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Update Your Dealership’s Address and Location Online Frequently

Yesterday I was on my way to a meeting at a dealership.  I had left the home office earlier so I can be at the meeting earlier especially since it was an 80 mile ride.  I was within three miles of the dealership and thirty minutes early.  I had never been there before I relied on my GPS as I always do.  The GPS that I use comes from my iPhone and the software is less than a week old as I just updated the operating system.

The GPS was pulling in an address from Yelp.com.  I got the exact location where the GPS sent me and there was no dealership there.  In fact, it was a bus stop.  I got frustrated because I had been on that road before just not around that section.  I also took a different major highway then I would normally take to get there because of where I was coming from.  I ended up driving around town for 30 minutes circling and looking for better directions and everything that Google and other sources tell me was to be at that same spot.  I decided to just follow my judgment and continue to take that road further for another 3 miles.  I recognized the area and the dealership was down the road from an area that I have been to in the past.  I showed up ten minutes late to my meeting but the meeting went well and everything was fine.

What am I trying to get to?  Dealers, if you got people in place who are in charge of digital marketing especially social, search, and reputation management you need to make sure that your information is correct and always updated everywhere that you are listed.  In this case, the dealership uses a very expensive advertising agency that handles everything for them.  It is really sad that their ad agency has not helped them improve that part of their visibility.  However, this is perhaps the cause of no one ever considering this issue to be as serious as it really is.

Try to imagine that I am a prospect who called in to the dealership and your BDC schedules me as an appointment.  Like a modern day consumer, I tell you that I have a GPS and I will find it without any problems.  Now, I am not there in time for my appointment because my GPS is not taking me where it needs to take me because your dealership did not have the common sense to keep the right information online.  If I figure out where to go quick I will get there but if I do not I will get aggravated and just go somewhere else leaving the dealership with a lost opportunity.

Just like with anything else that you do.  Make sure that you have the correct information and that you are easy to find.  Today’s modern day shopper is looking for a hassle free experience and they do not want to feel like they are “pulling teeth” to find what they need.

I would like to make another note here.  This was not the first time that I have seen a dealer have improper information online with regards to location and address.  This is a common problem.

Related Links:

http://dealeretraining.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dealeretraining

https://twitter.com/DealereTraining

Views: 74

Tags: automotive digital marketing, automotive internet sales, dealer etraining, google maps, gps, location, reputation management, seo, social media, stan sher

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Comment by Jim Flint on October 4, 2012 at 5:14am

Stan great post.

Like Ralph, I've seen this happen.  It used to be that we needed to make sure that our receptionist had directions with exit names and numbers on a written sheet so they could tell customers how to find us, no matter what direction they are coming from.  We still need this, but that's secondary.

Today, I'd argue you not only need to test with a GPS enabled phone, but with different kinds.  Even if you felt good about it a few weeks back about your iPhone, Apple changed to iOS 6--with a new map program--so it's times to check that again.

It's so critical that it's prob worth checking each month as you roll out your monthly advertising.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on September 30, 2012 at 6:03am

Stan, the situation you described has happened to me a few times... The most memorable was when I was using Hertz Neverlost to get to Antwerpen Hyundai in Maryland. The GPS took me right to a dealership alright... a Mercedes-Benz dealership that had no connection to the Antwerpen Group and was certainly not their Hyundai store.  I called Antwerpen Hyundai and found my way there, but knowing what a problem this could cause with getting customers to the dealership, I had to investigate.  Turns out that several years prior the Antwerpen Hyundai dealership was located where the new Mercedes-Benz dealership was.  The Antwerpen family sold the facility to move to a larger dealership property.  Once we used the premium (paid) version of http://www.Localeze.com to update the correct dealership address location for Antwerpen Hyundai and a NON-TOLL FREE LOCAL PHONE NUMBER that was shown by the telephone company to be listed at the correct address, the problem was resolved and within 45 days all the various real-time updated systems such as Hertz Neverlost, Navigon and most of the mobile device based GPS systems started showing the updated and correct address for Antwerpen Hyundai. 

There were a couple of lessons learned; first of all, in order to be effective you have to update your online directory listings with an aggregater such as Localeze, UBL, or any of the other major services. This ensures that all the primary data directories are updated simultaneously, so that one with the old data does not inadvertently be deemed more reliable and then used to overwrite the new data. 

Secondly, if you use any incorrect information, such as a toll free number provided by a tracking company, which DOES NOT BELONG to the dealership, regardless of what you might think, then the entire data update is kicked and rejected.  You must use a local area code based number that is listed by the local phone company as being assigned to that business and address. If there is one piece of non-verifyable or incorrect data then the whole directory update is deemed invalid by the automated systems that these directory systems use. 

Third lesson learned was that even though you may use an aggregater such as www.Localeze.com  there are still many directories which will use automated verification systems such as PIN numbers sent via postcard to the physical address, which must then have the PIN entered into a verification application online. There are also many of the directory verification systems which will have a robot phone call made to the number listed for the dealership. If the person who answers the phone hangs up without pressing the appropriate number to confirm the updated listing, then guess what? The entire listing is rejected and you are back to square one.  Make sure the people that answer the phones in your dealership and those that sort through the incoming mail know that anything which may seem like a directory listing service needs to be treated carefully and processed correctly.

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