The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 1 year ago

Brian Miller: How To Improve Customer Experience With Technology


We have a love/hate relationship with technology in the retail auto industry, but it doesn't have to be that way. For years we've either relied too heavily on technology and bypassed the essential human needs of the car shopper. 

Brian Miller, the Platform Evangelist at, shares some simple ways to improve the customer experience with technology while also fulfilling the operational needs of the dealership. 

Noteworthy topics from this episode:

3:14 - It’s all about the experience we provide to our customers.

6:08 - What is the biggest pain point as it pertains to serving dealers and customers?

8:21 - Dealerships should be responsible for the process that works for them.

10:20 - What is Fortellis?

13:06 - What does integration means?

16:15 - How do dealers are able to create unique workflows for their business?

20:21 - What should I be considering as a dealer to develop something in-house? Who do I need on staff?

25:02 - How does the customer benefit from something like this?

29:49 - How do you find out customer’s data and information? 


This episode is proudly sponsored by our friends at Fortellis. No two dealers operate the same way which is why Fortellis provides the tools to create unique apps that help your dealership meet the needs of the market while catering to your operations. 

Not only has Fortellis created an amazing technology platform that’s designed to make life easier for dealers, but they are also pouring back into the community with events like their dealer dev day. It’s a 3-day event that empowers attendees to network with each other to create smarter, faster, and better apps for the dealer community. 

Visit to browse their marketplace of apps and integrations that will allow you to run your business, your way.

Hey gang, there are fewer things I regret more than not investing in zoom when I had the chance. How was I supposed to know there's gonna be a pandemic and zoom stocks would explode. Looking back 20 years from now, I don't want to have the same sinking feeling sitting on the sidelines knowing I could have jumped on another bandwagon sooner. luckily we know what the next big boom and retail automotive is and that's why companies like four telus have provided the tools to create unique apps that will help your dealership meet the demands of the market. You see no to dealers operate. The same way the beauty about four tell us, is that you can pick and choose the apps and workflows that help you meet the demands of the market while catering to your operations, not only is foretell has created an amazing technology platform that's designed to make life easier for dealers. They are pouring back into the community with events like their dealer DVD. It's a three day event that empowers attendees to network with each other to create smarter faster and better apps for the dealer community. So my beloved DPB gang, the best thing that you can do right now is visit the four telus marketplace and browse through their growing library of apps and integrations that will allow you to run your business your way, visit four telus dot io to learn more. That's four. Tell us dot I O Hey gang, welcome to this episode of the dealer playbook, a podcast that explores what it takes to create a thriving career right here in the retail auto industry. I'm your host, Michael Chiarello, joined by my pal for the second time, brian miller from four. Tell us we're talking about how to unify your technology for a highly connected customer experience. Look, my beloved DPB Gang, you've got loads and loads and loads of technology in your possession at this very moment in time. You've got technology that's running your service, department booking reservations, shuttle drivers, sMS, messaging reminders, you've got sales software from your CRM to digital retailing tools, to financing tools, to credit apps. Gosh, the list goes on and on and each of those things is really just working in a silo. I would submit that up to this point in the car business. No one piece of technology has been effectively speaking to the other piece of technology and I've experienced this firsthand when I go to book a service appointment and then I arrive at the dealership only to find out that it's closed that day and I'm wondering why did they let me book the service appointment on the day that they're closed? This is a simple example of how maybe one piece of technology was not talking to another piece of technology and how that ultimately creates a problem for the customer in today's day and age. It's all about the experience that we provide to the customer. We are not necessarily a dealership anymore as much as we are a hospitality business that just so happens to deliver automotive related products and services. And so the topic of unifying your technology is something that I think is highly important so that we can deliver and just completely otherworldly experience for customers who are all using technology to research, consider purchase and hopefully be taken care of after the purchase of their vehicle or their services and no better person to talk to us today about unifying technology, to provide a better customer experience.

Them a pal brian Miller from Fort Ellis, he is their platform evangelist. He knows, can I say a crap ton about unifying technology, automating workflows to provide a simple faster, better online experience brian miller. My man thanks so much for joining me on the D. P. B. Glad to be here, my friend, wow, that's a tough intro to to follow up you like that off the cuff, that's good man, this is gonna be a delight because I think you know, we were talking pre show and you made a point about how siloed everything in the businesses. I mean as as my agency over reflects, we even noticed sometimes how difficult it can be to service our dealership client appropriately, which only just trickles down to them not being able to service the customer appropriately because oh, you know, vendor A doesn't like working through whatever vendor B might need and if that happens all of a sudden there's a breakdown or something breaks on the last day of the month or like whatever it might be, but that really trickles down, not just to the dealer suffering, it ultimately creates stress on the customer experience, which in many ways is still so antiquated that I could only see something as small as, you know, not being able to connect to pieces of software as something that just like, is that, what do they say, the straw that breaks the camel's back. So I want to turn this over to you because you've had a lot of experience in the retail business, you sold for a, you know, a decade plus, you've worked in and out of dealerships. You've also then worked on the, the provider or supplier side. Um, now with Fort Ellis, what is the biggest pain point that you see as it pertains to maybe this trickle down effect and not being able to service dealer but also not being able to serve as customer. The biggest pain point, it's hard to pinpoint one specific thing, but at the root cause you know the root causes. There's many, we can obviously say that the integration is the difficult piece of the equation. And when I say integration, as you said, you've got these different siloed companies that are doing their own thing and you've got two sides on the one side, you have these siloed companies that are small niche companies building up and I don't work with this person. I don't work with that person that kind of fight and do their own thing at a very small level. And then you have the juggernauts on the big side, you know five or six years ago, all we heard about is we're building an ecosystem so you can use one system for everything. And these monstrous one systems all built up their own tools and again wall them off so that you can only use this system with this piece or this system with that piece. And the loser really is to customers one the dealer customer itself, because they're not able to to really build and define their own process, be that unique thing that allows them to be the best they can. And at the same time, it also that impacts the customers, as you mentioned, because the customer doesn't get the experience that the dealer wants to provide or that they really expect. Mhm. Do you see that as kind of a key to moving this industry for where each dealership is responsible? I mean, I think we all know this, but I mean where each dealer is responsible for a process that works for them. Despite being in this like highly regulated industry, where, you know, I'm on clubhouse, we do office hours calls, I jump in different mastermind groups. And there still seems to be this recurring theme of like feeling you can't do something because this regulation means you can't do that and this regulation means you...

...can't do that. But at the, you know, it always, it always triggers me a little bit predicated upon what you just said, Which is that. But your business is unique. Your business has a different philosophy on how to do business to provide an exceptional customer experience. So, is that, is that what you're saying that that dealership should be responsible for a process that ultimately just works for them? And how do they navigate that amidst all of the regulations? In your opinion? Well, regulations, we could do an entire episode just around regulations. And so much of what we fight, even in the uh, in the, in the world of Fort Ellis is that we have to continually watch those regulations. You know, we've got a lot of A P. I. Gateways, for example, that have to have different standards for us versus Canada, there's a million little variables there, everything that we've done has been very gated so that that that dealer ultimately knows what data is being touched, can control what data is being touched, can choose to touch certain data, not certain data. So from a technical perspective, a lot of that stuff has been continually worked on and will be an ever changing thing. But to go back to your first point about, about that process, I would argue that that dealerships, it's in their DNA Own that process already. Um, I remember working at my, getting hired in at my cousin's first, my cousins dealership, my first chance to really work in the industry in 1992 and the owner of the dealership, sat down with me, my cousin and said, here's our philosophy, here is our process, here's what you're going to do. They owned that every step of every process within the dealership, they took ownership of it, they knew what they wanted to have done, they knew what impacted and work for the customer and it was a matter of execution. The problem we have is that so many systems today, despite the fact that we want that dealer to own, that we've taken away that ability to actually do that thing that they want to do to own that process and execute on it and the beauty of what. But what I've always saw when I got involved with this organization was the chance to provide some universal tools to make it easier for that dealer who already wants to own that process to actually be able to execute. Do you have an example of how something? Well, first of all, let me let me ask you this. I mean, So what actually is for tell us. So for tell us at at a high level is a api platform using modern technologies that allow for instant access to the information that's needed through a universal gateway system. The beauty of the system is that if you go ahead and access that you can have access to any dealer that's utilizing that specific ap um many of those a P. I. S today are put out there by companies like C. D K, like the lead and several other third party companies. These different products that are there allow for that quick access to data to do real time workflow, as opposed to trying to do chunky files back and forth. It's a very modern approach. It's a similar approach to what you've seen. Developers building in the last 10 to 15 years against google A P I. S or against amazon Api or Ebay API is to meet the specific needs and functions. It's that type of integration, something that our industry has a tendency to kind of lag a little bit on the technology side. This is really bringing us forward to that, but that modern approach within that, you also have a marketplace and in that marketplace, whenever a new product is added to that integration, using that tool, that marketplace makes it available to dealers to be able to subscribe to. There's also a community aspect of it that allows developers to kind of work, discuss different ideas, exchange ideas, dealers to propose ideas that they might want to, developer to build all of that is built into that and take them to that system. So, so now let's let's break that down a layer deeper because we've got a tech guy talking to a tech guy and I want to make sure that the non tech individual...

...didn't hear four, tell us function integration and think waited. So why is Cirillo talking about an erectile dysfunction medication called for telus? Yeah. So, so how do we, how do we take everything you just said? Which I clearly understand. I mean, we work in the tech space and and just say like the one sentence of like, here's here's what you can do with this. And by the way, that's not to describe, because we know that there are some real geeky, nerdy tech people that are listening to this that are like, preach Bryant preach, I'm one of them, but now I just want to make sure also, You know, you've heard me talk about this persona of this individual. I have in my head, sitting in a small family owned dealership for the last 73 years, uh, in dog lick Nebraska, who's still advertising in the coffee shop mag magazine thing, little rag. How do you connect all those puzzle pieces together? So you've talked about integration, let's talk about integration just for a minute. I think even that's a term that everybody in the industry has heard at this point, but probably don't even understand what that what it means to integrate to apps, right? And that integration can take on many forms. It could be as simple as app a calls at B and says I need this information, or it could be more robust. Uh, you know, a simple example might be a pay says, hey, um, do I have a Toyota Camry in stock? Well, yes, I do have a Toyota Camry in stock. Great. Show me the information. Or it could be as fancy as I'm a lot service that says, hey, I just took pictures of that Toyota Camry by the way. Here's the pictures and they immediately appear in the system instead of waiting for the upload and the update and the sink and everything that takes place overnight and all the baking that goes into that old process. We literally can with our phones say, find this car, take the photo, it's there, it's on the website, it's available for the salesperson. It's done in seconds. That's what a true integration allows you to do. Yeah, it's like real time correct. Which is funny because I think up to this point in the industry that the kind of the standard has been, it will update tonight between the hours of 12 a.m. And three a.m. And then you know, poor dealer shows up at the dealership at eight a.m. To realize that something broke and it didn't work but crap. It's the Memorial day weekend and you know something is not working. So I can see this as a super valuable thing where you know, I even some of my clients will come to me and say, hey, we want to get this photo system on our website. So what do we do? We have to reach out to that photo system software company and we have to try and spin something up and get their individual integration. And the next thing you know, there's 7000 different apps integrated individually where what you're talking about is this centralised hub of your like the power bar, the surge protector almost right where I can plug into it and it gets me connected to the power source. Um and so I think this is super valuable just Based on one thing that you just said which is simplicity and speed, you want that information on your website connected to the source right away without having to deal with the mumbo jumbo of the back and forth and N. D. A. S and this and that and all the different things. So I think that's super valuable. So for those wondering what does integrate mean it's one app connecting to another app seamlessly and in as near real time as you can possibly get it so that you can finally have the functions on your website or on your, you know wherever you're promoting digitally to to do...

...what you want to be able to do. And to your point brian you were talking about um making that happen in a way that's unique to that dealership specific workflow. So do you have any particular examples that you could share with us? Where maybe a dealer was able to search your library or your your marketplace and be able to just kind of create a unique workflow for them? Well, there's there's a number of things going on that I that I can't totally speak to because we have many dealer groups today that are building very unique and very customized solutions to meet the needs of their dealer group. They've got in house development, they're actually developing tools, but at the same time we've had a lot of dealers as of late that have reached out to us looking for specific integrations. A good example of that, back in december, we had several dealers that we're using the elite tool and we're looking for a specific integration with an ai chat company that had come online And the Chat Company really did exactly what they wanted. They vetted two or 3, they fall in love with this one. This was a great example of a, of a small upstart company with guys with a lot of D N A, a lot of experience and they were, when they were told, hey, we have to integrate with C D K. The immediate thought was, well, this might take a while. That's a big company. But what was beautiful is that we got on a call with them. We shared with them. The specific API is that they needed to utilize to the elite tool. They agreed to beta test a few things as opposed to having months of pre design certification, re certification, eventual deployment. This process with a large D. M. S. Usually is a 3 to 5 month process beginning with a lot of upfront fees and costs and everything involved in this case it was, hey, go to the Fort Ellice website, we'll give you access to our docks, download the docks, read everything you need. The developers Reddit went, oh, so we just need to do this, this and this and this is very self service. It was all right there. They went back to our team and said, here's what we want to build to certify. They went up easy. Here you go over to the sandbox, give it a try. They tested everything. They went from concept to pilot in a couple of weeks, wow. And within a couple of weeks after that they were live and they were just adding dealers as they go, the dealer was in love with it because here they wanted that tool. They heard all all new integration and they were nervous. The developer was nervous attacked because of previous experience. But what they were able to find is that by just having these universal tools they could, they could download a dock and read everything they needed, Figure 90 of it out in their heads that happen to have five million phone calls, they got to work on it. They were able to test iterate, quickly developed quickly and launch quickly. And the beauty is that that tool worked perfectly within the elite system and this particular provider turned around and came back to us and said, hey by the way, do you have an A P I for for for this other Crn? I'm like no, but you know what if they called us unpublished, we let them because it's an agnostic platform. I would love to see the day where three or four or five different crm all have the exact same spec tied it and said, OK, great, I want to do this and you know, I want to send this to the leader. I want to send this to dealers socket or I want to send this to to 1 80 whatever it is, you can literally use a common spec for 99% of it. So the guy doesn't have to recode all day long and then just pointed to the right solution. That's where we want to be and where the platform frankly could be as long as the right people got involved in some let's do it. Yeah. One of the things that intrigues me about this is a word you just said. Agnostic. This is an agnostic program. You are Switzerland in a sea of hostility or perceived hostility in the, in the retail car business. You also mentioned that you have dealers themselves, developing some specific things to meet their needs. Mhm. So let me ask you this, I'm curious from your vantage point say I'm a dealer and I just heard that as well...

...and I go, oh, oh, that's interesting. Maybe that's something I've always been kind of curious about. What should I be considering as a dealer two, you know, I guess develop something in house like what do I need, who do I need on staff? What should I be looking for? Um, in these individuals? Any ideas on that? That's a great question. You know, for years we used to jokingly say that the son of the dealership was, was ph d, you know, papa has dealership. The reality is, many of the Children today of dealer principals have phds or have degrees and have computer science backgrounds and the type of capabilities that we're talking about doing are really low code, low touch, easy to work with operations. You know, let's say for example, your dealer, um, wants to go ahead and you've got this, this kid that works for the dealership, maybe the son of the dealer, maybe instead he just has a buddy of his that has a development shop in town. They go ahead and say, hey, I want to do X y, z, I want to pull roo information in to run a report every day to see exactly how many service orders run what the average cost is and which service advisor is doing a better job. That information some years ago was difficult, if not impossible to get today. You can literally go into four. Tell us you could go to the repair order piece, you can sign up and have access to that repair order information and build an application using postman. Uh you can go out to our GIT hub site and pull down sample scripts. Often get hub. The information is all there for someone that's developer centric already kind of pull down, get that basic set of information, play with it a little bit and do some rudimentary testing. Um and then from there build out, This is not something where we feel like we need to have some egghead who's got, you know, 30 years of computing experience to do it. It's something that people can learn very easily, Right? And I think that's an interesting piece. I mean obviously having a development, you know, portion of our business, something that I think is really interesting these days is Everybody thinks they're worth 100 grand or more. Um, aren't you? Well, I know I am. There's a difference. I've got 25 years of proven experience. There you go, proven proven keyword proven kept, kept my mouth shut for most of it. So I could prove myself right. Um, but, but, but, but you know, this day and age people go to salary dot com and I'm like, oh, I'm a, I'm a developer and it says median income in my industry. Uh, you know, um, but I like what you're saying because it's a bit of a qualifier, This is low code, low touch, essentially easy to operate. Are there specific code sets or skills that the dealers should be looking for in a developer? Or is it just, you know, like is there a specific language that you're aware of? Or, or is it, you know, basically vetting on? Hey, here's the system of Fort Ellis. What, what's your thoughts and vetting them that way. So if we tell us does a pretty good job of providing link offs to specific support guides to kind of help a user get what they need to do. Um as far as if I was just talking to somebody and I was looking for someone with experience, usually if you say look, I have, I'm looking for someone who can build me an application that connects to an A. P. I. That level of of of knowledge said is really what you need, What does that application means? Well, are we talking about an app on a phone? Probably not. We're probably talking about a web application. Someone could light up a in Asia account or some other online account system and then build their web app there. Use the tools that exist to post bond to do a collection or a...

...connection and kind of build and test their again a lot of this stuff is done with with tools that exist today so that the coding side of it is relatively small. It really is very low code. Obviously if you've got someone that feels the need to get in there and get their hands dirty and they're very comfortable, they can certainly do that. So there really is kind of a diverse toolset here where I could create simple apps or even something that might have been difficult back in the day. Like you talked about pulling Innaro like getting our own information delivered daily. Uh or I can make this as complex as I needed it to be. Very very true. Um Yeah, so this kind of leads me to the next step, which is how do we, how does the customer not the dealer, how does the customer benefit from something like this? How does this empower me to give a better customer experience? It's that's a great question. Um It's funny. I was I was just recently working on a blog post and remembering back to my days and sales, you're back in the day when I sold cars before the internet. Uh you know and when I used to sell vehicles originally I was that guy that would go out and take a picture of you with a camera. Remember these things called cameras had film once a week. I go to the local drugstore and wait a day to have them developed. It was a neat process, you know two prints one for the customer to send him into the man and an actual envelope with a stamp thanking them for their purchase. Another one that I was. How many cards? How many personal photo printers have you bought? Right like remember when those came out you're like wait I can rise up at home. Yeah. And they were like three grand or something crazy like that. I think so. Yeah. I would I would stick these on a just a card and I kept card boxes and anytime I connected with a customer I would contact them every year I would remind them I would send them birthday letters. I would work with them when I knew that customer was coming in to see me on an appointment. I pulled out that card and I'd look at that picture and I look on the back of the card and there I had written down the names of their kids what they did, what kind of career their aspirations were what their other vehicle purchases were, what else I sold them when they were in, everything there for service. I'd make a note. I kept this nice little sheet for one simple reason, I knew that I could only survive in sales based upon my relationship with that customer. Everything began with that relationship. That's why I didn't just sell 10 cars a month. That's why I was a 25-30 car month guy. And if I went from dealership agency, the dealership be those 25 or 30 customers came with me because of the relationship. And this is the thing that always blows my mind when we, when we fast forward and look at technology today and we think about something like we were talking about the leaves. That's a Crm, okay, what does Crm stand for customer relationship management, but ask most dealers what they are is, and they're still trying to understand that and figure that out. I remember in 1999 2000 setting up an early internet internet sales team and we used an I. L. M. Internet lead management and then we advanced out of ill um, into CMS customer management system. We were managing the leads, we were managing the customers. It wasn't until recently that the idea of managing the relationship was even added into into the, into our vernacular and ask most dealers today what they managed, they manage the process rather than the relationship. The beauty of what we're doing with for telus is we offer new tools to take that Crm and really make the relationship key. We can now immediately understand more information about that customer. So when we build a response, it's the right response. We...

...can communicate in a timely way when someone's in for service, we can communicate the more relevant way when we're talking through a sales process, we go from just a management tool, We're not just working with the customer, we're actually doing what we're supposed to, we're not taking that customer relationship and that's the part that we're trying to manage. Makes sense. 100%. And I love that because I would say out of the 500 Plus episodes of the podcast, a solid 60-plus of them specifically speak to the importance of relationship. And so here we are, starting with the tech conversation and we filled that bucket for all the tech nerds that are part of the DPB gang. But then it always always, always finds its way back to relationships, not just any relationships. Why would you even want to manage the relationship so that you can build a trusting relationship? I do have one question kind of as a sidebar, you're gonna have to dig deep back into your your front line days, how in the balls can a car sales professional find out what someone's career aspirations are or life aspirations are? Because I feel like today people are triggered over the mustard, that was two yellow on there, like a hot dog. How do you approach? Like, let's just talk about how you did it back then. How do you find out that level of information, what the kids are interested in? I feel like if I asked somebody what their kids were interested in today, they'd be like, who's asking yeah, what do you want to know that you're stepping? You know where I live? You know, it's like this kind of a weird get out of my face, you know, it's like that's how did you do that? How did you approach that to even get that kind of data? Well, you know, when I would actually look at my cards, if I was lacking that data, first of all, I would step back and say, okay, what did I not do Right in my process. If I didn't establish trust early in that process, then I wasn't able to ask those questions or get those answers, which means I failed probably as a salesperson to initially do what I'm supposed to do and that's established trust and then build a relationship. You can't build a relationship if it's not built on trust, that's the cornerstone. Um, and so for me, a lot of times that discussion might begin with how I obviously you've got the general agreed at the dealership, you find out what their, you know, at a high level what the need is, okay, we've identified that they're looking for a new vehicle. We might have verified what type of vehicle they're looking for, What it's used cases for in that use case or your commuting? Really? Where do you commute to? Oh, you work at? So and so how is that? Uh huh. Is that where you see yourself in a couple of years and you just shut up and let someone talk and you build that bond. And so when you're in that test drive and you load the three kids in the car, there's, there's Billy Billy, how old are you? 7? Cool Billy. You know what you want to be when you grow up an astronaut? That's pretty cool. I can have that conversation because the trust has already been established. Yeah. I was in a clubhouse room the other night and it was like sales versus marketing or, or no sales, personal brand versus sales. And as you're speaking and I'm writing notes, um, uh it brought to mind people deliberating for over an hour sales tactics and then you go, Michael, what's your opinion? And I'm like, well,...

I believe that no sales tactic will work if you are a dick of a human. Mhm. And the reason I think about that, not because I think brian miller is a dick of a human. Quite the contrary. You're you're sitting here. I'm writing notes. I wrote down, shut up and let them talk. Ah ask going a step further by asking them where they work. Like everything I think about relationships and like fortifying the trust comes from just this innate desire to be a good person and good people care about other people, good people care about letting other people talk. Um, most experiences that I've had purchasing vehicles, nobody's even cared to ask if I have kids, let alone include them in the test drive and ask their age and what they want to be when they grow up like to take that level of interest I think is is very interesting. So now let's say we acquire this information in this tech ecosystem, human being collects information, what do I do, where do I go from here? What do I do with it? I put it into my crm and then what crm connects to what, what would be an example of what I could connect my crm to make better use of this data that I've collected. So it may not be as far as even having to put that information into your crm. We're trying to get away from these large amounts of data being concentrated in specific areas, from a security reason and just from a daily processing point, if that information exists over here in the in the in the D. M. S, all I need to do is I need to understand where the data is. I just need to flip to that old card. I used to use turn it over and get the information I need put the card back in the box and step away from it. And using that same analogy here, let's say I'm at the dealership and I'm about to send an email and I'm at the service like well I'm contacting this customer and I hit a button and that button can go over and say, okay this customer has been in the service department three times each time. It was the same problem, reported not yet fixed. So I know how to craft that email On the flip side. It may be that person has this is their third vehicle with the with the company. That being. It is the third vehicle that may change the way I addressed them from a loyalty perspective, what what offerings I may be able to provide ease a problem. I could look at it and say, wow the last three cars, they've always done a tire rotation and a detail. Great. That's an automatic Upsell opportunity. Having those data points just using the example of the service lane gives me a lot more power to do what I need to do quickly and at the same time it may not necessarily be all done at once. Maybe I'm using a contact system. That's that. I schedule the appointment and I get the message coming through an SMS and in that SMS message I say, oh by the way we see usually have a detailed work done, we have somebody available, it can have it done, would you like that as well? So you push the conversation over to there and then when that customer comes back and they drop off the car, they're off on their way. Maybe that communication system is now saying you're cars almost done. We're ready to have you come back and pick it up. Once again, we just want to thank you for for, for purchasing three different cars from us. We value you as a customer, man. Well, I got that instead of just your car's done. Which one do you think? It's gonna remind me to go to that dealer more? Oh my gosh, I'd be tying this now, my brains moving on, I would be tying this into some sort of, well, first of all, um, you know, creating some sort of a loyalty..., an internal loyalty program. Forget like whatever the O. E. M. Programs might be and how they try and get you into. I'm creating an internal loyalty program. So you're saying I've got a repeat customer, I have that information readily accessible to me. I would be integrating that with my loyalty program so that when I pull up that card it's telling me as the rep they qualify for this V. I. P. Experience and that thing would be tied into profit margins so that I'm not constantly wondering as the dealer principal or as the business owner. Yeah but if I do that for them is it cutting too deeply into my profit margins? Like so I would I would have it almost tied into some sort of profit calculator where it's like no on their second visit I I as the service rep don't have to ask permission, I am automatically authorized because I see it up on my screen that mr miller who has come back for the second service appointment to get a tire swap and a fluid swap and an oil change that we are going to buy him and his wife dinner at their favorite keto restaurant. And boom it because I don't have to ask permission, I don't have to go to my manager. It's a no brainer like right in front of me and all of that is tied in my system. Sure like people are doing punch cards. Why can't I have like something that ties into my own internal hospitality system. This is something that nobody ever thinks of and imagine what would happen. You come in for a service appointment for something as routine as an oil change And I'm walking out with a $100 gift card like basically see but what happens is because we never reconcile quickly enough the financials, We don't think that we're making any money then we'll wait. How did we make money on the oil change? You made money on the oil change because you just invested $100 to keep that customer coming back for the next two years. Sure. And if you're running into the sales log, you can look and see that maybe that customer, okay. This guy might have been the guy that, you know, he grinded us on three new car deals. We know what the potential grosses and future sale over there. Then again, this might be the guy who grinded this once on, on a new car and then brought his daughter in his sister in and we just conk them both over the head on a used car. Can I say that on there? I just did. So so you're like, okay, there's obviously a big value in this guy because he's a new and used car buyer and I have a greater growth potential just in the future sales, never mind the service side of it. And to see the tie in without this is the part that's appealing to me. Little to no intervention on my part is going to actually empower my team to do more serving sure to be like, wait, because now I'm thinking even in that context, he's a new and he used vehicle a customer. But if I could pull up right away and see anybody that he's referred to me or anybody else in his family that has also purchased a vehicle. Now I get a great sense on this one flip card that's created by this, this integration of how much generational and lifetime value potential I have on this customer. And what's even what I think is even brilliant going a step further because I know what some might be thinking. Well then how do I avoid my team judging an individual who might not have as much lifetime value potential while that's simple because then you're going to have a process baked into this that says here are steps you can take to encourage that customer to come back to increase probability of lifetime value. You know, you mentioned, you mentioned this, you mentioned hospitality um in a future world, in the future world, this will happen again, but in the past world before Covid you and I spent a lot of time in hotels, on planes and uh...

...we we tended to be loyal to certain brands for me, I was loyal, I was loyal to the Hilton brand. I've been a diamond member for years. Every time I walk into a Hilton property, what they see. First of all they see, oh Mr miller is a diamond level so I'm going to address him a specific way because he's a diamond level for Guests. I was thinking like Motel six. If I've been to that specific location, if I've been that they know every time I've been to that location, let's say I complained twice about the H. V. A. C. System right when they schedule my appointment and they see our schedule room and they see him coming in as a diamond member. This the processes diamond member complained about the same problem. Twice. Check the room before he gets here. Now if I'm just a silver level, they look at a little differently, but they're always trying to move me to the gold level and move me to the diamond level. They're trying to encourage behavior to get me to that level. That's the same approach that we can do within our industry. But it all begins with looking at those little morsels of data in the right way and we can access all that data in near real time by utilizing a platform like portals to get the information we need, wow, this is incredible. I mean, so we, we've kind of gone through the foundation of why the tech is needed, the foundation of why unifying technology is so important. But I love how we ended up here with some real world possibilities of how a dealership or any business for that matter could utilize this data highway if you will in order to create customer experiences that keep people coming back time and time again over several generations. I just think this is so tremendous, man brian Miller joining us again for the second time here on the DPB. Thanks so much for joining us. How can those listening get in touch with you? Like the easiest way to get in touch with me, probably would be just to look me up on linkedin. Um, if you jump on lengthen you can search for brian Miller. Uh, my direct link is brian, the car guy on Lincoln and if you like, you can also reach out to me through the Fort Ellice group. My email address over there is brian dot miller At four. Tell us that I owe. Amazing man, thanks so much for joining me on the podcast. Thank you. I'm Michel Cirillo and you've been listening to the dealer Playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, please click the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now, leave a rating or review and share it with a colleague. If you're ready to make big changes in your life and career and want to connect with positive, nurturing automotive professionals, join my exclusive DPB Pro community on facebook. That's where we share information, ideas and content that isn't shared anywhere else. I can't wait to meet you there. Thanks for listening.

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