Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
More and more automotive dealers are seeking out non-traditional ways, additional processes and procedures to increase their business, maintain current customers and increase their CSI & SSI scores for their chosen manufacturer.
It appears that almost every decade or so we in the automotive industry come up with something new, something never done before or we start following a popular a public trend, i.e. Social Media, Business Development Departments and Special Finance Departments. For Example in 1995 the game was changed by Autobytel when they became the first, but failed to perfect their position; on what has now become the norm for automotive dealers all over the country - (Posting Their Photos On The Web).
What was that Missing Element for Autobytel, why didn’t the first maintain their position? What Element did AutoTrader, Cars.com and others bring to the table that maybe Autobytel Missed? why have the others in only a decade, grown to become more popular? Some industry experts may say for companies who lose ground, popularity and familiarity among their industry is bad management, while others say bad product or inconsistent services…..but I am telling you today “It’s The Missing Element”.
• They Missed implementing a consistent series of processes and procedures built around the behavior of their customers
• They Missed building a culture around their community of users
• They Missed adjusting to the reality of people expectations and experiences inside their Life Style Processes.
The Missing Element is nothing new, but a true reality for almost any business to maintain their position in the market place. My focus is the automotive industry, after 16 years of doing my chosen profession I have found those Missing Elements and proven ways on how to implement, change and adjust those processes and procedures to create a residual flow of New Business, Repeat Business and community loyalty.
Let’s take a look at another business in our industry, CarMax.com; what was said to be a joke in our industry has become one of the most duplicated business models in the history of our business. The concept for CarMax was developed by Circuit City executives under then-CEO Richard L. Sharp for nearly a year in 1991 using the code name "Project X" and was also known as "Honest Rick's Used Cars" to those intimately involved in the skunk works team. The concept was actually first proposed by a consultant hired by Circuit City to evaluate possible business opportunities beyond the scope of their consumer electronics locations.
What didn’t Carmax.com Miss? – why did others who launched similar business models maintain their position? And most importantly, looking outside of our industry, why didn’t the parent company then, Circuit City hold their position? Carmax.com utilized the Missing Elements that were available, instead of following a trend, they changed the game regardless of industry insiders and created a trend of how business is done, based on a consistent series of processes and procedures built around the behavior their customers. They built a culture around their community of users. They kept adjusting to the reality of customer’s expectations and experiences inside of their “Life Style Processes”
The Missing Element is simple and it is that simplicity that causes many automotive dealers not to choose or accept The Missing Element as a productive reality, saying things like “It’s Too Easy To Work” – “That Type Of Cost Couldn’t Produce A Return” – “We Just Did A Mailer”
I must admit publically, at all those comments and laugh, not at the automotive dealer, but at the consistent growing trend of traditional beliefs and fear of change inside of our industry! I know many dealers are uncertain, scared and doubtful of the Next Big Thing. The Missing Element is not the next Big Thing, but the simple answer to an unfixed problem inside our local dealerships regardless of the brand.
Will we in the automotive industry make the change? will we implement the simplicity of The Missing Element needed to maintain our position’s in the communities we service? Will we take what we already have and make it better? – For Those Automotive Dealers – Large Or Small Who Choose A Cost Effective Simple Plan Of Action – Make The Shift To The Missing Element!!