Welcome Center vs Detention Center : Dealer Websites

Here’s the challenge. Is your website a Welcome Center or a Detention Center?

My reasoned hypothesis – unless you’ve done a recent, major overhaul is that it’s a detention center.

A Detention Center is defined as — a jail or prison, a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms.

So shut down your laptop, turn off your 50” dual screen monitor and go to your website via a smartphone and think about what’s happening –from a customer perspective. Or even ask them.

Here’s what I believe is compromising our operational execution–so much energy has gone into lead forms left, lead forms right and lead forms center. Lead forms for cars. Lead forms for price. Lead forms for service.

Lead forms even for test drives?

Take test drives for a moment. Customers can schedule flights on apps, but we want a customer to submit a form to schedule a test drive?!?

The majority of these forms don’t satisfy a scheduling requirement. They just send an email to the dealership’s CRM. If that’s the case at your dealership, it’s time to re-think your internet service provider and what operational, advertising commitments you’re trying to execute on your website.

So, if you’re also not actually able to schedule service appointments, then you really are confusing what you want with what the customer wants to do. And that’s a huge disconnect in a world where people can use the same Amazon App to watch shows like Jack Ryan or to have groceries dropped off at their house.

The pursuit of form fills—despite customer dislike—creates a Detention Center experience. It’s time to start building Welcome Centers for our customers.