Article

Revolutionizing e-satisfaction

March 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by John Zieglar - Also by this author

Celebrating their 35th anniversary this year, Reeves Import Motorcars continues the legacy of providing exceptional opportunities for ownership of premiere luxury vehicles to clientele in and around the Tampa Bay area.  The history of this family owned and operated dealership encompasses all the elements of a classic inspiring American family success story.  Founder Allen Reeves, a passionate humanitarian and legendary business leader, had the vision and foresight to establish the roots of his family-owned and operated establishment in 1971, introducing the Florida area to some of the most exciting, and previously unavailable, foreign import models.  Beginning in 1978 and continuing throughout the years, Allen lovingly and wisely introduced Vivian, his wife, into the business and providentially prepared her to continue his legacy.  At the time of his death in 1999, Vivian courageously stepped into the footsteps that her husband’s legacy had created, and gracefully carries his torch to this day.

Vivian’s uncommon presence in the industry as a woman dealer principal is complimented by her gender-oriented attributes such as elegance, poise and meticulous attention to detail, just like the premiere vehicles Reeves carries.  The dealership facility has grown into a sprawling 24-acre ‘campus’ accommodating a diverse collection of award-winning franchises.   Reeves Import Motorcars offers a unique collection of fine luxury imports such as BMW, Audi, Maserati, Subaru, Porsche, Hummer, Land Rover and Volkswagen.  Each of the franchises are nationally known and recognized for their individual achievements and success.

The “Golden Rule”

Allen’s legacy and Vivian’s continued success in the automobile industry stems from the Reeves’ own personal “golden rule” of success which is to treat others in the way that you would like to be treated.   There is no doubt that outstanding customer service is key to continued success in this industry, but in this technological generation how can technology aid a dealership that is run on a vintage core principle of hands-on, personalized service?

e-commerce  to  e-satisfaction

Successful dealerships are realizing that technology and customer satisfaction have become synonymous in today’s market of generation techs.   As a result, technology and its successful implementation are crucial for meeting customer needs.  Digital technology provides a dealership with the means to reach out to existing customers in a very personal and intimate manner while providing an environment of convenience and privacy in which the customer can conduct business. The power of Internet marketing also enables contact with potential customers in such a way that a trusting and valued relationship can begin with the prospect’s initial ‘click’ and continue through the entire buying and renewal processes.  The Internet and technology have become crucial elements in the formation of customer relations and ultimately customer satisfaction.   Dealers are relying on quality sites utilizing cutting edge technology to meet their customers’ needs.

Utilizing e-tools 

Audi Sales Manager Zack Powell began his employment with Reeves in 2002 as a BMW Sales Consultant and was then promoted to Director of Internet in 2004.  “The Reeves vision began with a focus on our Web presence,” Powell explained.  Reeves knew that customers were turning to the Internet to begin their research.  After looking at different vendors they made a decision to switch to a digital marketing provider BZ Results.   Their new ‘virtual campus’ Web site is an extension of what Vivian Reeves puts her name on.  It exemplifies what the dealership represents and establishes a means for them to provide the exemplary service that she desires to extend to our customers through a superior, state-of-the-art Web site.

“Our Customer Relation Management tool BuzzTrak has been an awesome addition to our digital marketing system,” said Powell.  Using BuzzTrak allows the dealership to e-mail media-enriched Web ads that include sound and animation to promote special events.  Reeves had spectacular results from online invitations to attend a customer appreciation day.  Customers were brought in; the dealership had a cookout and showcased their facilities. The facility provides a unique experience for luxury automobile clientele.  All the different franchises are fully accessible to one another, providing guests with the ability to walk from franchise to franchise before making their final selection.  For the child in all of us, the Reeves Campus is like a giant toy store with everything you could possibly want, all in one place.   

Generating e-results

“After implementing our new digital marketing system including our ‘Virtual Campus,’ www.DriveReeves.com, we began to see immediate results.  Our old Web site was informational, but was only converting one to one and a half percent of the leads it generated,” said Powell.   With a new digital marketing system, leads increased more than 400 percent and they now average an 8 percent conversion ratio on the leads generated from their Web site   So for every 10,000 unique visitors, they are getting around 800 leads.  This makes for  high quality leads since the customers were browsing their Web site to begin with. Online sales have more than doubled, but the best measure of success is their ratio of online sales compared to total sales.  The ratio of online sales has jumped from 12 percent to 19 and a half percent, and they are setting their sights on breaking the 20 to 25 percent barrier in 2007.

“Once we started getting leads, it all took off,” added Powell.  “But it’s not only about volume many of our franchises began to see higher gross profits from the Internet than the showroom.  I think the majority of our customers are looking for a great price but more importantly, a great process that is easy and convenient.”

The Reeves Team

Reeves Import Motorcars employs over 300 team members including 50 sales consultants with four dedicated, full-time and four part-time Internet Specialists.   In keeping with the vision and core of the Reeves business philosophy founded by her late husband, Vivian Reeves’ 300+ employees attend free educational and customer service classes up to four times a week.  Because customer satisfaction is at the core of the Reeves business philosophy, it defines everything about their responsibilities and the relationship they have with their customers. 

This straightforward business philosophy has enabled Reeves to build lifelong relationships with their clients. 
Customer satisfaction will remain a priority at the Reeves Campus as they continually seek ways to improve their service.  Owner Vivian Reeves added the following message in a letter to her family of clients:  “Our commitment to perfection is exceeded only by our resolve to offer you the highest levels of guest services in the luxury automotive industry.”

The technology of the Internet has aided the Reeves enterprise in fulfilling this pledge.   It took this kind of commitment and focus to build Reeves Import Motorcars into one of the nation's most successful high-line luxury automobile dealerships.  Vivian Reeves is definitely fulfilling the vision of her late husband with a very loyal family of repeat and referral clientele representing a major portion of their total business.

Allen Reeves left behind a strong legacy of leadership among the Tampa community and the luxury automobile industry.  Vivian continues to carry the torch through her love and dedication to the community and to the growing family of loyal clientele that continue to call Reeves Import Motorcars “home” for all of their hi-line luxury automobile needs.  

Vol 4, Issue 1

Comment

  1. 1. Thomas A Kelly [ February 11, 2012 @ 02:14PM ]

    Sean Wolfington's "John Zeiglar" appears to have been a key player in pumping BZ Results prior to its sale to ADP.

 

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