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Managers, Are You Leading or Just Passing Through? Every dealership I have visited lately has the phone calls tracked or not, going to the switchboard or BDC. Then they round robin to sales staff if the ISM is busy "We know that never happens;" The problem...

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About Kim Clouse About Kim Clouse Kim Clouse has been involved with automotive internet sales and process for over 20 years. He was a charter member of the AAISP while it existed and winner of the Lemons to Lemonade Award...

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About Kim Clouse About Kim Clouse Kim Clouse has been involved with automotive internet sales and process for over 20 years. He was a charter member of the AAISP while it existed and winner of the Lemons to Lemonade Award...

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Can You Define Car Dealer Reputation Management? I would like to go on record and say that the term Reputation Management for Automotive is a misnomer. Vendors can only  teach Car Dealers to discover, report, and maintain their hard earned reputation...

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Car Dealer Reviews and Proactive Automotive Reputation Maintenance

Posted by Kim Clouse | Posted in Dealer Report Cards, Helping Car Dealers and The Auto Industry, I Love Sales, Reputation Maintenance | Posted on 06-09-2016

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Shouldn’t Your Online Reputation Be Accurate?

For the last decade, I have watched all of the industry blogs, trade magazines and networks describing the best way to manage your reputation. If you Google car dealer reputation management the results are staggering. Pages and pages of different opinions on the appropriate way to make sure all of your good reviews show up. Then, there are the manipulation tricks to cherry pick and post only good reviews and appear in the top spots on search engines.

Uhmm, excuse me, but do we as automotive professionals  actually think that our prospective customers and previous customers are gullible enough to think we are telling the whole story? Especially if they have had problems at a particular car dealership and all that is available is customer testimonials explaining how great that car dealership is; I certainly hope not. Customers and prospects are much more comfortable seeing the bad along with the good and they also want to see what the dealer or the sales person did to fix it the issue.  That is one of the many areas addressed directly by Dealer Report Cards

If your reputation is not important to you and you do not care about customers and prospects, then you need to leave the car business. You are part of the problem that makes us less popular than visiting the dentist. The professionals at automotive dealerships on the pavement and in the service and parts departments deserve to be recognized for their hard work.

They have thick skin and are not afraid to address their mistakes then take the proper steps to correct them. They would rather have the whole story displayed and yes, the customers that are just taking advantage of them need to be exposed as well. We all know they exist and can seriously damage an individual as well as a dealer’s reputation. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone yell foul on those individuals? Dealer Report Cards will do that too.

The main reason I started this crusade and made the decision to get involved with Dealer Report Cards is because everybody screams ” help the dealers” and we should. But more importantly, does it makes more sense to provide online tools for these professionals so it’s easier for customers to find them? Without employees and customers car dealers will not exist.

I have firsthand experience with being reviewed by an angry customer and after the dust settled it was funny how I got excellent marks in every category on Toyota’s survey. But for years my customers’ negative review, where he called me a liar, is still coming up in various web searches fed by the posting on Dealer Rater. When I requested they remove my name from the title and leave the review as it stood I was told they would check into it. I’m not sure and do not care if they ever did.

Dealer Report Cards assists auto retail professionals, the customers and the dealer by letting the truth shine through. We will do our very best to give you the tools you need to show your good reputation and  automate your social media marketing efforts while allowing you to react with your various streams like you should. We have other features and functionality that you will learn about as we go, but pitching dealers’ snake oil is not part of the plan.

Kim Clouse
Dealer Report Cards.com

Dealer Report Cards Car Dealer Reviews FAQ

Posted by Kim Clouse | Posted in Dealer Report Cards, Reputation Maintenance | Posted on 12-06-2016

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  • What are the benefits of having a page on Dealer Report Cards?
    A. Car shoppers are going online to find not only pricing information on vehicles but also to locate dealerships who have a good reputation in the market.
    B. Dealer Report Cards helps you get visibility on the web by having a robust profile with good information.
    C. You will attract buyers in the market looking for a true professional to work with on their vehicle transaction.
    D. Consumers will be able to check your grade on Dealer Report Cards, and make a decision on who they want to buy from.
    E. We help promote individuals as well as dealers and we do not leak your customers to your competition like other solutions.

 

  • How does an auto shopper find my page?
    By zip code or they can also put your dealership name in to search. Your Dealer Report Cards grade can be viewed by consumers as well.

 

  • Do you put dealer or manufacturer logos on the pages?
    Yes, we do it for you with links for better branding.

 

  • When a consumer searches for a sales person how are the results ranked?
    Results are ranked by Dealer Report Cards grade. This gives those with higher grades an advantage, and motivates them to keep up the good work! It also helps those who need a boost to get with the program.

 

  • How does Dealer Report Cards insure that reviews are legitimate?
    We invite only your customers to review you. There are no random posts by
    non-customers.

 

  • What happens to my page if I leave the dealership and go to another dealership?
    The pages of the reviews for individual sales people belong to the dealer.

 

  • Can I embed any videos on my Dealer Report Cards page?

Yes, and change them at will.

 

 

Managers, Are You Leading or Just Passing Through?

Posted by Kim Clouse | Posted in Dealer Process | Posted on 28-05-2011

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Every dealership I have visited lately has the phone calls tracked or not, going to the switchboard. Then they round robin to sales staff if the ISM is busy “We know that never happens;” The problem is either the GM, GSM, or phone king, will not make it mandatory that the salespeople have inventory, incentives, and information open on their desktop all day. They all have computers but they refuse to use the data or, the login to pertinent data is top secret. I knew it, gotta have a 4 square right?

Managers who keep information from sales staff are practicioners of Bovine Skitology period.
We know all of our customers are online. We know the manufacturers and everyone else who can gives them data that is, for the most part correct. Below is what I hear when I listen to calls. But are all of the walk in customers immune to the data flow we are feeding to the universe?  It is simply impossible. Be ready or stay away from customers, period.

Thank you for calling ABC motors: ” Yes new car sales please” one moment: “new car sales this is Joe Bob,”
“kelp ye?” (Yes seaweed) ” I am calling about the 2006 Camry you have listed on usedcars .com, gold with tan leather, is it still available?”
“Yep sure is” ” can you tell me anything about it?” “I think it has been marked down to $21699 but I can beat that a little” “Really, online it says must go $14650.00 out the door” That’s a typo” Oh, okay do you know what it should actually be?” ” Naw but I can git with the manager and call you right back, whats that number?”   click:

And they tell everyone about this highly professional individual.
The other thing is “get this now,”  we have started slipping away from the basics again. I know  it is hard to believe, not us.
Now that people are selling cars we are right back to the shortcuts. If you are always looking for the easy way out, get out of
the car business. You are the reason we we have obstacles with our customers and they have a hard time respecting us.
This is our problem. Get rid of the dead weight and start practicing customer service.

Either way you loose the deal.

Does anyone else see this? If you are doing this, do you need to be at Burger King saying, “would you like some fries with that?”
When phone prospects buy 85% of the time, why screw it up? If you do not know what you are doing or you do not feel comfortable,
stay away from the phone, pay attention and learn.
Managers, do not lose focus on the fact that you are responsible for taking up slack. In a store the other day I watched in amazement as a lady
who had lost her vehicles in the recent storms call back 3 times to get to someone. Instead of just taking the call, the managers had to find a sales specialist
to do it. Yep, five more minutes observing fault instead of contributing to leadership.

I’m just sayin!

Sell Cars, Have Fun. It is still possible.

Kim Clouse

To Tell The Truth? An Automotive Question from Kim Clouse of I Auto Consultants

Posted by Kim Clouse | Posted in Helping Car Dealers and The Auto Industry | Posted on 06-02-2010

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To Tell The Truth!

 

Well, since I watched the video post by Ralph Paglia on Social Media Douchebags, (here for your pleasure if you missed it.)  http://bit.ly/92jg0U

I could not resist stirring the pot myself.

Okay, you have been at work all week, sold scared, followed every customer to the owner’s office door to introduce them for the mini and you’re burnt. As you enter the cashier’s office to get the last five dollars you have exchanged for ones you glance at the floor and see three one hundred dollar bills.

Nobody else in the world has seen them or you, now standing on them. You’re  invisible, you only have 4 cars out and it is the 15th. Your power bill is two months late and you are back to the go phone.

Tell the truth here and now.

What would you do with this money?

Answer, or if you’re scared, close the page.

Pretenders know.

Kim 

Social Media Policy Question from Julie Powers – Lia Auto Group

Posted by Kim Clouse | Posted in Helping Car Dealers and The Auto Industry | Posted on 13-11-2009

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What’s the best way to develope a social media policy for employees without sounding like “big brother” or defeating the purpose of an “open conversation”?

Julie,
I find that it is best to research and find specific negative social content and then allow them to see the damage potential it can have personally. This will help demonstrate how that will affect them professionally. Then, have a special day for the creaton of the process and policy of the company in regard to social media. Invite, in fact “make it mandatory” that everyone attends to help create the process, policy and the “consequence” for breaking the rules. Make it fun, have lunch brought in or have a day away so they feel involved. Then you can moderate and get their thinking channeled to the severity of the consequence. This will let them understand you feel the need for a policy but want their input to write it and that you are serious without the big brother approach.
People usually live better by the rules they help create. They also tend to monitor it better themselves if you give them the power of pride.
From there, have a monthly review day to get their input and check progress. Also make sure every new emloyee understands and ask them for ideas they may have. Be sure to include the company e-commerce and social marketing review day in your employee pack.
Empower them to make the rules, then require them to adhere to those rules or suffer the consequqence you all created together..
In my opinion, this works best.
KC

Can You Say Snake Oil?

Posted by Kim Clouse | Posted in I Love Sales | Posted on 23-10-2009

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Okay,
It is time for us to reveal all of the “Snake Oil” we know of over the years that are the (yes I am using slang) stupidest thing you know of a dealer has bought or was presented and considered buying. It still happens you know.
If we think hard enough we can look back and see just how ridiculous a lot of things directed at the auto industry have been. It doesn’t matter if it is fixed ops, sales, f&I, inventory just whatever. You know like some nifty glow in the dark static signs that went on a door in a parts delivery area for late night deliveries. They were $450.00 and could not have cost $10.00 to make. I saw them once and the parts manager said ”hey, I got some signs that glow in the dark so the delivery guys will quit complaining about not having a way to get close to that door.” Yeah right, cheaper than a night light but I never saw them work, not ever. I bet they are still on the building now 12 years later. I know there is a ton of this including consultants and rain makers who have been in your store that you know never sold a car and a host of well, other crap that really isn’t funny but stupid. So let’s all laugh about it now while we can. I want to collect them here and then I will have a surprise for all of you. Dealers, rat out your buddies that fell for stupid stuff that cost thousands and include yourselves. Remember to respect everyone’s privacy or at least pretend you do. After a few weeks I promise you it will get funny and be a good learning experience. Even now, reveal those things that are snake oil and those who need tarred and feathered just like the rain makers.
KC

snakeoil It works try it and see!

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