Your Website is Not Just for Sales Anymore

Jan 04, 2018 | | 135 |

Your Website is Not Just for Sales Anymore

Are you losing your service customers to ISPs? Wondering how you can prevent this in the future? You aren’t alone.

This was the topic during my break out session at the Fixed Ops Magazine Conference in Las Vegas this week. The 3rd annual conference was packed full of vendors, GMs and various roles from Fixed Operations departments across the country. The overwhelming theme for the conference was helping dealers gain a competitive edge using digital strategies.

My presentation was based on a recent study by CDK Global Retail Insights. In the study CDK compared over 1500 websites of new car dealers and independent service providers. The results proved that consumers want to be able to perform service tasks such as scheduling from the dealer’s website. Even though a dealership’s website is predominately driven by sales, dealers need to understand the importance of using their website to drive service traffic. Dealers were engaged and interested in this topic because Customer-first behavior has primarily been on the sales side of dealerships and they know that’s it’s so important for them to get on board.

Seeing the dealers engaging, taking photos of the slides and notes during the presentation was affirmation they understand the importance of this topic was affirmation of our hard work. Not only was the case study by CDK on service content for websites valuable, but it was also the topic of conversation after the presentation at the CDK booth in the exhibit hall. Dealers confirmed they need to consider using digital for service and not just sales. The website is just the tip of the iceberg. Facebook and Google are a valuable place to venture into service marketing as well.

The Next Steps

During the presentation, I listed a few steps that they could use to improve their websites and service retention; one was making sure their mobile website is user-friendly for scheduling service and another was making sure their mobile website included service specials, like coupons and deals. One of the top web searches around getting service is if there are coupons and specials associated with the service options.

One of the main concerns dealers had was website management. Many conference attendees were fixed ops managers and service managers, which are the people who don’t really deal with websites. One of the big takeaways from my presentation was that the service department needs to have a bigger role in the digital space. Finding someone who can assist with website management daily can make a huge difference at your dealership.

A big thank you to Peter Kahn and Tess Karesky for their help in putting together this case study and the presentation.

If you missed the presentation and would like more information about the study, you can read the white paper here: Take Back Your Fixed Ops Customers from Independents.

Candace Blanchard
CANDACE BLANCHARD
Candace has been in the automotive space since college, working her way up from sales to Director of Finance for a large dealer group. After taking a break from work life to stay at home when her kids were small, she returned to the workforce at Cox Automotive working under the AutoTrader and KBB brands. She said transitioning to CDK was a blessing. She loves helping dealers grow their business in the digital space whether it be on the front side of the house with advertising, BDC management and all things digital to Fixed Ops.