Maryland Dealer Improves Leads and CRM with New Web Site

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Daymond Decker - Also by this author

As Web sites became popular in the past, it was important to simply “be” on the Web. But today’s Internet user is far more savvy than 10 years ago, and last year it became clear to Jason Stocknoff of Toyota of Waldorf in Waldorf, Md., that the dealership needed to update its Web site to create a virtual dealership.

“Initially, we started a Web site because that’s how the industry was moving. You had to adapt or die. So we had some problems with our Web site—like a name-your-price option that set too-high expectations with prospective customers and pop-up windows that inhibited navigation,” noted Stocknoff.

Toyota of Waldorf partnered with BZ Results to overhaul the dealership’s Internet strategy and arrive at a new Web site with new functionality that customers love. Said Stocknoff, “They like the ease of navigation, and we now offer inventory pricing, virtual test drives, and 360-degree interior and exterior vehicle views.” In fact, Toyota of Waldorf boasts an average visitor’s stay on the Web site now ranging between four and five minutes long.

200 Leads per Month
Toyota of Waldorf implemented a number of Web site activities to encourage prospects to complete lead-generating forms on the site. For example, Stocknoff offers an Internet coupon—“We doubled the value of the coupon and built the price into every vehicle, letting all customers take advantage of the discount,” stated Stocknoff. These activities are generating about 200 leads every month.

But it’s what happens once a visitor becomes a lead that has proven most successful for Toyota of Waldorf. The virtual dealership delivers Stocknoff with real-time lead information, so within minutes of receiving a lead, a dealership representative makes a phone call, often while the person is still at the computer or even on the Toyota of Waldorf Web site. Stocknoff believes that getting people on the phone so quickly provides customers with as much information as possible and has led to high appointment-setting and appointment-show rates. “We’re setting about 80 appointments a month from the Web site, and we can count on 70 percent of those appointments showing up.”

Automatic E-mail Communication
By taking advantage of automatic e-mails to the Toyota of Waldorf database of sales and service customers and prospects (which contains more than 16,000 contacts), Stocknoff noted that people don’t fall through the cracks and the dealership maintains better customer relationships. With the Buzz Marketing system, Toyota of Waldorf can even send virtual test drives to customers who come into the showroom but haven’t visited the Web site. “We can also beat the ISP system because our e-mails are not tagged as spam or filtered into the junk mail folder. So, we stay in much better touch with our customers.”

Stocknoff noted that the new virtual dealership is generating about 60 percent of all leads that come into the dealership, and they’re selling about 70 units each month. But, continued Stocknoff, the focus remains on tomorrow. “The owners’ goal is to continue to be on the leading edge of technology, building this dealership and the virtual dealership so we can be successful into the future.”

Vol 5, Issue 10

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