Intro & Context
Hagerstown Kia prides itself on taking care of its customers in their Maryland market. With that context in mind, Internet Sales Manager Richard Koehler noticed glaring inefficiencies in one aspect of their website that led to a poor customer experience and lackluster results: getting customers an estimated monthly payment and letting them browse Hagerstown’s inventory by what they can afford. Koehler has been at Hagerstown Kia for 10 years. Over the past decade, he’s grown revenue exponentially, bringing needed sophistication and process.
Hagerstown Kia & Koehler kept facing the same challenges over and over again when attempting to provide customers an estimated monthly payment. The solutions they tried forced the consumer into a lengthy process designed to sell the customer the vehicle online. The main issue: only a small percentage of consumers want to transact this way. Forcing people into this approach was killing their website conversion, lead flow, and ultimately revenue.
“We tried three different vendors and none could get the process right for us,” says Koehler. “Across the OEM mandated solutions and the others, there was limited to zero configurability, meaning we had to adapt to their software, rather than the vendor adapting to our business. They had it backwards, and it was killing our performance.”
In fact, after implementing their first solution, gross revenue from internet sales fell by 60%, requiring immediate change.
Given their previous experience, Koehler was reluctant to evaluate another solution. After seeing TradePending’s Payments product, they decided to scrap the other solutions and make the switch.
“Payments is nothing like the other solutions we’ve tried. It’s not even in the same category on any level: what it does, our ability to configure it, the customer experience, and the results,” says Koehler.
There were two key differences between Payments and other online shopping solutions that caught his attention:
- Consumers get the information they need quickly, maximizing their inbound lead flow
- They can configure the behind-the-scenes math of monthly payments in order to match their existing processes and strategy, as well as the look and feel of the solution on their website.
Hagerstown Kia and TradePending worked together to get them launched, and the results exceeded expectations.
The dealership now receives close to 300 leads per month through the Payments platform. When combined with TradePending’s Trade tool, they generate an additional 100 leads per month on average, with a closing ratio of 11%.
“When I walked into the owner’s office with the results, he was shocked! Payments converted so much better than the OEM mandated solutions and other vendors. We realized how much money we’d been leaving on the table prior to switching to Payments”, remarks Koehler.
The team also ran “What’s My Buying Power” marketing campaigns designed to help consumers understand how much vehicle they can afford. The campaign directs people to a landing page where they input their desired monthly payment, down payment, trade-in, and a few other details to quickly get an estimated vehicle price range, as well as the inventory that fits their budget. In May 2023, this campaign resulted in 12 additional sales. Koehler nails it when he says, “The results are where it’s at.”
“Payments converted so much better than the OEM mandated solutions… The results are where it’s at.”