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Anyone who takes care of dealerships online advertising you will inevitably have to make changes to your dealership website. In fact, those who stay on top of their websites are far more likely to succeed. The problem is most dealerships do not own their own website; they rent it from companies like Cobalt, BZ, IZMO, Vin Solutions, and others. Thus, whenever a change needs to be made the dealer must rely solely on their vendor’s backend tool if they wish to do it themselves, or a phone tree support jungle, or worse of all email support. I am dealt with nearly every website provider in my history and in most cases their support has been what I expected. There are a few things you should always to when dealing with website support.


Document Everything

It is very easy to make a call or shoot an email to a support crew to make changes to your website. In fact most website providers prefer emails to phone calls, and who wouldn’t. The problem lies when you do not document things, email is of course easy to document as long as you don’t delete it but phone support can be trickier to keep a history of. The key is to always make sure you write down who you spoke with, get their direct contract information if possible and always write down the case number. I have certainly been guilty of not following these rules and it hasn’t always come back to bite me in the butt, that said, the times it did I had no leg to stand on when I complained to the website provider about their crummy service as I had to record of when I called, who I talked to, or any case number.

If it helps, what I do is simply email myself the information. Also, even though phone support is more annoying, I usually have much better results when I pick up the phone, suck it up, and get in the cue to wait to speak to a representative. The reason is inevitably emails always need more clarification, and if you are on a timeline, it’s best to make sure the support team totally understands your request; I usually make them repeat it back to me.

Provide & Get Clear Deadlines

The second tip I have to avoiding headaches with website support companies is try and provide them with a deadline. Sometimes this is tricky and you may have a hard time getting them to agree to one you are satisfied with, but at least get one, and get them to email it to you. Let them know your request is urgent, and you would like it done as soon as possible, otherwise it seems like a lot of times things get pushed to the back burner. If you are blessed with a great rep or a dedicated support person perhaps you will not need to sweat them as much, but you should still always ask for a deadline, and then hold them to it.

Follow Up

The last step is easy if you have done the first two. Always follow up with your representative, and let them know who you feel. If you are happy with the work, tell them about it, if not mention it as well. As someone who has worked in support his whole life, getting the random kind words always made me want to go the extra mile for a customer and if you can build a good relationship with your support provider you will start to see higher quality work, and quicker turn around times pretty quick. If you are not satisfied with the work completed, don’t just call or email with blanket statements of threats, and dissatisfaction, be specific. Although you may not be up to it, especially if your website provider has made a mistake, it is the only way you will coach them to improve their quality. Let them know you have high standards, and hopefully, before you know it things will start to improve.

The best of luck to you, we have been blessed with quality reps at most of all the major dealership website providers that we ask for by name. Once you get a good one, hold on to their contact information for dear life and take care of them, since they will be returning the favor.

Jeremy Hambly
SEO for Dealers
www.seofordealers.com (read more on our blog)

Views: 3

Tags: bz, cobalt, contact, design, help, izmo, sem, seo, solutions, support, More…vendors, vin, web

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Comment by Rob Fontano on November 18, 2008 at 11:31am
With out blowing anyones horn, I have been with Dealer.com for some time after several miserable years with Reynolds Web Solutions. The back end tool is easy to master and if you are going to be at all involved you must master your sites back end tool. Relying on someone else will surely result in them doing as little as possible. The content is easy to update, photos and even video are simple to add and the SEO is good. You are assigned an account manager but there are several there to help if they are not available and tech support is actually smarter than I am. The spread sheet does look like it would be helpful. I'll let you know.
Comment by Indie Results on November 14, 2008 at 10:42am
thanks for the great tool! I hope a bunch of dealers take your advice, I also used an excel spreadsheet (when i worked in the dealership). It helped do one of the most important things in any job, manage expectations.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 14, 2008 at 10:40am
Jeremy,

Thank you for an enlightening blog post... I may not 100% agree with every nuance, but I do agree with the basics of full documentation and finding the right people to work with, and not letting yourself get pawned off on a lesser resource. I have generally followed this advice and in 2005 when i went to work for Courtesy Chevrolet I developed a spreadsheet to track and document our website change requests and bug fix requests. I am attaching a copy of this spreadsheet as it can easily be adapted by any ISM to use with any dealer website provider. All issues listed were eventually resolved by BZ Results, and Dawson Bruton did a phenomenal job of following up and making sure whatever I requested was acknowledged as being done.

This document was also sent back and forth a lot, so it really was a living document and became a great tool for BZ and Courtesy to use for reviewing progress with requests. One of my change requests, the additional of an HTML Site Map became a standard feature on new BZ Results websites because it helps so much with SEO. Anyways, your blog readers are welcome to download and re-purpose for their own benefit.

Courtesy_BZ_Issue_Resolution-Log_v5.xls

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