Natalie Langley, 37
Internet sales manager, McLarty Honda
Achievement: Doubled Internet sales close ratio by creating templates and eliminating leads that lacked customer contact info.
When a customer sends an online query to McLarty Honda or peruses its website, members of the dealership's Internet sales team always know how to respond.
Natalie Langley, the store's Internet sales manager, makes sure of that.
Using the store's online appraisal tool to get a trade-in value? You'll get a "thank-you" and a request for more information about your vehicle because "we have a great demand for cars like that. When is a good time for us to meet?"
Clicking the tires of, say, a 2017 Honda Accord? You'll get an invitation to come in for a test drive.
Langley joined McLarty Honda in July 2016 to implement processes to handle online customer queries. In that role, she created response templates for her eight-member Internet sales team to use when replying to customers. She also eliminated anonymous leads — those from third-party Internet sites that tell dealerships that someone clicked on their vehicle or sought trade-in information but provide no contact information for follow-up.
Those changes helped the dealership double its Internet sales close ratio to 16 percent in May 2017 vs. a year earlier with almost the same number of leads.
The goals are simple: Make sure customers get quick, customized responses to their questions and interactions with the dealership's website, and that the dealership gets leads from shoppers who are serious about buying a vehicle.
"Just because you're at home sitting on your couch doesn't mean I cannot help you," Langley said. "I want you to know there is a live person on the other end who is committed to helping you every step of the way through the car-buying process."
The former elementary school teacher also crafted a weeklong training program for new Internet sales hires that focuses on the importance of understanding customers' needs and treating them professionally.
That cultivates comfort and leads to customer loyalty, which benefits the entire dealership, Langley said.
"Loyal customers are going to like us," she said. "They'll come back to use our service department, buy accessories for their cars and let other family members come and buy from us.
"We want to make sure they are comfortable and have a great experience."