Meet the Staff
Before even stepping foot in the dealership, Titus-Will Ford’s customers may know that parts department back counter associate Brent Hirning enjoys growing hot peppers, or that Mike “MJ” Johnson in wholesale parts began his career in the auto industry more than 20 years ago. They may also find that they have hobbies in common with service advisors and where those individuals worked before coming to the Tacoma, Wash., dealership.
This information can be found by logging on to the company’s website, hovering over the “About Us” tab and selecting “Meet Our Staff.”
Most dealerships have a section like this as a way to connect with potential and existing customers. In fact, Wes Prewitt, VP and GM of Titus-Will Ford, says the biggest mistakes that dealerships can make in a staff bio page is not having one.
“It’s important for the dealership to be transparent in all aspects of the business and that includes the staff page,” Prewitt says. “All consumers should have the access to see who they could potentially be doing business with.”
Prewitt says that customers frequently comment on how much they enjoy that page and that it is often used as a tool for customers to identify who assisted them.
Most dealerships have some sort of feature like this on the website, but it can be difficult to know what information is necessary and to keep it up to date. Throughout the years, Prewitt and his team have tinkered with the page to get it to where it is today and, throughout that time, have learned what makes an effective page.
Gathering the information:
Prewitt says that Titus-Will’s digital marketing manager, Brandy Newman, keeps the website up to date. New staff members are given a sheet to fill out. In addition to filling out name and title, the staff also answers questions about their background in the industry and what their hobbies are.
All of the staff members at Titus-Will Ford have a photo on the staff page as a way for customers to easily identify them. Prewitt says they’ve tested different types of photos but that he believes headshots are the best and that, when deciding what type of photo to include, consistency is key. In other words, don’t have a full-length photo of a few people on staff and have the rest as headshots.
The photo is helpful because customers can look up their advisors or sales associates ahead of time.
This helps customers identify who they might speak with or who to get in touch with for a particular question. It also helps customers familiarize themselves with the chain of command, Prewitt adds.
Email and phone number:
“It’s important that we give them [customers] the ability to connect with their sales, service or parts department with any questions or concerns,” Prewitt says.
Providing both methods of communication gives the customer options and helps with transparency. Prewitt explains that, in his opinion, some dealerships don’t include that information because they don’t want customers to have that ease of access to the entire dealership. Titus-Will Ford, on the other hand, welcomes it.
A unique aspect of Titus-Will’s staff page is the brief “about me” section that each staff member has. Information like hobbies and background are included here and the staff can feel free to share the information that they’d like to.
“We decided to add the bios with hobbies and background to create some connection to the consumer,” Newman says. “The commonality that the customer and staff member may have allows us to connect on a more human level as opposed to someone selling a car or service repair.”
“All the staff here is open to sharing their story,” Prewitt adds.