Forget the postman. MyCarPage.com is giving dealers another avenue to reach their customers.
By subscribing to this Web-based service, dealers can send their customers e-mail reminders of scheduled maintenance and inform them of any special prices or coupons for the service.
Interval Inc. in Santa Monica, Calif., created MyCarPage.com to help dealers communicate better with their customers. Since it was unveiled at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in January, 100 dealerships have signed up, said Rick Lantz, Interval's vice president of product development.
It is one of several new Web-based services that have emerged to help owners maintain their vehicles or to help dealers and service centers keep in touch with their customers. They include Marketdrive.com, CarPoint. com, iCARumba.com and motoreyes.com.
Dealers often mail reminders of recommended service to their customers. I, for one, would prefer an electronic reminder. That's one less piece of mail to clutter up my countertop. And if I don't want to follow the service recommendations, I simply hit the delete key.
Making a service appointment is easy, too. With MyCarPage.com, the customer submits a date and time online. No need to wait for the service department to answer the phone.
When dealers subscribe to MyCarPage.com, they need only to register their customers.
'We manage their entire database,' Lantz said. 'We manage all the outbound e-mail. To the consumer, it looks like it came from the dealer.'
The typical dealership has 20,000 to 30,000 names of new- and used-vehicle buyers and service customers in its database, he said.
Dealers pay a one-time $300 training and set-up fee and a $245 monthly fee.
Customers access MyCarPage.com on their dealership's Web site. There, they also can find their vehicle's service history, recommended service intervals and any recall notices.
Dealers get a 'customer value matrix' that places customers in segments based on service visit frequency and spending patterns.
Ralph Kisiel can be reached at [email protected] or at (313) 446-0369