Jill Scollo, BDC Manager, Rothrock Motor Sales
January 2016 Autobytel Dealer of the Month
We'd like to congratulate Jill Scollo, BDC Manager at Rothrock Motor Sales, for being named Autobytel's Dealer of the Month for January 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 Jill about the importance of recognizing that these days, every customer is an Internet customer. Response times and follow up are critical, and so is a cooperative and supportive staff when it comes to best managing today's automotive consumers.
Tell us about yourself and your store. What is your official title, what brands do you sell and what are your primary markets?
We are a Nissan, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram dealership located in Allentown, PA, and we serve North Hampton and Lehigh counties and beyond. We have a large inventory of nearly 900 vehicles, including new and preowned. Rothrock Nissan opened its doors in 1960, making it the third-oldest continually owned Nissan dealership in the country. In 2014, Rothrock celebrated the Grand Opening Event of its new Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram store.
How long have you been an Autobytel dealer and what do you think are the primary benefits of being on the Autobytel program?
We were originally with AutoUSA which was acquired by Autobytel, and this is how we came to be an Autobytel dealer. The Autobytel program yields good closing ratios for us (around 10%). Last month we sold nine vehicles through Autobytel. We also like the front and back end system.
What do you think makes you so successful at meeting the needs of today's Internet consumers? Please share a few of your best practices in terms of managing Internet leads.
I've been in this business for 17 years, and in that time I've worked on the sales floor, and in BDC. Over time, you start seeing what works and what doesn't. The BDC is so much different than being on the sales floor. We have best practices, CRM, and templates in place. We give price quotes, and we have a whole process in place, but I would say that follow up is critical within the process. We work to give customers the exact information they are looking for. We also strive for a response time of no longer than 10 minutes. In fact, we've received recognition from Nissan and Chrysler for our response times.
What are your thoughts about being named an Autobytel Dealer of the Month?
It's always great to be awarded and recognized for our hard work.
What are some tips or advice you would give other retailers when it comes to effectively managing Internet customers?
Listen to the customer, read their emails to learn exactly what they want and need, answer their questions, be ready to offer an alternative vehicle if you don't have something in stock, and most importantly, follow up!
We are lucky to have a management team on the floor that embraces BDC, and this is pretty important. We have a great staff here. They all understand the trends of online car shopping and buying, and they have adapted to the mindset that every customer is an Internet customer, because the new way of purchasing vehicles means that practically everyone starts online.
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?
Nissan has come a long way, they have kept up with Honda sales, and I see the brand growing even more. The lineup of Jeeps is exciting, and good things are happening there. We hope all of the brands we sell will grow even more. Our dealership is doing well, too. For the month of October 2015, we were among the top 20 Nissan dealers in the U.S. with the highest closing ratios. As far as my BDC department, we are doing about 35% of the store's business, and we are looking to grow that number even more!
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?
A definite benefit of texting is that it enables us to engage with our customers.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself...what do you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies or interests of note?
I am a mom. I have two step daughters, so I spend most of my free time with my family and at family gatherings. My kids are also very active, they are into sports, so that keeps me busy with them. I am also an animal lover. I have four cats. We have a brand new home, so we are also focused on some home projects.
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.