What problems does Pearl 360 solve for you?
As a dealer, we’re always chasing “what is the next best thing, right? Is there a silver bullet?”. There really is never a silver bullet, its about work. But Pearl 360 gets the customer to me when the customer wants to come to me. It ties into my CDK business, it makes it very easy for a sales associate to take care of a guest, and we’re selling more cars because of it, so its great.
How are you handling customers that are submitting their vehicle for a cash offer through Pearl 360?
It’s new and interesting for us. It was not something that we were really prepared to handle. We have tons of customers who are engaging us around getting a price for their car. But were getting better at it everyday and were buying cars, were buying 10 a month now, and by the end of the year we hope to be buying 40 a month.
Are you catching customers earlier in the sales cycle with Pearl 360? How has that impacted how you work deals through the system?
We are seeing higher grosses and happier customers. The old saying goes, the happier customer is always the one that paid more. Its really because everyone is making a little more money. It’s not like were all getting rich, but now we have a customer contacting us when they weren’t going to contact us before. So we are reaching out to them in a very targeted way and saying “Hey, would you like to sell your car? If we could put you in a new car with a similar payment would you be interested?” And they are saying yes, versus spending their entire Saturday going to a different dealership because they have this car, and another dealership because they have this car. They have really just singled out us because we marketed to them and now were going to have a chance to sell a car at a little higher margin.
What do you think of 360’s contact preferences feature?
We’re just doing what the customer wants, right? Every marketing company says, “Oh were going send out a gazillion email blasts, or whatever”. If I am a consumer, I don’t want emails, I get 200 a day. I don’t want anymore. But if I say, “Hey, I’m interested, text me”. So now, they are giving us permission to communicate with them how they want to be communicated with. And that’s really the right thing for the consumer.