Loading the Web site with information in two languages -- Spanish and English -- was another improvement. Also, tire prices now are listed on the site. Customers can make a service appointment, get a quote or apply for credit online.
And, collision center customers can check progress of repairs online. There are helpful frequently asked questions that explain, for instance, the different sources for replacement parts: factory, aftermarket or salvage yard.
The service center page now gets more than 1,000 hits a month, more than triple the number the old site received, Mootz says. The parts section alone gets 350 hits, he says.
If all of this seems like information overkill, think again.
"If a customer needs something, they go to their computer," says Lloyd Schiller, a service-industry consultant in West Palm Beach, Fla. A service center page needs "all the pizzazz" of a dealership's new and used car Internet page, he says, so it will appear high in an Internet search. Listing prices also helps because it wins customers' confidence, Schiller says.
Six months ago, DCH Brunswick Toyota added a button at the top of each page that lets customers type questions and receive answers from the dealership 24 hours a day. Up to 85 people a month log into the live online chat, and the dealership is getting more service appointments as a result, says Mootz.
Some customers still like to talk to a human rather than type to a computer when they need service. So a person is on duty around the clock at the dealership to answer the phone. And customers can drop off vehicles for service 24 hours a day.
The tone of the dealership's communication has changed from hard-sell to soft.
The staff is no longer "swinging for the fences" -- trying to sell as much as possible to each customer, he says. Instead, they discuss the vehicle's needs and point out areas that need immediate attention, says Mootz.