Dealer Management Weekly: Interview with Jim Wright
Significant Industry News & Developments for the Management of an Automotive DealershipHouston, TX — 2009
What is Callbright all about?
Callbright is a complete web-based call tracking system. We bring total accountability to the call management of a dealership, and provide metrics for all phone leads — whether from inbound, outbound, or broadcast calls. Callbright tracks all three and creates reports that can be instantly viewed on line or emailed to our dealers. We provide a comprehensive, yet customizable package that suits our dealers' needs extremely well.
Where are you focusing your sales, marketing and operations resources in 2009?
The Callbright focus has always been to develop the best products for our customers, and then provide high level support and training to help them utilize our products in the best way possible. One of our underlying philosophies at Callbright is to always advance our technologies. 2008 was a strong development year, preparing us for enhancements that will have a great effect in 2009.
We did a lot with text-to-speech technology, and incorporated that into our broadcast campaign service. We developed Lead Chaser, which is a web-form-to-phone solution, where dealers are talking instantly to a web lead generated either from their site or a 3rd party site. It connects them in less than 30 seconds, which saves the delay of many hours or even days.
Another area of focus is to protect our dealers, with regards to regulations like the new FCC laws. At Callbright we're always brainstorming, always looking for new features, new ideas, and new ways to do things. We keep our product and programming people pretty busy throughout the year.
What is your assessment of the marketplace right now?
There is no doubt that it's tough and the industry is hurting. There's a lot of concern about the state of the dealer economy and low consumer confidence is a serious issue. Dealers are looking for smarter solutions and it's our job to find it for them. They are looking to cut cost and work smarter. That's a core capability of Callbright. We can bring our technology in, which has the flexibility and maneuverability to do exactly what our dealers need us to do.
Have you found your call management solution to be able to replace or reduce advertising for dealers?
Yes we have. There's a big shift away from the traditional advertising methods, and movement toward digital marketing. Whatever media they're using, Callbright is there to track and provide the needed metrics. As dealers are cutting their cost or shifting their ad spends among sources, they need to do this strategically and successfully. Without Callbright, they would be spending these dollars blindly and without focus, which is the last thing they can afford to do right now.
How is Callbright involved with lead management?
Some dealers see us as a mini-CRM for the phone piece of their business. Although that's not our design, Callbright is a strong stand-alone solution and many clients treat us as their phone CRM tool. However, our preference is to integrate with their CRM and push the phone leads into that application. We integrate with almost every CRM provider there is. The dealers need one single source; one place to hold all that information. They don't want to work and manage two solutions.
How critical is it for a dealer to have a call management provider in place?
We think it's absolutely critical to have one right now, especially with the economy. If I was talking to a dealer, I would look him in the eye and say, "this is the last thing you should cut right now, because it's more important than ever to spend your dollars wisely." That's what Callbright is designed to do. If they're trying to cut or redirect advertising dollars, it still needs to be done right. Without a solution like Callbright, they're going to be in the dark. They would be spending dollars out there not knowing if what they're doing is successful and generating leads or not.
Jim Wright is the Vice President of Sales for Callbright. Through his leadership, Callbright has gained recognition as the premier call management solutions provider in the automotive industry, winning multiple awards, and partnering with large, flagship organizations such as FordDirect, Sonic Auto Group, Mercedes-Benz USA, Vehix.com and eBay Motors.