Please join us in welcoming back Glenn Pasch, auto marketing expert and CEO of PCG Digital. Glenn and PCG Digital have worked with the likes of GM, Lithia, and Nissan. And he has also provided his expertise to CBT on numerous occasions.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Hi everyone, I’m Jim Fitzpatrick. Thanks so much for joining me on another edition of CBT News. Today, we’re so excited to have with us Mr. Glenn Pasch. I know that you know this face and you know this gentleman, he’s been in the industry now for, how long have you been in the industry Glenn? 20 years or more?
Glenn Pasch: No, not that long.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Really?
Glenn Pasch: I would say about 12, about 10, 12.
Jim Fitzpatrick: 12 years. Well, welcome back to the show. We always love having you on and we get such great feedback from our viewers and subscribers whenever you are on because the points that you bring up are, are very well taken from some of the people out there in the industry that say, “Man, this guy nailed it.” Let’s kind of jump right in here and talk about the customer journey flow. I know that’s something that is near and dear to your heart. So let’s kind of start there. What should we focus on now that we’re in 2020 with regard to what the journey looks like and the flow?
Glenn Pasch: Well, yeah, so I think we have to think backwards in a way. I think when we talk about a customer journey flow, we have to go backwards from where we want them to end up. Meaning if we want them in our dealership, what’s that experience we want them to have there. But then we have to track backwards, where can they contact us, right? Where can they see us? And then we have to address each one of those points to make sure that we’re one, meeting them with the information in the format the way that they want it. Meaning if they’re on mobile, is it mobile friendly? If they’re on our website, are we making it easier for them to find information? If they’re on video, YouTube, are we giving them content that’s helpful. So all along that way, the goal should be is that each time they interact with us, they’re getting one step closer to say, “I’d like to go contact them. I’d like to go visit them.” And so that’s really the journey. It’s every little bit helping them move forward until they interact with your team.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right. So with that in mind, what’s the best way? What’s the best way to start out and what should that journey look like?
Glenn Pasch: Well, I would again start with the end, at your dealership. What are you trying to accomplish? How do you want your customers to feel when they interact with you? Then you can start building out those processes internally in the store. But customer journey happens a lot, as we know, online or through what we read in terms of reviews or we talk to our friends. So it all talks about that customer journey. Again, our website is our online showroom, so we have to make sure that’s tight, very easy for them to navigate through, find the information that they want. And then as we jump out further to our advertising, our ads. So I would start, if you had to pick one after you took care of your store and what happens in the store, if we say, okay, customer journey is going to be online, it’s your website. And there’s just way too many obstacles on the website or frustrations for customers and interacting, trying to get that information. So that’s where I would clean up first.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, you go, you visit some dealers websites and you’ve got chat bots that pop up and you’ve got specials that come slide in and then you’ve got some kind of flashing something in the corner that says we service all makes and model cars and it can get, it starts to look like the Vegas strip after a while, doesn’t it? Where just kind of block it all out and say, “I don’t, I don’t know what’s going on here.”
Glenn Pasch: Well, what happens, and that’s a fantastic point because the websites that we like the most to interact with, if you want to say Amazon, that’s the one everybody talked to. If you think about it, their product pages or VDPs, the equivalent for dealerships, are really clean and simple. Here’s what you want, here’s a button. Do you want it? Pretty much [inaudible 00:04:04] some other options to get. So actually less is more, but in automotive, more is the way that we just seem to, as we add something else on, we don’t say, well we need to take something off. We’re afraid to streamline because we built everything for the desktop. And so when I’ve seen websites designed for mobile, when a dealer looks at it on their desktop, they go, “Oh my God, it’s empty. No one’s going to like that.” In reality, it’s probably the easiest way for someone to find what they want.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right. How many times have you heard a dealer say, “Well, I went on my competitor’s website and they have X, Y, and Z on there and therefore I should have X, Y, and Z?” Well, it could very well be that your competitor is doing a completely wrong and now here you are trying to follow suit. So it makes you just as bad as the other guy that spent no time or money in research to say whether or not that was the right website or the right look to have.
Glenn Pasch: Well I think and that’s fantastic point because can be very insular. I heard Roy, I heard a great quote from a gentleman named Shep Hyken.
Jim Fitzpatrick: He’s on our show all the time. Great guy.
Glenn Pasch: So Shep says, which I really like, “He goes, you’re no longer being viewed or compared to people,” I’m paraphrasing, “in your own industry. You’re now being compared with every type of experience that your customers deal with.” So it’s not, “Well, I’m only comparing you to the other dealer. It’s Amazon, it’s restaurants, it’s hotel websites. It’s everywhere I shop, how easy is it?” So again, to dealers, they have to start looking and going back to the customer journey, just asking themselves a question, what frustrates them when they go online and shop and what makes it easy, and how could we do that in automotive?
Jim Fitzpatrick: Let’s switch gears here a little bit. I know that you’re head of a very aggressive and progressive, I should say, marketing company. You crisscross the country working with dealers of all sizes. Cutting down on waste in dealers ad spend. I know you see a lot of it when you look at budgets of dealers and scratch your head and go, what are we advertising in that area for? What, who told them to do that? Where the data that says we should be in that area or on that medium? Talk to us about that.
Glenn Pasch: It’s interesting because it ties into what you were saying, we just add in. If someone’s part of a 20 group and they go to a 20 group and someone in a 20 group says, “Well this is what I do.” Let’s immediately do it without data. I think dealers are getting pulled in a lot of different directions, new things are happening and I really think it’s truly finding an agency or a partner that you trust through the ups and downs. So as Google changes something or you have new ideas, you have someone to bounce the ideas off of. But it’s all data driven versus well I have a feeling. And so hence, there’s tons and tons of waste happening because we’re trying new things without any real strategy on how to execute or measure the results so we can make better decisions.
Jim Fitzpatrick: For the dealers that are watching that say, “Well what, give us an example, Glenn, of some of the things you’ve seen in advertising budgets because they might be in my advertising budget and I’m scratching my head as to why it’s in there.” So give us an example of some crazy things that you see in budgets that make no sense.
Glenn Pasch: Well, it’s funny, it’s not even the crazy ones are easy to spot because you’re going to say, “Why are you advertising that?” It’s more things you think are the right thing. We’ve noticed that, for instance, buying the dealer’s name, right? So if I have Glenn’s Toyota, if someone types in Glenn’s Toyota, they’re going to see the website as the first organic listing and they’re going to see my Google, my business. Buying your name, if you want to take a little bit of money on under a couple of hundred dollars because it makes you feel better because someone else is buying name. But I see people doing 2, 3, $4,000, buying their own name. And that to me in this day and age is just, that’s a complete waste.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, that’s that’s crazy. Switching gears once again, content marketing in 2020 is content still king?
Glenn Pasch: Yes it is. I think content is becoming… Dealers’ websites have to become more information portals to help help customers find the information because again, they’re hesitant to call again. Remember in the past it was, we’re going to keep all this information here, make you call us, make you come in. Those days are over. So you have a decision to make is that if I’m going to create content that’s going to, going back to the customer journey, help the customer make the decision, make me as a dealer seem as if I’m helping you. I should be helping you, so that I stay on your consideration list. So there is content. Making content for content sake, just page after page after page, that’s not really going to help. But if you’re thinking to yourself, what questions do I get asked on the lot when someone comes in, what cars when they come in for this, what’s the one in our market they also look at, there’s probably hundreds of questions that they get asked in every single department.
Glenn Pasch: Service, finance, sales, right. Answer those questions. I think that’s relevant content that will show up and then showcase your dealership as being helpful in the market.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Online reputation management, is it still as relevant as it was just a few years ago?
Glenn Pasch: A few years ago it was a huge missing piece. It wasn’t there at all. You know, you’d have dealers who had 12 reviews and then someone had hundreds of reviews. I think everybody has gotten into the game of review. They are still important because that’s how we judge. Doesn’t matter, again, going back to Amazon, going back to hotels, your Ritz Carlton or Marriott or whatever, they could have thousands of reviews. You’re still saying, “I’m going now, I don’t care if they had reviews from last year, I’m going to see reviews now because within these last three months, because I’m going there, so I want to know what’s happening.”
Glenn Pasch: So it’s always important. And I think for all of the customer service surveys and articles I’ve read, people look for a couple things. Yes, they look for star count, above four makes sense. They really look for more recency and consistency. Meaning that if you’re going to have reviews, I’d rather a dealership have one new review a week forever versus 50 this month and nothing. Still have 50 reviews, it’s how I get them. Because if I see I had a lot of reviews before and now I don’t, I think what happened? Or if all of a sudden they had none and now they have all of these, I’m like, what’s happening? So I think it’s consistency and recency so that someone who’s looking now wants to know how are your customers being served now.
Glenn Pasch: So yes, it’s not the flashy thing anymore like it was a couple of years ago and that’s what we all tend to do. What’s the new thing? It’s a basic building block that should never stop.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure. Talk to us a little bit about recruiting in 2020.
Glenn Pasch: I think dealers have to think about recruiting the same recruiting employees along the same way that they were recruit customers. We get customer testimonials to say, “Hey, when I went to Jim’s Toyota, it was great experience.” Well, why aren’t we using testimonials of the employees that have been at our dealership for five, six, eight years saying why they’re there? I mean, we all know certain individuals in the business who are at stores and have been there for 10 years. So you have to sell-
Jim Fitzpatrick: Or more.
Glenn Pasch: Right. You have to sell that this is a career versus a temporary sales job until I find something better. What you said is they have to focus on compensation, have to focus on hours. And more importantly, they have to focus on training and actually selling people and explaining to them that there is a career path versus you come in and sales and that’s it. Versus if you’re selling or you’re a sales person for X number of a year or this, your next step would be this and then your next step would be that. People want to see a career path, but you have to build it, you have to sell it. And then you also have to have the referrals or the reviews from your employees saying, “See, I did this and I built a career on this.” So very similar to what you do, you market that you’re great to buy a car. Why aren’t you marketing that you’re a great place to do business. You can have a great career here.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Maybe even-
Glenn Pasch: We even take care of our employees. But like you said, you have to deliver on that. You can’t market and then make it, “Hey, you’re here a hundred hours and we’re going to change your pay plan every six months.” And all the rest of that, no one’s going to stay for that anymore. There’s too many other options.
Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right. And now we’re seeing these different car company dealership groups coming out with a salaried position for salespeople that says, “Look, here’s 40 to $45,000 a year. These are the things that we expect from you each month and each day. Here’s your 45 hour work week, not another hour over that. You’re going to get some weekends off, thrown in the mix each month. You’re going to get certain holidays. If there’s a maternity leave, if you’re obviously, if you’re female and nowadays even paternity leave, if in the event that a guy’s wife was pregnant and she has the baby, he wants to be able to take a few weeks or a month or a couple of months off and be able to, rest assured that they’re able to come back and pick up their job again.” Where they left off and not say, “Well if I leave for that amount of time I’m going to be fired,” because so many companies offer all of that.
Glenn Pasch: What I’ve seen some dealers do along the lines of what you’re saying is one dealer said, “Everybody on my sales floor sells,” I think he said seven cars. So he figured out what that converted into a salary and said, “Okay, that’s your base salary now.” And then you compensate on top of that. So you don’t want to discourage the great selling people who want to sell and make more. But at the same moment in time, people aren’t worried about at the end of the week, I don’t have money to pay my bills. And then they start forcing people into cars and now we have a bad customer experience again. So all of it has to be wrapped around. But I think those more and more dealers are I am seeing going to a salary sort of structure, but saying that I expect you to sell X number of cars and then your commission start or kick in beyond that.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Well, Glenn Pasch, auto-marketing experts, CEO of PCG Digital. Thank you again for all your time. I appreciate it. We’re going to love to have you back on the show and talk to about more of these issues.
Glenn Pasch: Anytime.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Thanks so much.
Glenn Pasch: All right. Take care.
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