Chad Longaker, Internet Sales Director, Walsh Honda
May 2016 Autobytel Dealer of the Month
We'd like to congratulate Chad Longaker, Internet Sales Director at Walsh Honda, for being named Autobytel's Dealer of the Month for May 2016.
The Autobytel Dealer Awards Program honors exceptional dealers from a competitive field of thousands of automotive retailers who employ the highest standards in customer service, Internet automotive retail sales and lead management processes, and mobile and emerging technologies.
We recently spoke with Chad about the characteristics that set his 40+ year family operated dealership apart from the competition in his market area, and the benefits of the Autobytel program at his store.
Tell us about yourself and your store. What is your official title, what brands do you sell and what are your primary markets?
My name is Chad Longaker. I've been the Internet Sales Manager at Walsh Honda for the last four years. We are a locally owned dealership that has been family operated for over 40 years. I've been in the auto industry around seven years. We have a huge selection of pre-owned inventory so we do sell a lot different brands.
How long have you been an Autobytel dealer and what do you think are the primary benefits of being on the Autobytel program?
I believe we have been an Autobytel dealer for over three years and have enjoyed the success that comes with it. There are a lot of benefits. The customer service is excellent and my client representative is always available and there to help. The back end tool allows me to return bad leads and get credits as well as to monitor the flow of leads.
What are your thoughts about being named an Autobytel Dealer of the Month?
It's an awesome accomplishment. I believe I saw a review in a dealer magazine years ago and decided to give it a try. Now here we are!!
What are your general thoughts about the auto industry right now? How are sales? Any interesting things happening at your dealership or with your brands that you'd like to share?
The auto industry, especially Honda, seems to be growing every day. The sales are increasing along with production.
What are your thoughts on the new / emerging technologies coming out of Autobytel? For instance, receiving leads via text and texting with customers? Web based chat?
I feel that most customers are now using texting platforms more each day. It's being used as a non-personal way of communication so it's very important to know how to effectively capture that audience and communicate using that medium.
Each month, Autobytel's sales and dealer operations teams evaluate prospective candidates from a competitive field of thousands of automotive retailers in the Autobytel network, with a monthly finalist selected based on key online automotive best practices, including conversion rates, lead management processes, customer service principles, customer and brand retention analytics and Internet department practices, among others.