Tales from the Dealers Crypt

Real Customer Service Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Whether you’re an auto dealer or an Australian company that sells wallaby bedpans, handling and managing leads is all about good customer service. Want to close more sales? Want to engage customers better? Want to improve your appointment show rate? The answer, as you may have guessed, is to invest (or re-invest) in customer service.

Bad Customer Service Examples

“Wait. Doesn’t everyone know this?”

You’d be surprised at the number of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad customer service tales we’ve heard and even been forced to coach dealers on throughout the years. These are those horror storiesembellished for effectof bone-chillingly awful lead handling, which your dealership could very well relive if you don’t take our tips and examples of great customer service to heart.

But heed our warning: Strange and scary things are indeed afoot, so venture onward if you dare. (Boo!)

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Study Of 1000+ Car Dealers Raises Concerns About Industry’s Lead Handling Issues

We made a thing. It’s the most interesting thing in the world, a thing from which legends are born. It’s a thing that could scale Mount Everest, chug through the gallon-milk challenge, solve the climate change crisis.

Of course, the thing to which we’re referring is our lead-handling white paper, “Three Pain Points Preventing Dealerships from Customer Experience & Sales Success.” In it, we discuss the (surprise!) 3 common pain points that dealers experience the most when the chips are down. Backed by science – we conducted a comprehensive 8-month-long study of over 1,000 U.S. auto dealerships’ lead-handling capabilities – and broken down in laymen’s terms, the white paper dissects the major problems that limit dealers’ conversions, as well as solutions that may kick sales back into the black.

Dealer Lead Handling Pain Points

The data is pretty jarring. Here’s a brief overview of the more staggering, salient, and sometimes salacious statistics we uncovered. (Or you could just download the full white paper for free here.)

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5 Examples of How a Dealership Should Respond to Online Reviews

We’ve already shown how important customer testimonials are for your dealership’s site—TL;DR: car shoppers are over 90% more likely to click your site if you have positive ratings—but online reviews are a two-way street. To make the most of your newfound stars, you need to invest energy into responding to complaints and compliments alike. In fact, 26% of online consumers feel that it’s essential for a local business to reply to their customers’ issues, and you don’t want to disappoint them, do you?

Replying to Online Reviews

Then why is it that over two-thirds of dealership reviews remain unanswered? Cars.com analyzed the reply rate of each state’s major dealerships, concluding that, yes, a higher rate of response correlates with higher dealer star ratings. For instance, Delaware dealers respond on average to 6 out of 10 reviews, which results in an extraordinary aggregate rating of 4.7 (out of 5). At the opposing pole are South Dakota dealerships, which reply to just 10% of reviews, resulting in a 3.9 rating. That’s inexcusable, South Dakotans!

As a digital marketing company primarily working with auto dealers, we understand how tedious this seemingly innocuous process may feel. But replying to online reviews allows you to capitalize on other dealerships’ missed opportunities—and shows potential buyers that you’re not just a lot filled with metal, rubber, and robots in tan suits. Here are the top 5 examples of how a customer-focused dealership should handle both positive and negative reviews.

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The 5 Building Blocks of Online Reputation Management

What does your online reputation management strategy look like? Wait, you do have an online reputation management strategy, right? If your “strategy” consists of checking your reviews when you “get around to it,” that’s not a strategy – that’s a recipe for disaster. Managing your online reputation is an on-going effort, and something that must be monitored on a daily basis at the very minimum.

Did you know that nearly 90% of consumers have read online reviews of a local business prior to doing business with them? With stats like that, it’s no wonder that so many marketers and agencies specialize in the art of online reputation management. Ready to amplify the quality of your online presence and reputation? To get started, make these five building blocks of online reputation management the foundation of your strategy.


1) Brand Identity & Representation

Seems simple, right? Well, while establishing your brand identity may come easy, it’s much more difficult to ensure your brand is accurately represented across all channels. For example, if you’re the manager of a small town used car dealership, and your mantra is to offer a personal touch, or be “100% dedicated to customer satisfaction,” this should be clearly visible and represented on all online reputation sites. In other words, if you claim it, you’ve got to live it.

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Online Reputation Starts in the Dealership

Online reputation is continuing to increase in value, for the consumer, and for search engine optimization. Although we all wish reviews and reputation would happen with little effort, sometimes it needs a little push. Below are a few ways to give your reputation a boost, while sticking to the guidelines.


Have a Process in Place

Having a process in place to remind customers about a dealership reviews is an excellent way to start bolstering your online rating. Take a look at the example process below and think of ways you can work this into your daily dealership activities.

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The Best & Worst Client Gifts to Give This Holiday Season

Well, the holiday season is in full-swing. You’ve made your list, and you’ve checked it twice, but have you started shopping for your clients? The holidays are the perfect time to show your clients just how much you appreciate their business, as well as how valuable they are to your entire organization.


Best Holiday Gifts to Give Clients

When it comes to giving your clients holiday gifts, your main objective should be to leave a lasting impression. So, without further ado, let’s review the best client gifts to give this holiday season.

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5 Quick and Easy Recipes To Impress Your Guests This Thanksgiving

It’s November, and you know what that means! Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Many factors make Thanksgiving one of the best Holidays of the year. It’s the one time no one will judge you if you eat until you have to change into sweatpants to make room for more food. Also, we just love munching on Thanksgiving leftovers and not having to cook all over again for a few days. We know the turkey is the crème de la crème of the Thanksgiving meal, however, the right side dishes and desserts will make your dinner even more memorable. Here are five sure-fire Thanksgiving recipes from the Opportunity Max team that will impress your guests.

Kendra’s Cranberry Dip

Kendra Masters is the Interactive Design Manager for Opportunity Max. She originally got her finger-licking good cranberry dip recipe from allrecipes.com, and she has been using it for the last several years. The cranberry dip is her go-to holiday recipe for potlucks, parties, and family gatherings simply because it’s easy to make and super yummy. Here’s how to make Kendra’s strikingly flavorful cranberry dip:

Kendra's Thanksgiving Recipe

Katie’s Cheesy Potato Casserole

Katie is one of our digital marketing experts. Her all-time favorite Thanksgiving recipe is this classic – cheesy potato casserole. Katie says, “This recipe has been a family favorite since I was a child, everyone knows it’s what I’ll be bringing to the holiday party, and I know it will continue to be a hit for many more years.” If you need an easy, make-ahead recipe so that you’re not overwhelmed on Thanksgiving, you can always count on this creamy, cheesy potato casserole. Here’s what you’ll need to make it: 

Katie's Thanksgiving Recipe

Tommy’s No-Bake Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

Tommy Hunkins, one of our digital marketing analysts, makes this easy to make, no-bake double layer pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving every year. Don’t let the no-bake part fool you, this luscious pie is big on flavor. You can swap out the pudding flavors, try a different crust, or add toppings for something new each time. The best thing about this recipe is that it only takes a few minutes to prep, and there’s no baking involved. You can never go wrong with pumpkin and cream cheese. Here’s how to make this crowd-pleasing dessert:

Tommy's Thanksgiving Recipe

Ashley’s Baked Brie

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