At the 2017 Kain Client’s & Friends Workshop in Lexington, Kentucky, Joe Gumm spoke with CEO and President of Cars.com Alex Vetter to talk about all of the great people that attended the workshop from vendors to dealers, who came out to learn from each other.
Dealers continue to wrestle with how mobile is changing the industry, and Cars.com has developed a new feature to help in-market shoppers connect with salespeople.
“It’s an exciting time to be in the business. We’re having a great year overall. But dealerships think that they’ve got to sharpen their swords. They’ve got to be smarter than the consumer wants to be and stay on top of those trends.” Vetter says. “So the dealers that are here, they’re students of the game and they’re leaning into the issues.”
Vetter says the message is simple: 2018 is the year of taking care of your people and dealership employees are the best marketing tools for a dealership’s operations.
Cars.com Offers an Enhanced Car Shopping Feature
Salesperson Connect is the enhanced feature from Cars.com that helps car shoppers connect with dealers in the digital space before meeting dealership employees in person.
“We’re providing dealership employees with tools through DealerRater to help dealership employees be their strongest testimonial by getting their customers to rate dealers and review their own in-market shopper experience. These are much more trustworthy claims than advertising messages,” Vetter says.
Dealers can unlock their potential, Vetter says, by harnessing the power of their customers. When consumers proactively go online and choose who they want their dealer to be, two things happen:
- There is a higher degree of comfort to contact a person before the car shopper goes into the business, and
- There is a better form of attribution and measurement to let the dealership know where they are getting their traffic and leads.
A benefit of DealerRater also includes helping to retain dealer salespeople, who then in turn help to retain consumers who have reviewed them online before going to the dealership. This enhanced feature on Cars.com makes the car shopping experienced more personalized for both the consumer and the salesperson.
“We all have social networks and build up our following. And when we do that, we don’t want to change platforms or tools. So dealerships and employees in those dealerships that are building up their reputation by building up their book of business, they’re proud employees, and they don’t want to move,” Vetter says.
Dealerships who offer their employees a platform that promotes their best people and helps enhance the car shopping experience for the consumer is on the winning edge.