When Jennifer Griffith, internet marketing coordinator for the Tom Ahl Family of Dealerships, wants to tap into the pulse of the dealership community, one of her go-to resources is the Cars.com Driver’s Seat community.

“It is interesting to hear issues that other dealerships face, compare them to the issues we deal with, and understand how they resolve them,” she says of the private community where dealers share ideas in discussion forums, receive exclusive information from Cars.com, and provide input to help Cars.com create a better product for dealerships.

She has been a member of the Driver’s Seat for a few years (going back to when it was known as Dealer’s Circle). The resource continues to help her make more informed decisions about customers.

Jennifer is one of approximately 600 dealers who rely on the Driver’s Seat. The community spans franchises and independents (fairly evenly mixed) across the United States, representing a wide variety of vehicle brands. Roughly seven out of 10 members fall into the category of marketing director/manager; owner/principal; general manager; internet sales manager; or internet director.

Joining the Driver’s Seat community results in your enjoying several advantages, such as:

  • Helping shape the future of Cars.com through input and responses to surveys.
  • Sharing with and learning from peers.
  • Hearing perspectives of customers who have opted into the community.

The community is the dealerships’ tool to provide input on your own terms. And Cars.com is listening. As a result of the input of Driver’s Seat members, we’ve made several improvements to our products. Among them:

  • When we redesigned our VDP page, dealers gave us crucial information that resulted in a better outcome. For example, dealers told us they liked the focus on photos and voiced support for the prospect of salesperson-specific leads. This kind of input helped us make better choices about the content and design.
  • Dealers’ input resulted in the launch of our monthly On-the-Lot (OTL) report, which provides insights concerning what makes and models OTL shoppers are searching for while they are on your lot.

As Jennifer points out, the information that Cars.com provides exclusively to members is useful. “The information about customers and their perspectives is helpful, both in knowing whether we are on the right track and understanding how we can improve. The information is helpful and reassuring.”

To grow your dealership by tapping into an exclusive community of your peers and customers, moderated by Cars.com, I encourage you to join the Driver’s Seat. You do not need to be a Cars.com customer to join. Become part of the community now and have a say in the future of the automotive industry.