In order to survive the past four years, the entire industry had to rethink the way it conducted business. Not only was customer traffic down but with the tsunami hitting Japan, inventory levels were at an all-time low. At Rick Case Honda, they knew that in order to grow their business they had to concentrate on meeting their customer’s needs.
“The approach has to have a real benefit for the customer or you will not enjoy prolonged success” said Richard Bustillo, General Manager of Rick Case Honda who has been with the dealership since 2008. “The problem that our service department was facing over the last four years was that although we had an increase in revenue and hours per RO, we were mining our own customer base but not expanding it. I wasn’t satisfied because I saw an opportunity to achieve both.”
They tried investing in conventional email blasts, mailers, and service reminders that targeted current customers and realized that they were not getting their return on their investment. Last November, Bustillo made the decision to change the strategy. The results, he says, were staggering. In November of 2011, Bustillo teamed up with Budd Blackburn, owner of Team Velocity and brought the marketing company onboard with Rick Case Honda. The strategy of Blackburn’s company revolves around conducting comprehensive research that targets the right customers, thus preventing dealerships from sending irrelevant coupons and offers to the wrong consumer.