Fixed Ops Feature LIVE in Vegas at Digital Dealer

Our last Driving Sales Fixed Ops Feature and we are so glad that Bryan Armstrong got to stop by and impart his wisdom not only from attending all 10 Driving Sales Executive Summits, actually winning last year’s Best Idea Award, but also the knowledge he has gained from being an e-Commerce Director of 4 Volkswagen stores around the US!

Here are some highlights:

Ryan: So you just came back from Eric Miltch’s session called, “Do You Want to Be a Marketing Millionaire,” what was that all about?

Bryan: Eric is one of those guys, he’s been here since day one. Very successful dealer and very successful vendor now, but here’s the thing… he really gets it when it comes to the dealer thought process. He talked about some vanity metrics and hold vendors accountable and holding all of your providers accountable and he’s not afraid of that accountability himself. The fact that I utilize his tool is secondary to the fact that he continues to educate people to say these are the things you should be measuring and if someone is not living up to the snuff then they probably should go, because its not able those vanity metrics you see on so many reports that say “time on site was this” “look how low your bounce rate is” ask “where are my customers, where’s the money, where’s the ROI?” So here is a vanity metric and here are tangible metrics. Here’s what you should be measuring and how you can measure it.

Ryan: Did anyone of the keynotes stand out for you this conference?

Bryan: Probably Brittany from MOZ. I love MOZ, I like Rand, I like his product because it provides such insight. This is from a guy who types 20 words a minute with three fingers. But the fact of it is that I’m still a car guy and we are in the people business, so understanding the intent of your consumer and how they’re coming into you helps you with your closing percentages and your acquisitions. How to gain that SEO. How to find that information that customers are searching for and then to monetize that into your site so that you can attract that traffic and then, of course, you can convert them.

Ryan: And just to tie that in, you know at FIXED OPS DIGITAL their focus is on service marketing SEO and I think you see that SEO is not dead.

Bryan: Yes, highly underrated, underrated, underrated. We sit there and we lose SO much of our business to the big box stores. But look at what the OEMs are doing. We see it in ours. We are now seeing that the services are VW Care is included on the MSRP, so VW is moving towards that for the retention. And there’s even talk obviously with many manufacturers they’re saying ok here’s your CEI is going to go away and we are going to measure on straight retention. And how is that going to impact a dealer like us where we outsell our PMA year in year out. Well, you can attract that customer once for the sale, but how do you retain them? How do you keep them loyal to your service department? An interesting slide from Brittany’s Twitter poll that she showed 56% of people if they have a relationship with a dealership they would return there to do business. And even if it’s for the first inquiry at least I know they are going to check with me before they go somewhere else. So more and more and more its important that we pay attention to the back of the house and make that process as painless as possible and do away with the stigma that the other big box stores and the Jiffy Lubes and the Quick Services and those places are putting on us when they sit there and say ok $19.99 oil change and then their average ticket is $33. How are they doing that? Well, they are doing that through fear-based tactics in my opinion to where they say your car needs this and this and this. So maintaining that transparency on the drive so you build the value and not only doing business with you but doing business with your people and doing business with your company whether it be the factory certified technicians, the factory-certified parts and how does that relate to the consumer? How is that increasing their future value? How is that protecting their investment? How is that going to benefit them in the long term? As far as trade value and everything else. If you’re not speaking to those points then you’re going to lose that battle based on the price and the fear.

Ryan: So let me ask you Bryan so last year at the Summit you won the best idea contest! Take a moment and tell us what the best idea was. I would love to know how it’s impacted and been applied in motion?

Bryan: One of the pain points, you know there are a lot of online schedulers and we use one of them, but many people they have to set up an account, then they have to scroll through this menu list and select which services they need and the customer doesn’t know. That’s putting a burden upon them. A pain point if you will do business with you. So my thing was ok, utilizing Google My Business and Google Posts, make sure that you are doing a fixed ops search, because most of my searches are for fixed ops believe it or not. Specific to service. So do a post, with a special, but then make it text-enabled so the people can just schedule a service appointment click here. Utilize your Google My Business Page messaging service, have that go to your service BDC and let your service BDC, which has the CRM open right there in front of them now copy and paste their VIN into your appointment scheduler, set that appointment, send the confirmation email and make that seamless so that the customer just did everything that they needed to do with just a text message.

Ryan: I want to emphasize that the idea is how to leverage Google My Business Messenger which is relatively new, just in the last couple of years I believe.

Bryan: It is, but its hugely underrated, I mean as we heard from Brittany that Google is doing everything they can to make sure that they understand on a very granular level our business. And our business model. They are doing that obviously to interject themselves between the consumer and us. Well, the fact is that I don’t need them interjecting themselves, I don’t want them serving competitors ads to my people. I want to make it as simple as possible. When they see my Google My Business page they can see that knowledge graph they can see all of the information they need right there. That’s why I am talking to Owen and other providers to say ok I need to have all of my recommended service schedules mapped out. Most customers don’t know and they’re not reading the book, so they are going to go crawl Google, they’re going to look for the answers online and if I’m not providing them, they’re going to get them from someone who will. And then the next step in that is that they are going to offer them those services.

Ryan: I like it and what I am hearing without having you say it is Google Messager specifically is that you hit them there because that is where the customer is there providing a level of engagement. You’re saying hey it’s pretty seamless to move them into your communication system without disrupting their experience.

Bryan: Exactly, it’s just a natural transition because they’re going to click to call. If they are clicking to call how is that being answered, how is that call being routed and how long is their wait to get that. And what revenue are you losing by not having someone call in and say, “you know what I need to schedule an oil change and maybe have my brakes looked at.” Why would you not route that into a BDC? “Oh great, is that on a 2016 Jetta with the VIN ending in this…?” The customer doesn’t know that but you lend validity to that conversation by stating the last 6 of the VIN. We know who you are. You’re one of us. Were here to help. And you make that a seamless transition so then that service level exceeds and any value that it brings exceeds that price point. That’s a secondary conversation.

Ryan: Bryan Armstrong thanks for being here.

Bryan: Thanks for having me.

Fixed Ops Website Review & Meeting

Julie Branum

Julie Branum

Julie has a decade of experience in the car business and marketing specifically for manufacturer dealerships in the U.S. Utilizing best practices and her background in design, Julie believes in presenting and converting dealerships online visitors into high RO Service and Parts Department customers.

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