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Success Story

Paul Muller’s Team Toyota Auto Group

Winning the Loyalty Game! The Retention Strategy That Added $3 Million to Team Toyota’s Bottom Line.

By all measures, Paul Muller’s Team Toyota Auto Group is a powerhouse. Collectively, these 3 stores have racked up over 70 Toyota Excellence Awards for outstanding performance in sales, service, parts, and customer relations. This is a group that understands how to foster excellence in their employees and build profitable long-term relationships with their customers.

Four years ago, Team Toyota of Princeton implemented a revolutionary retention strategy that focused on long-term results over short-term gain. After witnessing the success at Princeton, Team Toyota of Langhorn, the group’s flagship store also embraced the strategy. Today, all three of Paul Muller’s Team Toyota stores are experiencing impressive year-over-year growth in all of their profit centers by lowering their marketing costs, reducing risk and upgrading customers before they enter the market.

defining rolls

“One of the biggest keys to our success was identifying and automating the things our dealership wasn’t doing or wasn’t doing well.” Says Fred Edwing, Sales Manager at Team Toyota of Princeton. “First generation equity mining products have multiple points of failure because they are too dependent on what a person does or doesn’t do on any given month. If the person running the program targets the wrong customers we lose money. If the marketing doesn’t go out on time we lose

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money. If the offers are inaccurate or not compelling, we lose money. We avoid these mistakes by clearly defining who does what. We focus on doing what we do well and automate the things our dealership wasn’t doing or wasn’t doing well.” Stroble confirms this. “All three of our stores use the same partner to automate loyaltyrelated marketing activities because they give us the flexibility to experiment with our bricks and mortar processes without sacrificing the quality or consistency of the marketing going out to our customers. This is impor tant because it means that our results don’t dry up when we have turnover or someone has an off month. We set our parameters and profit requirements and they take care of all the behind-the-scenes activities.”

covering all the bases

The loyalty marketing service that Team Toyota uses evaluates every customer who has ever done business with their sales and service departments and automatically creates customized campaigns for each customer based on their credit score, their equity position and the finance programs being offered by the dealership’s lenders. Every customer that qualifies based on the dealership’s parameters receives an email and a direct mail piece that directs them to a personalized website. These websites allow customers to learn more about the offers they just received and explore the dealership’s inventory in a very unique way. Each website is pre-loaded with all of the customer’s current vehicle information. This allows them to compare the features of their current vehicle against the features of newer vehicles and see real loan and lease options on every new and used vehicle the dealer has in inventory with their equity position already factored in. “Just last week, we had three ‘hand raisers,’” Stroble said. “These are customers who received our marketing message, logged into the website we created for them, and raised their hand saying, ‘I’m ready to buy.’” “This is not unusual,” says Scott Davis, founder of DrivingLoyalty.com, the company that Team Toyota uses for their loyalty marketing. “Giving customers real payment options on real vehicles increases

engagement because it creates questions that only the dealership can answer. The customer feels like they are making an educated decision and the dealership gets the opportunity to earn the customer’s business while earning a reasonable profit. It’s a great win-win.”

“It is amazing how well our sales team has embraced this technology, even the guys you wouldn’t expect,” says Edwing, “Don Comfort has been selling Toyotas at the same store for 42 years and he uses his sales portal every single day.”

In addition to managing all of the dealership’s retention-related marketing campaigns, Driving Loyalty also provides Team Toyota with real-time dashboards and closing tools to make sure that everyone is on the same page when the customer arrives at the dealership. The dashboards allow managers to see all of the dealership’s marketing activity as well as keep tabs on when and where upgrade customers are scheduled to be at their stores. The closing tools automatically create daily follow up lists for each sales person and allow them to view the offers and personal websites for each of the customers that are assigned to them.

The heart of Team Toyota’s loyalty marketing is what Driving Loyalty calls “The Undeniable Offer”. These “undeniable” offers are sent to qualifying customers every month and are designed to educate the customer as well as encourage them to engage with the dealership. Every statement compares the customer’s current vehicle against a newer vehicle with lower miles, more features and a better warranty. They identify all of the advantages of upgrading into a newer vehicle for a lower payment and allow the customer to see the maintenance and fuel savings associated with the dealer’s offer. To increase conversion, the customer is also shown multiple alternatives and directed to either contact the dealership or directed to visit a personalized website where they can perform additional research.

“We focused on doing what we do well and automated the things our people didn’t do or didn’t do well.” - Kevin Stroble GM, Team Toyota , Langhorne

Perhaps the best part of Team Toyota’s system is the way they have integrated safeguards to make sure none of their upgrade opportunities falls through the cracks. To prevent sales persons from missing opportunities, text message alerts are sent 90 minutes before an upgrade customer arrives at the dealership. In the event that follow up calls can’t or don’t get done, Team Toyota always has the option of having Driving Loyalty make them on their behalf.

the “undeniable” offer

One of the greatest advantages for Team Toyota is that the customer will continue to receive their personal vehicle statement, offering consistent information about the vehicles they can upgrade into for a lower payment, along with current sales and service offers, for as long as they own the vehicle.

layering opportunities

Team Toyota integrates their rewards program into their loyalty marketing. Doing this creates multiple marketing opportunities that are beneficial to the dealership but are also logical to the customer. For every dollar a customer spends in the service department they receive credits that they can use for future maintenance, body shop work, parts or accessories. These credits can also be used to lower the price of their next vehicle. “Incorporating our rewards statements into the upgrade offers that our customers receive each month creates a number of synergies for our dealership,” says Stroble. “This allows us to “offer something” versus “ask for something” when we make our outbound calls and ask customers if they


Paul Muller’s team toyota auto Group target

“the key to our success was eliminating points of failure.” -Kevin Stroble, GM Team Toyota, Langhorne

market email

mail

calls

personal website

monthly automation • • • • •

present

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are receiving their monthly statements. This creates a number of natural conversations. If they need a detail or oil change, we can offer them a discount. If they have questions about their upgrade offer, we can answer them. All of these are good for our dealership.”

exceeding expectations

“People generally forget what we say or do, but never forget how you made them feel,” says Stroble. “We take that to heart when dealing with our customers.” The leadership teams from all three stores are quick to point out that there is no substitute for quality human interaction. “All of the technology solutions Team Toyota uses are designed to empower employees, not replace them,” says Edwing. This may be the true genius behind Team Toyota’s extremely successful strategy - the way they are using automation to elevate the performance of those who take action while also protecting their opportunities from those who can’t or don’t.

Targeting Data Appends Email Campaigns Direct Mail Campaigns Website Creation – unique for each customer Lease Offers Finance Offers Call Lists – salesperson specific Reporting Alerts

team toyota snapshot team toyota princeton

Team Toyota Princeton, located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, pioneered the program that is now being used at all 3 locations. They have one of the top CSI scores in the New York region, and have experienced 3 consecutive years of YOY growth with this retention strategy. They currently average 85 sales per month from their loyalty marketing program.

team toyota langhorne

Team Toyota Langhorne, located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, has the largest ser vice center on the East Coast (180,000 sq. ft.), and consistently sells 90 units a month from their loyalty program. In 2013 they delivered 799 vehicles and generated over $3 Million in gross profits from new and used car sales and increased service revenue using this strategy.

team toyota glen mills

Team Toyota Glen Mills, located in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, has doubled their overall sales in only 12 month’s time. They consistently sell 40 to 50 units a month from their loyalty marketing program.

For the rest of this story or to learn more about the strategies used by Team Toyota Auto Group, email: successstories@autosuccessonline.com

See video.

Success Story


Success Story

Paul Muller’s team toyota auto Group

Team Toyota uses a turn-key solution so that every department can operate from the same platform.

customer portal

direct mail email

text alerts

mobile reporting

In A nuTshell

Winning the Loyalty Game! The Retention Strategy That Added $3 Million to Team Toyota’s Bottom Line. • Increased overall profitability by implementing a customer-first culture that encouraged departments to work together to serve the customer’s needs • Increased the consistency and performance of their retention marketing by automating the activities that their people didn’t do or didn’t do well • Increased new car sales volume by shortening trade cycles and by upgrading customers into newer vehicles before they enter the market and begin cross shopping • Increased used car profits by using a loyalty program to source 70% of used car inventory • Increased the quality and consistency of sales efforts by have integrating safeguards into their processes so that none of their upgrade opportunities fall through the cracks å read fuLL Story


AutoSuccess June 2014 Success Story