Modern Tire Dealer

MAR 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D M a r c h 2 0 1 9 54 F o c u s O n I n d u s t r y T here's a lot of noise about online tire sales, but the leaders of Point S in the U.S. and around the world want their members to focus on the bigger picture. e internet has changed how tires are sold at the front counter, too. "When you don't price online and you don't have a good presence online, you're missing that consumer experience from the very first touch point, from the first time a consumer begins shopping for tires," says Walter Lybeck, CEO of Tire Factory Inc., the cooperative of independent dealers that markets itself as Point S USA. "I believe the experience online is what should be focused on. at's something we can do as an organization that other organizations cannot do." Overall, Point S dealers in the U.S. have been slow to add tire prices and sales onto their websites, but Lybeck says the group is turning the corner and "more are willing to adapt." at makes it an opportune time for the cooperative to roll out a new platform of tools to help its tire dealers maximize their online capabilities, and combine them with the consumer trust dealers already have earned in their brick-and-mortar storefronts. e group's members are investing $200 a month to improve the digital marketing tools. The new All-Trac platform is designed to help tire dealers throughout the consumer buying process, from online search and tire selection, to appointment setting, measuring customer satisfac- tion aer the sale, and finding a path to pick up declined services. 1. Online scheduler: When consumers visit the website of any Point S tire dealer in the U.S., they'll have the ability to shop for tires, select maintenance services and make the appointment online. With All-Trac, the scheduler will access the dealer's tire inventory, the Point S warehouse inventory, the schedule and abilities of the store's technicians, and the overall appointment calendar so consumers can choose a time that works. 2. Reputation management: Within a couple days of a consumer's visit to a Point S location, a customer service agent will call the customer and ask "how did we do?" e company has partnered with BPO Solutions Group and a specific team is handling Point S phone calls, and also will manage aer-hours questions submitted via online chats. 3. Declined services: Forty-five days aer a consumer has declined one or multiple automotive services on an invoice, a customer service agent will call the customer to remind them of the work that needs to be done, and find out if it's been addressed. If it's been completed elsewhere, they'll make a note of that. If it still needs to be done, the caller will attempt to set up an appointment. Fabien Bouquet, CEO of Point S International, says the group's tire dealers in the UK have been focusing on declined services for the past two years, and have been able to add, on average, $65,000 in sales per location, by engaging with consumers and reminding them of those needed services. Bob Fox and his son Nick Fox own two Point S stores in Montana. Nick Fox says the company's database shows consumers decline $150,000 of automotive services at each of their stores every month. ey're piloting the program for other Point S dealers, and they recouped $6,000 in services in the first three weeks. ■ Joy Kopcha By Point S dealers invest in digital tools ADDING TOYO IS 'AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH' Toyo. Tire Factory's home base is in Portland, Ore., and for 52 years one tire dealer has had exclusive access to the Toyo brand in the Pacific Northwest. That exclusive partnership with Les Schwab Tire Centers Inc. ended Jan. 1, 2019. (Read all about it on page 8.) By February 2019 the four Point S warehouses in the U.S. began stocking Toyo tires. (Toyo was already a big brand for Point S in Canada.) "It's an opportunity for growth, especially in the Northwest," Lybeck says. To add Toyo in the U.S., Point S ended its domestic partnership with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Memphis. In December 2017 Point S achieved a big goal when it found its first distribution partner in the eastern U.S. Mike Nussbaum, owner of Nussbaum Distributing Inc., is delivering to the first six Point S stores in the Memphis region. Point S has hired a full-time recruiter in Memphis, Gary Ward, to lead the effort to build up that network. "It's been a banner year," Lybeck says. Marketing. The cooperative is unveiling a new marketing campaign in 2019, and it makes two promises to consumers. When tires are bought online and the installation appointment is made online, consumers can expect to be in and out in one hour. Plus, they'll ride on a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. The tagline: No Stress With Point S. Three more takeaways Three Point S CEOs attended the 2019 dealer meeting for U.S. tire dealers. From left, Walter Lybeck, CEO in the U.S., Chris- tophe Rollet, CEO in France, and Fabien Bouquet, CEO of Point S International. The leaders expect new digital tools will help the U.S. dealers beat the 10% increase in sales they recorded in 2018. Same store sales also were up 10% in 2018.

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