Chief Executive Officer Archives | Outsell
Auto Remarketing recently posted an article on a study by CarGurus and what consumers are looking for in an appealing automotive dealership. The study found that “poor communication and deceptive business practices were the dominant themes in the negative reviews,” and this should come as no surprise. While the top themes for customer complaints mentioned lack of communication and wasting time, it really all comes down to bad customer service. Well into the Summer months now, dealerships across the country are excited by the buzz and sales warm weather brings, but the time of year and potential for the Summer rush is not enough to sell cars. Good customer service is what keeps a potential customer interested enough to buy, and loyal enough to come back. CarGurus also found that what consumers want in a dealership and enjoy most about the dealerships they love isn’t just fast forthright responses and friendly faces, but also a clean and organized dealership inside and out, and of course, fair prices. For many consumers, however, the buying process begins online before they even step foot in the dealership. Dealer websites are no longer static sources of advertising with listed inventory, as explained by a Dealer Marketing Magazine article, “Is Your Website Ready for the Summer Selling Season?” Now dealer websites are about interaction. They need to be a resource for consumer research during their buying process, and have live chat to accommodate buyers looking for immediate answers or looking to complete the sales process entirely online. Also, don’t forget about reputation management and dealer reviews, found extensively across the web. To combat the negative effects of possible poor reviews online, encourage loyal customers to give reviews after a positive buying experience, so that future customers can read for themselves why your dealership fulfills what they are looking for. Langley Steinert, founder and chief executive officer of CarGurus said:
“In this age of online information transparency, reputation matters more than ever. The dealers that have embraced this new online paradigm are winning customers.”

AutoNation First Quarter Revenue Up 17%

Congratulations to AutoNation and the announcement of their successful Q1 results. AutoNation is America’s largest automotive retailer for new and used vehicles and reported a record net income for their first quarter of 2011. New vehicle unit sales increased 23% overall.

While this is exciting news for AutoNation it is also good news for the automotive industry at large, as those results are reportedly in line with others across the nation. Despite harsh economic times, the crisis in Japan, and continuously rising gas prices, sales and revenue are seeing a huge increase over last year.

Mike Jackson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for AutoNation, said:

“While the underlying recovery in consumer demand for autos remains on track in the United States, due to Japanese supply constraints throughout the remainder of 2011, we are revising our planning assumption for 2011 full-year U.S. industry new vehicle sales downward from 12.8 million units to mid-12 million units. Based on current information, we see significant reductions in vehicle shipments from Japanese manufacturers through year-end, with the resumption of normal shipment levels in early 2012.”

Mr. Jackson added:

“Our diversified business model is resilient and adaptable. We are confident we can manage through the challenges presented by Japanese product constraints. We also continue to be optimistic about the long-term recovery for the U.S. auto market.”

Read the full article from PR Newswire here.

Congratulations again to AutoNation and good luck heading further into Q2 and the remainder of 2011.