Automotive News has long been the primary source of industry news, data and understanding for the industry’s decision-makers interest in North America. Since 1925 when the newspaper was founded; Automotive News found new ways to provide information and value to meet the changing needs of its readers.
In May, Automotive News held a roundtable event in Dallas, Texas in hopes that ideas provided by participants would improve automotive dealerships employee morale, revenue stream, and savings thus increasing the bottom line. With today’s consumer having a plethora of choices of where to buy their next vehicle, dealerships are always looking for ways to gain additional market share by attracting new customers. The automotive consumer has changed the way they find their new car, truck, or suv. With the inception of the internet, car research and buying can take place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “The consumer knows exactly what kind of vehicle they want for the price they want to pay” says, Steve Dodge, General Manager of Southwest KIA Rockwall. “Nowadays, a buyer will know just about everything there is to know about the dealership including the salespeople who are employed before they arrive on the dealership floor.” The average consumer is doing all of the research on the internet and statistics show they are visiting 1.3 dealerships versus shopping 4.6 dealerships in years past. Dodge also adds, “Not only is the consumer using the internet to select a great dealership to buy from, but they are also using the internet to deselect dealerships that don’t look appealing.”
The roundtable session provided attendees with great ideas they would be able to implement at each of their dealerships. Some of these ideas included hiring non-commission sales people to lessen the negotiation pressure consumers have long been accustom to when making a new vehicle purchase to the recruiting of college graduates erasing the image of the “used-car salesman” perception.
Southwest KIA Dealership Group with locations in Mesquite, Rockwall, and Dallas created the most excitement at the conference by presenting an idea they have been utilizing with outstanding success for the past couple of years provided by a company named DeliveryMaxx. “Utilizing DeliveryMaxx services has allowed us to create a forum for our customers to share their great experiences on the web. Our CSI scores, sales, service, and online reviews have increased dramatically with this program” exclaims James Seale, General Manager of Southwest KIA Mesquite. “They are like three companies in one because they provide a way for our customers to share their great experiences with the world through a custom review portal that we control at the dealership. DeliveryMaxx helps us market to potential customers by taking a picture at the time of delivery, and then embeds code and our dealership branding pushing this advertising to all of the friends and family of the customer who just bought a new vehicle. Because of this, our referrals and online reputation have gone up allowing us to sell more cars.” With DeliveryMaxx and Southwest KIA’s “Customer First” mentality; the dealership has had unprecedented growth and received numerous awards and recognition for their customer service.
The Southwest KIA Dealerships continue to stay ahead of their counterparts utilizing new and innovative tools to make their customers feel welcomed. They have long held the belief that a happy customer becomes a customer for life. “Decisions on buying a vehicle is no longer about price, but about how much the dealership cares for its customers. People will share their experience, and utilizing DeliveryMaxx’s program, our customers have helped us win additional buyers.” For Southwest KIA Dealerships contribution to the roundtable discussion they were awarded recognition for one of the “Best New Ideas” of the session.
“We are honored and very excited that Southwest KIA has been recognized for their contributions to the automotive industry. Because of their desire to be the dealership of choice; they have been very instrumental in our development of new technology. James and Steve both suggested that they would love to have their reviews with pictures scrolling across their website. We just took that idea a little further, and made it possible providing code that they could target market a particular vehicle to customers disseminating the reviews by make and model. DeliveryMaxx is also about to launch our new smartphone app within 30 days that will allow online reviews and social media marketing happen within minutes of the customer purchasing a vehicle versus 24 hours from the time they made a purchase” explains James Schaefer, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of DeliveryMaxx.
In addition to collecting reviews, marketing great experiences of happy customers; DeliveryMaxx also writes unlimited blogs, post special events, and participates in event marketing with the North Texas dealerships.
“Southwest KIA has been as helpful to us as we have been to them. They are great at what they do, and the people they have are some of the best in the industry. DeliveryMaxx just provides the technology, service, and platform that make it possible for the Southwest KIA story to be told” says Josh Deaton, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of DeliveryMaxx.
Southwest KIA of Dallas, Southwest KIA of Rockwall, and Southwest KIA of Mesquite are prime examples of growth within the North Texas automotive market. This group of family owned dealerships expanded from a single point in 2001 into five stores throughout Texas in less than ten years. The Southwest Dealer Group is currently ranked well within the top 125 highest volume selling automotive groups in the United States by Automotive News.