall sales operations.
Other; 57 New Car How did your dealership get started?
BDC, 1,523 Internet; 1,442 While investigating and evaluating the
technology and the market, we found a
company that had excellent automobile
credentials, cutting edge technology, and
the tools and training that we needed.
BZ Results helped Courtesy develop a
new customized Business Plan that in-
cluded an innovative marketing strategy
with clear objectives and processes. We
eFrinanc Sales Used Car
Team; 360 built a new website, put the right people
in place, and implemented new process-
At the core of their growth and contin- ible marketing medium, and as a result es.
ued success, is their thriving Business we’re using the system to increase sales,
Development Center under the direc- F&I, service and parts business for a THE TECHNOLOGY
tion of Ralph Paglia. With over 25 years lot less money than traditional advertis-
of experience in the retail automotive ing media. As a result, our cost per sale What sets your website apart from
industry, Paglia literally escalated his ranges from $300 to $350 which is a lot the competition?
career from sales consultant to Dealer less than our traditional advertising,” ex- An effective website will drive more
Principal in a short time. plains Paglia. trafﬁc to the telephones and showroom
In 1998 he began serving the Auto In- The Gruwells realize that the scope of ﬂoor. Our online Virtual Dealership has
dustry as a Management Consultant. By CRM has evolved into more than just great features that attract and hold our
the end of 2002, Ralph was performing an encounter on the showroom ﬂoor, customers’ attention. We have a lot more
the role of senior consultant and OEM and they know the importance of utiliz- interactive links like Virtual Test Drives
Consulting Services Manager for the ing innovative technology, and having to engage customers with an intense
CRM Services consulting and training the right people and the right processes multimedia experience that highlights
division of a major automotive technol- in place. eBusiness Director, Paglia, the advantages of the vehicle they are
ogy company. The most recent years shares the following insight to the suc- inquiring about, as well as money saving
have led Paglia to leverage his expertise cess at Courtesy: online coupons that lead the customer
and skills around process implementa- into action. Customers can research in-
tion planning for Courtesy Chevrolet. THE VISION formation and product reviews, check in-
Paglia is passionate about implement- ventory, gather trade information, com-
ing business process innovations that Why did your dealership initially plete credit applications, watch tutorials,
leverage information technology and establish a Business Develop- and view media enriched presentations
web services to drive results and deal- ment Center? on “Why Buy from Courtesy” and our
ership proﬁt growth. And grow they William Gruwell knew that Internet mar- “GM Certiﬁed Pre-Owned Program.”
did, “We’re using our Business Devel- keting was the way of the future. All of All of this has proven to successfully
opment Center and the Internet to sell the traditional forms of advertising were drive trafﬁc, build value in our products
up to 384 additional vehicles a month! becoming less effective, and he realized and our dealership, and convert a higher
The cornerstone of our BDC is our digi- that the internet had unparalleled poten- percentage of our unique visitors into
tal marketing system that generates in- tial for building value in products and the leads. In summary, HouseofCourtesy.
cremental sales and drives over half of dealership. His vision was broad enough com is dynamic, yet easy to use, and ef-
the phone trafﬁc to the dealership. In to incorporate old school wisdom with fective in generating sales and creating
a short amount of time, the BDC staff the marketing power of the internet to loyal customers.
has learned to use the web as an incred- enable Courtesy Chevrolet to reach new
What methods do you use to attract
people to your Virtual Dealership?
To attract today’s shoppers, a dealer needs to
be visible on the internet. To ensure top place-
ment on the most popular search engines, we
use a customized combination of advanced
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategies to
maximize our exposure on the internet and in-
crease trafﬁc to our site. Before implementing
our digital marketing campaign, Courtesy’s
presence on the internet was virtually non-ex-
istent. With our overall Search Engine strat-
egy, we dominate both the organic and the Pay
Per Click (PPC) areas attracting both those
who choose to use alternative sites and those
who want to go directly to our site. Another
awesome method for increasing trafﬁc to our
Virtual Dealership is through email market-
ing campaigns. We have been gathering email
addresses from prospects and customers in all
areas of the dealership for quite some time and “Courtesy Chevrolet uses HouseofCourtesy.com to promote all proﬁt cen-
have built a large data base of email addresses ters (New,Used,F&I,Parts&Service) with the dealership!” William Gruwell
from which we can target speciﬁc campaigns
using BuzzTrak, our CRM tool.
source of quality leads, and has become a Re- best closing ratio and a higher gross proﬁt.
THE TOOLS gional Buying Service for our area. We focus
mainly on bulk email campaigns and search THE PROCESS
What is it that you like about BuzzTrak, marketing to maximize our exposure on the
the Virtual BDC Manager? internet. Using deep links to speciﬁc content What are your processes for handling
BuzzTrak is central to our BDC success, and within our BZ Results web site, along with the increase in leads and the conver-
we use its powerful innovative features to our revolutionary Digital Marketing strategy, sion into appointments and sales?
manage all of our eBusiness and CRM cus- we have cut down on costly and less effective We handle all of our leads through our BDC
tomers. The system is fully integrated with third party lead providers. Our world-class and eBusiness Sales Department. This strat-
our AdTracker and Virtual Phone Manager, website is capable of converting up to 20% of egy has helped us to focus on the right people,
so all of our internet and phone leads are the visitors into leads, which produces a high- tools, and processes to convert leads into sales.
automatically imported into the tool. With er ROI on the leads generated from our site We have clearly deﬁned processes from set-
BuzzTrak we are able to customize and send because these leads have proven to deliver the ting appointments to post-sale follow-up.
out media-enriched bulk email campaigns
that are like mini commercials. Besides the
fact that we can reach thousands of customers
In a Nutshell
with the click of a button at virtually no cost,
the measurability of the effectiveness of our • Courtesy Chevrolet is the #1 Total Sales Volume Chevrolet Dealer in the U.S!
campaigns has proven to be crucial to our con-
tinued success. The custom email campaigns
are great for seasonal specials, and targeting • Courtesy Chevrolet uses their BDC and eBusiness Teams to sell 380+
speciﬁc types of buyers like ﬂeet businesses, additional cars in one month!
credit challenged customers, or lease/ﬁnance
renewal prospects at no extra cost. Our lead
management tool allows us to make sure that • Courtesy Chevrolet uses HouseofCourtesy.com to promote all proﬁt
all of our leads are processed and followed up centers (New,Used,F&I,Parts&Service) with the dealership!
in the most effective manner. We are able
to provide our customers with timely personal • Courtesy Chevrolet was named one of the Top 10 eCRM Dealers of the
responses that build the value of our people, Year for 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007!
products, and our dealership. The innovative
technology of our BuzzTrak CRM tool helps • Courtesy Chevrolet uses award-winning HouseofCourtesy.com to es-
us to build trusting and lasting relationships tablish a Regional Internet Buying Service that generates the highest
with our prospects and existing customers. quality leads at the lowest cost per sale of $300-$350 per unit!
How do you generate leads, and • Courtesy Chevrolet partners with BZ Results for their advanced Market-
why? ing Strategy, Website, BDC, and CRM Tools and Training.
www.HouseofCourtesy.com is our primary
Our provider has made it easy for our custom- crease proﬁts. After the initial planning stages the trafﬁc to our website by over 12,000 unique
ers to submit leads from our Virtual Dealer- of meeting with management teams to outline visitors each month, we are converting up to
ship in a number of places, so once we get the a detailed strategy, we began to staff the BDC 20% of those visitors into leads, we are selling
lead, we make sure to give the customer the and eBusiness Sales Department with highly- up to 380 additional vehicles per month while
info they are looking for while building value trained, internet-savvy automotive sales pro- building value in all of our proﬁt centers within
in our dealership. Another key process is the fessionals who are passionate about what they the dealership—and all at reduced marketing
constant tracking and measurement of metrics do in order to maintain the high standards and advertising costs!
with our automated analysis reports. Mr. Gruwell has set for our dealership. Each
Knowing where the strengths and weakness person is trained extensively on phone and in- Paglia afﬁrms Courtesy’s success by point-
are is crucial in order to reﬁne processes and ternet scripts and skills to begin building trust ing out William Gruwell’s pledge to his loyal
improve results. with the customers from the initial contact. family of customers which is “to build a rela-
tionship that is built upon professional service,
THE PEOPLE THE RESULTS trust, and integrity, while providing the very
latest in automotive design and technology.”
How important is it to have the right What is your formula for achieving re-
people in place? sults and continued success?
Having the right people in place is crucial to The answer has to be the implementation of
the success of any dealership. Step One for interactive integrated marketing using the phe-
Courtesy’s success involved hiring the right nomenal innovation of the internet, in other
technical partner to lay a foundation upon words…the potent combination of technology
which to build our strategy. Our technology and CRM. Our results speak for themselves.
partner understands innovation, but more im- Since implementing our advanced digital mar-
portantly they understand the automobile busi- keting strategy, BDC, eBusiness Sales Teams
ness and how to help us sell more cars and in- and our Virtual Dealership, we have increased
“Our BZ website helped us sell 380+ vehicles
out of our BDC/Internet department”- Ralph Paglia
HouseofCourtesy.com Sells 380+ Vehicles