DMS Central | Your Dealership Management System Resource | Auto/Mate
22Apr/140

How Employee Satisfaction Can Drive Customer Loyalty and Retention

Screen Shot 2014 04 22 at 9.13.33 AM How Employee Satisfaction Can Drive Customer Loyalty and Retention

Join Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems, in this live webinar on Thursday, April 24th!

Register at www.dealersedge.com today.

The proven way to improve customer retention is to focus on your employees and to create a great place to work.

Car dealers spend millions every year on customer retention products and services, and with good reason: many studies show that increasing customer loyalty leads to higher profits.

However, true customer loyalty starts with a transaction, and the people responsible for those transactions are your employees.

Join Mike Esposito as he examines how by focusing on employee satisfaction you can create organic improvements in customer loyalty and retention.

You Will Learn:

  • The critical difference between customer loyalty and customer retention
  • Why customer loyalty programs so often fail
  • How to create a “great place to work.”
  • Why CSI has nothing to do with customer loyalty and retention
  • A better way to track your store’s customer retention success
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15Apr/140

Keep Employees Focused with Commander’s Intent

 

Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems, explains how to use a military leadership tactic called Commander's Intent to keep employees focused. Auto/Mate is #1 in customer satisfaction among DMS providers. For more info visit www.automate.com

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8Apr/140

Mike Esposito to Present Dealer’s Edge Webinar for Dealers: How Employee Satisfaction Can Drive Customer Loyalty

ALBANY, N.Y. – April 7th, 2014 – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (www.automate.com) announced today that President and CEO Mike Esposito will present a Dealer's Edge webinar titled "How Employee Satisfaction Can Drive Customer Loyalty and Retention." The webinar is geared towards senior management and principals at auto dealerships, and will discuss the proven correlation between employee happiness, customer loyalty and higher profits. Esposito will also give tips for increasing employee satisfaction, as well as a simple method for tracking results. The Dealer's Edge webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 24th at 1 p.m. EST/ 10 a.m. PST.

 

"Car dealers spend millions of dollars every year on customer retention and loyalty programs, but the only way proven way to build customer loyalty is for customers to have a great experience with your store every time they call, visit or e-mail," said Esposito. "Employees are the front line of a dealership's business, and even the best customer service training can't guarantee they will provide customers with a great experience."

 

Esposito believes that if dealer principals and senior management focus on creating a great place to work and fostering employee happiness, increased customer loyalty will be the resulting benefit; and from there, higher profits are right behind.

 

Attendees will learn:

  • The critical difference between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty and why you want to focus on the latter
  • Why customer loyalty programs often fail
  • The proof is in the pudding: metrics from the best companies show that great places to work have greater profits
  • How to create a "great place to work"
  • How to create a culture driven on core values
  • How to hire the right people for your organization
  • What makes employees happy? It's not what you think.
  • Why CSI has nothing to do with loyalty and a better way to track your results

 

Esposito is the ideal presenter for this topic as Auto/Mate Dealership Systems has "no horse in the game," i.e. he is not trying to sell any customer loyalty products. Instead, he is passionate about leadership principles and sharing ideas with others.

 

Auto/Mate has one of the highest customer retention rates in the retail automotive industry and has enjoyed an average 20% growth rate for the last five years. Auto/Mate won the "Highest Rated" DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Award in the DMS category for both 2012 and 2013. Esposito attributes Auto/Mate's success to its employees and has studied and implemented the principles of what makes a great place to work.  As a result, Auto/Mate has been voted a "best place to work" four years running by the Albany Business Review, and has also received a "top workplace" award from the Albany Times-Union two years in a row.

 

For more information or to register: http://bit.ly/NGseOb

 

About Auto/Mate

Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system (DMS) software to retail automotive dealerships. Its Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS) is a user-friendly, feature-rich DMS in use by more than 1,000 auto dealers nationwide. Auto/Mate received the “Highest Rated DMS of 2012" and the "Highest Rated DMS of 2013" awards in the annual Driving Sales Dealer Satisfaction Awards.

 

Auto/Mate’s employees have more than 850 years of combined experience working in auto dealerships – the foundation of its “Designed By Car People For Car PeopleTM” slogan. For more information visit our website, follow us on Twitter @AutoMateDMS and subscribe to our blog at http://blog.automate.com

 

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31Mar/140

Mike Esposito to Speak at Colorado ADA’s Innovative Dealer Summit in Denver April 8th

Mike Esposito

Auto/Mate's President and CEO Mike Esposito will speak at the Innovative Dealer Summit next week in Denver, CO. Esposito will present "A Better Way to Customer Loyalty: Focus on Employees First, Customers Second" at the two-day event hosted by the Colorado Auto Dealers Association (ADA) on April 8th and April 9th.

 

"Dealers spend millions every year on customer retention products and services, but true loyalty starts with a transaction," said Esposito, "The people responsible for those transactions are your employees, so the best way to create loyal customers is to create a great place to work and ensure that your employees are happy."

 

In this breakout session, attendees will learn:

 

1) The proven correlation between happy employees, loyal customers and higher profits.

 

2) How to create a "great place to work."

 

3) How to track your success; why the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) has nothing to do with customer loyalty and how to measure your results.

 

Auto/Mate has one of the highest customer retention rates in the retail automotive industry. It has enjoyed an average 20% growth rate for the last five years and its DMS was ranked the top DMS in NADA's most recent dealer satisfaction survey. Auto/Mate won the "Highest Rated" DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Award in the DMS category for both 2012 and 2013. Esposito attributes the company's success to its employees and has both studied and implemented the principles of what makes a great place to work. As a result, Auto/Mate has been voted a "best place to work" four years running by the Albany Business Review, and has also received a "top workplace" award from the Albany Times-Union two years in a row.

 

The Innovative Dealer Summit will be held at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, CO. For more information: http://www.innovativedealersummit.com 

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12Mar/140

Take Our Survey for a Chance to Win $300!

Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is conducting a survey and is inviting auto dealer personnel to participate. Where do you get your news and information about the auto industry? We appreciate your input! Participants who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing to win a $300 Visa gift card. In the time it takes to finish your cup of coffee, you could be entered to win!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AMBLOG

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3Mar/140

Auto/Mate and DealerSocket Integrate DMS and CRM Solutions, Improving Sales Efficiency for Auto Dealers

Latest News

ALBANY, N.Y. – March 3rd, 2014 – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (http://www.automate.com) announced today that DealerSocket, a leading provider of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to auto retailers, has completed integration with Auto/Mate's dealership management system (DMS). Dealers using both Auto/Mate and DealerSocket solutions will benefit from improved sales efficiency with real-time, bi-directional updates of customer, vehicle and deal information in both systems.

 

“Both Auto/Mate and DealerSocket use an open API to integrate with other vendors, keeping integration costs low and providing dealers with more choices," said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate. "I've always believed that dealers should be able to choose any third-party solution without integration being a factor in that decision."

 

With integrated systems, prospect information entered into DealerSocket's CRM is instantly and securely updated in Auto/Mate’s DMS, while any changes made in the DMS are immediately updated in the CRM. Real-time integration ensures accurate information in both systems, compared to data exchanges performed via batch deliveries.

 

“We’re happy to be able to provide our customers with another quality choice when it comes to dealership management system (DMS) vendors," said Nathan Usher, Director of Product Management with DealerSocket.

 

DealerSocket's innovative CRM and lead-management solutions are designed to increase revenue from sales and service, improve customer satisfaction index (CSI) and boost the dealership’s gross profit. At NADA 2014 both Auto/Mate and DealerSocket were honored with “Highest Rated” dealer satisfaction awards, determined by the thousands of auto dealers who are part of the DrivingSales.com community. Auto/Mate received the “Highest Rated DMS of 2013” award; while DealerSocket received the "Highest Rated Sales CRM of 2013" and the "Top Rated ILM of 2013" awards.

 

Auto/Mate provides dealers with robust, user-friendly software along with the best customer service in the industry. Auto/Mate's DMS is the ideal solution for single and group franchise dealerships. For more information call Auto/Mate at 877-340-2677.

 

About DealerSocket (www.dealersocket.com)

DealerSocket is an industry leading automotive CRM and dealership training provider, serving auto dealers throughout the US and Canada. Founded in 2001 by Jonathan Ord and Brad Perry, DealerSocket is based in San Clemente, California and employs over 300 people, serves over 3,000 dealers in the U.S., Canada and Australia, and supports more than 100,000 active users.

About Auto/Mate

Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system (DMS) software to retail automotive dealerships. Its Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS) is a user-friendly, feature-rich DMS in use by more than 1,000 auto dealers nationwide. Auto/Mate received the “Highest Rated DMS of 2012" and the "Highest Rated DMS of 2013" awards in the annual Driving Sales Dealer Satisfaction Awards.

 

Auto/Mate’s employees have more than 850 years of combined experience working in auto dealerships – the foundation of its “Designed By Car People For Car PeopleTM” slogan. For more information visit our website, follow us on Twitter @AutoMateDMS and subscribe to our blog at http://blog.automate.com

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18Feb/140

Auto/Mate Announces Integration of TimeHighway with AMPS DMS, Expanding Fixed Ops Service Offerings

Latest News

ALBANY, N.Y. – February 18th, 2014 – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (http://www.automate.com) announced today that TimeHighway has completed integration of its service scheduling solution with Auto/mate's Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS) dealership management system. Auto dealers using both Auto/Mate's DMS and TimeHighway's service scheduling solution will benefit from real-time data exchange between the two systems.

 

"Many dealers are focused on improving service department processes," said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate. "Having an online scheduling solution makes it easy for customers to schedule appointments at their own convenience and allows service department employees to spend more face time with customers, improving customer service."

 

Auto/Mate's service merchandising module is a robust, user-friendly system featuring a mobile service lane solution, one-screen access, automated dispatch, electronic RO's, a graphics-rich calendar that service managers can view "at-a-glance," and an "OEM button" providing instant access to manufacturers' online information.

 

"Service departments can really benefit from having their DMS integrated with an online scheduling solution, as customers can easily set appointments online and will receive confirmation and reminder e-mails," said Karen Dillon, President of TimeHighway. "DMS integration ensures that appointment information gets added to customer histories and makes converting appointments into RO's a snap, streamlining service processes."

 

Auto/Mate's Open/Mate integration ensures that all data exchanged between its DMS and third-party software systems is delivered instantly and securely in both directions. Real-time, bi-directional integration greatly eliminates redundancy and delivers more accurate information, compared with data exchanges performed via batch deliveries.

For more information call Auto/Mate at 877-340-2677.

 

About Time Highway (www.TimeHighway.com)

TimeHighway is the premier scheduling solution provider for automotive dealerships, enabling service department customers to schedule real-time, online appointments. TimeHighway sends confirmation and reminder e-mails, maximizing appointment hours and improving service department productivity. TimeHighway is customizable to current dealership processes and is proven to increase revenue and customer satisfaction.

 

About Auto/Mate

Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system (DMS) software to retail automotive dealerships. Its Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS) is a user-friendly, feature-rich DMS in use by more than 1,000 auto dealers nationwide. In 2013 Auto/Mate received the “Highest Rated” DMS award in the fourth annual Driving Sales Dealer Satisfaction Awards.

 

Auto/Mate’s employees have more than 850 years of combined experience working in auto dealerships – the foundation of its “Designed By Car People For Car PeopleTM” slogan. For more information visit our website, follow us on Twitter @AutoMateDMS and subscribe to our blog at http://blog.automate.com

 

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5Feb/140

Auto/Mate Introduces Multi-Point Inspection for Mobile Service

 

www.automate.com Introduces Multi-Point Inspection for Mobile. Increase efficiencies, improve customer service and go "paperless" in your service department by using a tablet integrated with your dealership management system.

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29Jan/140

How to Create a Great Place to Work and Why You Need to Do This Now

In my last blog, "Why Aren't Your Customers Loyal?" I discussed the connection between customer loyalty and employee happiness. My belief is that many dealers are wasting money on customer loyalty programs if they are not also focused on making their employees happy and on creating a great place to work.

 

I am proud of the fact that Auto/Mate was recently awarded with a "Best Places to Work" distinction by our local business journal for the fourth year in a row. In 2013 our company also received a "Top Workplaces" award from the Albany Times-Union for the second year in a row.

 

But as I scanned the list of companies on each list I couldn't help noticing that not one dealership made the "Best Places to Work" list (out of 30 companies in New York's capital region) and not one dealership made the "Top Workplaces" list (out of 45 companies).

 

Out of curiosity, I dug a little further into similar "Top Workplaces" and "Best Places to Work" lists compiled around the country. Out of 2,224 companies that made these lists in various markets only 29 dealerships were ranked, or about 1.3% of all companies.

 

Why aren't more dealerships on their local "Best Places to Work" and "Top Workplaces" lists?

 

Most dealers I know are actively involved in their communities; in local clubs, charities, causes and events. Many dealerships are family-run enterprises, and claim they treat employees "like family." It seems to me dealerships should have a natural advantage in these types of rankings because they are locally focused.

 

The incentive associated with creating a great place to work is clear. If you read the interviews, comments and reviews associated with the "National Top Workplaces 2013," (compiled by WorkplaceDynamics) the best companies to work for are more profitable than their competitors, and their leaders credit their success to their ability to keep both employees and customers happy--in that order.

 

I can attest to this connection: it's no coincidence that in addition to being named a "best place to work" four years in a row, Auto/Mate continues to enjoy an average 20% growth every year. Our DMS was ranked the top DMS is NADA's most recent dealer satisfaction survey, and we have received the "Highest Rated" dealer satisfaction award from Driving Sales for two years in a row.

 

So how can dealers create a great place to work?

 

According to the millions of surveys that "Top Workplaces" has conducted over the years, these ten factors are what drive the highest levels of employee happiness:

 

1. Leaders of the organization caring about their employees' well being.

2. Being able to trust what the organization says.

3. Having confidence in the leadership of the organization.

4. Being paid fairly for the work performed.

5. Feeling valued in the organization.

6. Understanding the long-term strategy of the organization.

7. Being treated like a person, not a number.

8. Having adequate staffing levels to provide quality products/services.

9. Employees liking the type of work they do.

10. Retirement plan benefits.

 

In my personal experience, the three following management philosophies are the cornerstones of what makes a great place to work.

 

1) Employees are the Number One Priority.

 

How do you prioritize the following: shareholders (owners), customers and employees? In that order? I like to use Southwest Airlines as an example of a company that makes employees the number one priority. In 2008 when the economy went south, most airlines laid off a lot of their employees. Southwest's CEO refused to lay off a single employee. He insisted he was not going to put the company's stock price ahead of the well being of employees. How do you think that made the employees feel? I would say very good, and today Southwest is well known for its excellent customer service and high levels of customer loyalty and profitability.  As Herb Kelleher, the CEO of Southwest, once said, “If the employees come first, then they’re happy…. A motivated employee treats the customer well. The customer is happy so they keep coming back, which pleases the shareholders. It’s not one of the enduring green mysteries of all time, it is just the way it works.” This is how the leaders of great companies set their priorities: employees first, then customers, then shareholders (in a dealership, this means the principals). If you take care of the first two, the latter will benefit.

 

2) Employees Trust Their Leaders

 

In a great place to work, employees trust their leaders and believe the leaders are doing what's best for them--the employees--not what's best for the leaders. In a great place to work, when the leader of a company says he or she is going to do something, they do it. They also identify and state clearly what the company's values are, then ensure those values are adhered to in the day-to-day management and policies of the company. They lead by example. A good leader has a vision for the company, shares that vision with the employees, and explains management decisions to the employees.

 

If your employees trust what you say and believe that you are genuinely looking out for their interests, if they are excited about your vision and see how they will benefit from it, they will go all out to help you achieve that vision, grow the business and meet other goals that you have set. If employees feel valued and know how their roles contribute to the company's success, they will take personal ownership in helping the company to become successful. Ultimately, this benefits the leaders as much as it does the employees.

 

3) Rank Does Not Have Privileges

 

What is the role of a manager? If you ask your managers what their primary responsibilities are, many will say it's their job to set goals and to ensure that everyone is doing what they're supposed to be doing. Many managers believe that the employees in their department work for them; that is, the employees are responsible for helping the manager to meet the goals set for the department.

 

At Auto/Mate, my philosophy is that managers (including myself) work for our employees. I tell my managers that they work for the employees in their department, not the other way around. Our primary job as leaders is to ensure that our employees have what they need in order to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Think about this for a moment. Think about the look you would get from your Sales Manager when you told him he “works” for the lot attendant and not the other way around. Well he does, in a sense. Assume that the lot attendant has major issues in getting keys for the vehicles. Can’t find the keys, can’t move the vehicles, can’t sell the vehicles, etc. If he tells his manager he has this problem (in many dealership this would never happen but that’s another blog) and the manager works to address the problem (new key machine, better process with the sales people for return of the keys, etc.) then who works for whom? Employee had a problem, manager fixed the problem. How do you think the employees feels? Much better than if his issue fell on deaf ears. A manager's job should be to ask, what do I need to do to make my employees' jobs easier?

 

If your dealership tends to have high turnover and low morale, it may be time to put some time and effort into creating a great place to work. Make it a goal to get your dealership listed in the "Best Places to Work" in your local business journal. What do you think makes a great place to work?

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25Jan/140

Auto/Mate at NADA 2014: Ribbon Cutting

 

See why Auto/Mate received the 'highest rated' DMS award for the second year in a row. Join Auto/Mate at Booth 3253 at the NADA 2014 Convention & Expo in New Orleans and see a demo of Auto/Mate's new multi-point inspection feature on its mobile service solution http://bit.ly/1e4vYCM

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