Online customer leads from service-oriented Web sites offer a growing source of business for auto dealers.
This spring, General Motors Service and Parts Operations began funneling service leads to its dealers. GM is expanding those leads to include Web searches for tires and accessories.
Within the next three months, GM says it will send dealers online contact information for customers who have expressed interest in tires. In the next five months, GM will forward inquiries to dealers from people interested in accessories.
"Tire inquiries are at the top of the list of online inquiries," says Melody Schuette, director of digital marketing and customer relationship management for GM Service and Parts Operations. "Accessories requests are up there as well."
GM sends dealerships leads from its OnStar vehicle diagnostics system and from customers who call GM seeking parts and service. Online leads also come from prospects who request service appointments and parts on dealer Web sites.
RepairPal.com offers online repair estimates and provides a list of repair shops within their ZIP codes. Consumers can rate the shops they visit.
DriverSide.com is in a testing phase, the Web site says. It provides opportunities to buy and sell vehicles as well as to shop for parts, accessories and service.
(Source: Automotive News)