"We now promote both sales and service to customers who have a better chance of doing business with our dealership," said Gendron, and their dealership has saved a lot of money by shifting their focus from more expensive traditional mass marketing to a more targeted advertising that speaks to consumers who have the highest statistical probability of buying and servicing their vehicle with the dealership.
"Customers that live far away are naturally less loyal, but customers who live closer to a dealership's "perfect market" have a much higher probability of returning more often, spending more money and referring more of their friends," said Budd Blackburn, the creator of the "perfect prospect predictor" and the owner of www.TeamVelocityMarketing.com, the targeted marketing team that works with Teir10Marketing.com for targeted email and direct mail campaigns for Hendrick's sales and service departments. "We use the manufacturer's research, Polk Market data and the dealer's historic sales and service trends to target in-market customers who buy and service more often with the dealership over their lifetime," added Blackburn.
"We are making an effort to spend money more effectively by attracting and retaining customers who spend more with us, not just today but over their life time," said Gendron. "When the press said we were in the worst market in 18 years, we actually felt some wind in our sails because of this new strategy. We were connecting differently with consumers and it drove them to us. We had moved up 14 spots in YTD rankings over 2009 in only 3 months and it was evident our plan was definitely working."
Another component to Hendrick's new marketing strategy is online videos to promote the dealership. Today over 70% of online car buyers initiate their new vehicle search online and Hendrick uses video search engine optimization (VSEO) to appear on top of the search results with hi-impact videos that promote their dealership and the products they sell. Google changed their algorithm so that video results have more search authority than traditional text results so Hendrick uses VSEO to appear on page one for the most popular search phrases in their market. "Google gives advantage to video results over text results and consumers like video more than text because it combines sight, sound and motion," said Karry Moore, Owner of www.Car-Mercial.com, the company Hendrick uses to produce, optimize and place hundreds of positive videos on top of the search engines.
In addition to attracting new customers, Hendrick works very hard to create customers for life by delivering a world class customer experience. "We want to astonish our customers with extraordinary service. We monitor how our customers are being handled so we can make sure that they receive a 5-star experience at our dealership," said Gendron. Hendrick monitors 100% of their inbound calls so they can measure their advertising and track how their customers are handled on the phones, the number one entry point for consumers today. "Our managers get instant alerts whenever a customer is mishandled so they can contact them immediately to resolve issues, save a deal and save a customer in the long term. We save multiple deals a week and repair broken relationships that could lead to lost customers and even worse, bad word-of-mouth," explained Gendron.
Hendrick uses their call monitoring strategy to ensure that every customer is handled properly and their advertising is generating the highest yield. "Within minutes of Hendrick's management team receiving an alert, they are able to contact the customer directly and resolve their concerns," said Chip King, president of www.CallRevu.com, the company that provides the call monitoring service to Hendrick. Hendrick uses the reports to measure the effectiveness of their advertising and to monitor all customer phone calls through daily, weekly and monthly reports, as well as, real-time alerts that save deals and prevent potential CSI concerns. "Our team's compulsive focus on serving the customer has enabled us to become the proud recipients of the 'Elite of Lexus' award for several years in a row," said Gendron. "While we have had a fantastic year, we have a lot of areas we need to improve on so we look forward to improving and growing in 2011." – less – More from ZoomInfo »