"Customers can go to their website and look up service history, lease maturities," Sesi, 64, said. "It links to their bank information in terms of payoff." Sesi Motors sold about 1,500 vehicles in 2017, about three-quarters new and one-quarter used.
"This, I think, if you follow the process religiously, will help tie the customer to your store. Long term, I fully expect five or six years from now these customers are still going to be loyal," he said.
But Sesi quickly points out that the dealership group still calls its customers, too. "Interacting with customers one-on-one is still important," he said.
Sesi started setting up websites for customers at his Lincoln dealership in June under a pilot program, added websites for customers at his Mazda dealership in December and is excited about bringing his Volvo customers on board. The pilot ended at the beginning of the year.
Sesi's customer websites are powered by OneClick Loyalty, a digital customer retention tool created for dealers by ChannelNet, a Dearborn, Mich., software company.
OneClick Loyalty automated sites include dealership-branded emails with links to websites for each customer, said Paula Tompkins, CEO of ChannelNet.