Last month, one of our clients, Jenkins & Wynne of Clarksville, TN won the prestigious “Ford Direct Best Idea Award” for their implementation of Trade Appraisal Plus to generate quality leads and sales for their dealership. I recently had to the pleasure of sitting down with Casey Jenkins, Jenkins & Wynne’s internet manager, to learn more about their big win! Here’s what she had to say:
TRADE APPRAISAL PLUS | CUSTOMER INTERVIEW
Felicia: What’s your name and what do you do at Jenkins and Wynne?
Casey: My name is Casey Jenkins, and I wear a lot of hats. That’s the only way I can describe with what I do here. Um, my, the awesome opportunity that I have is I get to work in every department here at Jenkins and Wynne.
Felicia: Very cool! Next question: you’ve used Trade Appraisal Plus for a few months now. What makes it your trade-in tool of choice?
Casey: Well, we were using a different trade appraisal tool for a long time with another company; but I had a reason to explore other options and happened to stumble upon Trade Appraisal Plus. I decided to give it a shot with the free trial and was just really blown out of the water — but not in the way that most dealers would expect. Obviously, you want to see a return on investment, but you also want it to be a stellar experience. What I was most blown away by was how the customer service really stood apart from most of the vendor relationships that I have.
I don’t feel like we are a cookie cutter store. We don’t have a cookie cutter presence, and we don’t have a cookie cutter culture here at Jenkins and Wynne. That said, Kyle [Meier] was able to really get an idea of who we were and not fit us into a cookie cutter mold. I didn’t feel like I was a number, but that I was someone that they really cared about. They wanted me to succeed, and I feel like all parties won from that.
Now, once I started getting reporting, I realized that that’s just a whole ‘nother aspect that I really didn’t even take in consideration when I was narrowing down other trade appraisal tools. The reporting that PERQ offers is so dynamic. It doesn’t just tell you the “black and white” of the deal, but it really goes deeper and helps you understand who this customer is in our market. What they’re thinking, what they’re looking for, or why are they coming to our website? And knowing all those answers, we’re able to cater our marketing message even more specifically. I just feel like it’s a win-win relationship with Jenkins and Wynne and with PERQ.
Felicia: Congrats on winning the Ford Best Idea award! Can you tell me more about that experience and why you think you came out on top by presenting Trade Appraisal Plus?
Casey: Oh gosh, You guys are ju- you just spoiled me! I mean I did have several ideas, but ultimately our team thought that PERQ would be the best idea because it really was the best idea. And it’s like I was saying earlier, it really is a great tool! It’s customizable, and it’s an opportunity to gain better insight on the customer. It’s not a plug-and-play, but it’s a tool that really gives us a daily conversation on customer insight. I appreciate that, so, yeah, I was glad to talk about it.
Felicia: So, can you tell me more about that experience and why you think you came out on top presenting Trade Appraisal Plus?
Casey: Well, us dealers want to be “served with greatness” by our vendors and I think that was just something that I really wanted to talk about. I mean, the tool itself is great, but the customer service is especially awesome and I just had to tell my dealer friends that. I was very upfront and honest about it, and I said, “This is the real deal.” None of us ever want to waste time. Our time is very limited and very valuable, so I told them about my experience over the last few months and several of them started getting online (to PERQ’s website) as I was talking. You know, a referral is the best compliment, but within our dealer circles, when we build trust with each other and we’re able to say what works and what doesn’t work, there’s value in that. I don’t think it was my words or my presentation by any stretch. Um, in fact my PowerPoint didn’t even work, so…
Felicia (laughs) Well, very glad to hear that! So, onto the next question — Reporting is a key feature in Trade Appraisal Plus and an area that we happen to be very passionate about, clearly. How has the reporting been useful for you? Can you maybe give us an example where it’s been helpful?
Casey: Sure. So, from our August buyer profiles, I know that 64% of our customers wanted extra help with financing. And so, we can look at that, and really drill it down to those customers. Not only can we talk to them about their trade, but we can also talk to them about all kinds of options for financing. It builds validity in our conversation because we’re able to offer the customer something valuable so that they can make an informed decision. It starts our conversation off on a positive, relevant note, and the more relevancy you build, the more trust is built between you and the consumer.
That’s one thing I really like about the reporting – it’s that it’s pretty dynamic. You could use it, not just because a customer is looking to trade their vehicle, but our conquest marketing efforts are really working because right now, as of August on this report, it says 70% of our customers have not purchased from Jenkins and Wynne. And so that tells me that our conquest marketing efforts are really working. We also know that our repeat rate is 92%, so we’re reaching a whole ‘nother set of customers just to engage in conversation on vehicles.
Felicia: Speaking of marketing, often times dealerships need to change their marketing and sales processes when implementing a new conversion tool. What was your experience like implementing Trade Appraisal Plus? Did you have to change any of your processes?
Casey: No, we didn’t. In fact, I still had my other tool running. They were literally side-by-side. So, no, we haven’t done anything different as far as our marketing goes. I think just how dynamic and simple the tool is really makes customers gravitate towards it. It’s transparent, it’s simple, and that’s exactly what we were looking for.
Felicia: With Trade Appraisal Plus, dealerships can leverage collected data for future marketing and sales decisions. How do you plan on using this data to make better-informed decisions pertaining to your strategy?
Casey: Well, like I said, I look at the buyer profile and just get the pulse of our customer for the month and then make decisions from there. So the questions of, “Have you purchased from us before?” Or, “How did you find our website?” Or “What else can we help you with?” – you know, those are the questions that we can just drill down our marketing efforts, digital and traditional, so that it’s more relevant to the customers’ needs.
Felicia: When you were looking for a lead collection tool, what sorts of things were you actively looking for?
Casey: I actually don’t use third party vendors for leads, but that’s our strategy. It’s not for everyone, but it’s great for us right now. What makes a lead tool successful enough for me wanting to keep them is the return on investment. What I spend versus how many leads I get, how many conversations I’m able to have, etc. That’s what makes a lead source valuable or not.
Felicia: And onto the last question. If you were speaking to another dealership – obviously not one in your area (laughs) — who was thinking about using Trade Appraisal Plus, what advice would you give them?
Casey: I would just encourage them to try it out for themselves, but also remain true to the culture and language of their store. That’s something you can do with PERQ. You don’t have to fit a cookie cutter mold. You can remain true to your own language and your own culture, yet have this dynamic tool that will build transparency and trust with your customer. It’s a win across the board.
Wanna learn how you can get the same results as Casey with PERQ’s automotive solution? Schedule a demo today!