Car shoppers care about more than inventory when buying a new or used vehicle. They want to know about your dealership, the way you do business and how they can expect to be treated if they stop by the lot.
On Cars.com, your Dealer Profile does just that. It helps shoppers learn about your dealership, get an in-depth look at your facilities, and read about how you’ve treated previous customers through online reviews — all while differentiating your business from competitors in your market.
By following these simple steps, like the team at Al Spitzer Ford, you can make sure you put your best foot forward with a “rock star” profile.
Nail the basics
First things first – to make updates to your Cars.com Dealer Profile page, you’ll need log into your Cars.com account via dealers.cars.com. Once logged in, you can make edits by clicking the “Dealer Profile” link as shown below.
Note: Subsequent screen shots show the Dealer Profile live on Cars.com, not through our back-end tool (dealers.cars.com) where updates are made.
Step #1 – Contact Information
Is it best for potential customers to contact your new-car manager, an internet director or simply call into your BDC?
Each store is different, so let shoppers know who the best person to reach by updating contact information for the dealership. Adding a staff member’s name is recommended, but it’s also okay to list “Sales Managers” or another generic term if it fits your dealership.
Step #2 – Hours of Operation
Is your service department open on weekends and evenings? Does your sales department close early on Wednesdays? Let shoppers know when both sides of the dealership are open for business by accurately inputting your hours of operation.
Show them you’re worth it
Step #3 – Video
Video lets shoppers see what your dealership is all about – with their own two eyes. Customer testimonials like Al Spitzer Ford’s (below) are fantastic, but dealership promotions, recent commercials and showroom tours all help convey your store’s brand to shoppers.
If you have a quality video posted online (such as your website or YouTube), simply copy the video’s hyperlink to the Video URL field. From there, click the “Test Video” link to make sure it was successfully added to your profile.
Step #4 – Promotional Tagline
Do you have a powerful message or tagline you always share with customers? Strong statements like Al Spitzer Ford’s, “Life is hard. Car buying shouldn’t be.” help make emotional connections with shoppers and speak to the quality of service the store provides.
Add your dealership’s tagline in the space provided to share your brand message with shoppers.
Step #5 – Dealer Description
Your profile page is an opportunity to tell your story, so make it count. Here, you’ll want to think beyond basic store contact information and focus on the value you provide shoppers in terms of customer service, vehicle expertise, inventory variety, company history and contributions to the local community. Note how Al Spitzer Ford uses emotional words like “integrity” and “trust” to speak to way they believe customers deserve to be treated.
Step #6 – Add Photos
The facade of your dealership, last month’s charity event, happy customers and staff members – these are all great types of photos to show off to merchandise your dealership to potential customers. Dig through your files and social media profiles – or better yet, go snap new photos – and upload up to 12 of the best shots using the photo editor.
Take it next level
Step #7 – Showcase Service
Nearly two-thirds of car shoppers say that the reputation of a dealership’s service department is a factor when selecting where to buy from. That means the reputation of your staff, and the services you offer, can influence whether a shopper decides to purchase a car from you or a dealer down the road.
On you Dealer Profile page, you can highlight your unique specialties, clarify warranty information, and be up-front about pricing for common services, such as oil changes and tire rotation to help your service department stand out to shoppers.
Do this by clicking the “Service & Repair” link under the Admin tab and fill out the following:
- Service & Repair Overview What does your service department specialize in? Does it constantly receive high marks from the manufacturer? Have customers raved about special services (e.g., complimentary loaner vehicles, children’s play area) that improve their experience?
- Fast Facts These help customers understand your business at a glance.
- Warranty Information (Service) Promote the warranty your service business offers to increase your credibility with potential customers.
- Pricing for Common Services Most consumers don’t realize that service fees at the dealership are highly competitive with local and national service chains. Stamp out misconceptions by listing standard pricing for commons services.
- Amenities List conveniences such as loaner service, free Wi-Fi and kids play rooms that make your dealership stand apart from the rest.
Step #8 – Select a Featured Review
What others say about your dealership is more powerful than what you say yourself. Pick one of your best, most-recent reviews that help future customers see what current patrons have to say about your business. Having a powerful testimonial, like Al Spitzer Ford’s, can speak volumes about your reputation.
To select a review, go to the Review’s tab and click “Reviews and Replies.”
All set… for now
Once you’ve gone through and updated each of the 8 steps outlined above, your Dealer Profile will be in great shape to influence shoppers and positively represent your dealership. But your work isn’t finished. Be sure to make updates as dealership promotions, marketing messages and personnel change.
Have questions? Contact your local Cars.com rep or reach out our support team to start getting your Profile Page to rock star status.