We continue to think about all of you, our customers and partners, during this difficult time. This pandemic has caused deep challenges across our industry and for all of us, and I hope you know that DealerSocket continues to be here for our dealers. Our goal has been to strike the right balance between being prepared for our dealers and the market when our industry recovers and offering discounts to help our dealers as much as possible during this difficult time. 

We will get through this, and we will get through this together. We are committed to fighting through this with you. We are beginning to see the first signs of positive trends as we climb out of the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has us all hopeful for the future.

In April, we heavily discounted our software for our dealers. In addition to our discounts in April, we have decided to offer the following DealerSocket billing reductions for May for all of our dealers:

We have already sent out our May invoices, so next week you will receive a credit memo for the above discounts. With that said, similar to our discount package last month, there are some basic qualifying terms listed below.

In addition to these discounts in April and May, DealerSocket continues to offer our customers several promotions and free months of certain software products to help you navigate this crisis. Our offers include promotions for:

Since we are adding promotions and various resources for dealers often, please view DealerSocket’s latest information by clicking here, and, as always, please feel free to reach out to your Customer Success Manager with any questions or if we can help in any way:

If you are not yet an Auto/Mate DMS customer, I hope you know that we can reduce your DMS bill significantly during these challenging times as well as into the future by switching to Auto/Mate DMS. We have several bundled packages that include our Auto/Mate DMS product combined with other DealerSocket products to support you.

Thank you for partnering with DealerSocket. I hope you know how much we value and appreciate your loyalty, partnership, and your business.

I wish you, your families, and your team members health in these unprecedented times.

Sejal Pietrzak
CEO and President
DealerSocket
sejal@dealersocket.com

 

Details regarding our COVID-19 relief package:

Third Coast Auto Group, which operates four buy-here, pay-here dealerships in the Texas communities of Austin, Round Rock, New Braunfels, and Kyle, is always on the lookout for software that provides increased efficiency and flexibility. That was the motivation behind the independent dealer group’s bold decision in late 2018 to make the switch to DealerSocket’s IDMS.

As any dealer knows, moving to a new DMS isn’t easy, and Third Coast had been an AutoStar user since before DealerSocket purchased the DMS provider in March 2015. “A DMS transition is like open-heart surgery for a dealership, no matter which software you are switching to,” says Steve Quiroz, who, as general manager for all four locations, was charged with preparing his teams for the conversion. “But we made sure to transition in the last quarter of the year, so we were ramped up and ready for tax season.”

Making the Switch

The general manager has nothing but high praise for DealerSocket’s IDMS since making the switch a year and a half ago. “AutoStar was a good system, but it had limitations on editing and customizing reports. I like how I have more flexibility with IDMS,” Quiroz says, noting that he put in the hours and took advantage of all the resources DealerSocket made available to learn the new system.

Quiroz is especially fond of IDMS’s customizable dashboard and reporting, noting: “We take advantage of the automation capabilities, and I love that I have more control over my reporting.” But he’s especially grateful for DealerSocket’s onboarding team, who trained his crews on the new system and ensured a smooth transition of each location’s data and accounts.

“The onboarding process was great,” he says. “It included lots of virtual training, online classes, and tutorials, which made the ramp-up to get comfortable with IDMS pretty seamless.”

A Key Advantage

The web-based system proved especially helpful when Third Coast’s collections team was forced to work remotely due to social distancing mandates related to COVID-19. “We’ve been fortunate to be able to keep our doors open, but we’ve had to scale back some of our on-site operations,” he says. “With IDMS, our collections staff has been able to work from home.”

IDMS’s mobile app has also proven invaluable, allowing team members to continue working while walking the lot or when a store’s computers are down.

Quiroz offers the following advice to AutoStar customers looking to make the transition to IDMS: “Make sure your entire team is trained on how to do things in IDMS, especially the activities you’re used to in AutoStar. And work with the DealerSocket team to validate your data before going live.”

Making the move to IDMS required a lot of work and coordination, but Quiroz says the transition was worth the effort. “Everyone I’ve worked with during this transition has been nothing but professional,” he notes. “I’ve had a great experience working with DealerSocket.”

We’re excited to announce that Steve Zadoorian and Dave Druzynski have both taken on new, expanded roles at DealerSocket! In their new positions, Steve and Dave will ensure that DealerSocket and Auto/Mate customers and employees continue to benefit from an emphasis on customer support and company culture.

Steve Zadoorian

Steve Zadoorian has been named Senior VP Operations and Customer Care at DealerSocket. In his new role, Steve will lead the Installations and Customer Support teams for both DealerSocket and Auto/Mate. Under Steve’s leadership, Auto/Mate achieved a customer retention rate above 95 percent and has received multiple consecutive DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction awards. Steve’s commitment to customer satisfaction has also helped to build Auto/Mate’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) to +59, a score that’s nearly double the software industry average of +31.

“My first goal is to integrate the support service teams so we have a common process; and also make sure we have a well-integrated and cohesive implementation process for new clients,” said Steve. “I look forward to bringing our teams and best practices together and ensuring that our customers remain highly satisfied.

Dave Druzynski has been named Vice President, People and Culture at DealerSocket.

Dave Druzynski

In his new role, Dave will oversee the development of company culture and employee satisfaction. Under Dave’s leadership, Auto/Mate has received ten consecutive “Best Place to Work” awards by the Albany Business Review, and nine consecutive “Top Workplaces” awards by The Times Union.

“Employee happiness has always been a high priority at Auto/Mate and I am thrilled to work with the DealerSocket team who shares that same belief. Rather than just have one company’s culture consume the other, we plan to identify the best aspects of both cultures and merge them together as one team,” said Dave.

Dave and Steve will continue to operate from DealerSocket’s Albany, NY office.

This webinar has ended. You may view the recording below.

 

Session Description:

Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to offer multiple payments options to your customers to maintain cash flow at your dealership. Join us on Tuesday, April 28, for an engaging & educational webinar on how to use the built-in tools inside IDMS, like EPS (electronic payment servicing), Text, and IVR (interactive voice response), to do just that! These automated tools not only let your customers maintain social distancing but also provide flexible payment options for the future.

Whether you’re trying to take payments virtually, dealing with a reduction in staff, having to run the entire dealership from your home (or all three!) this webinar is what you need to make the most of IDMS. Register below to save your seat, and if you can’t make the webinar time, then register anyway, and we’ll send you a recording.

 

About the Presenters:

Esther Aikey, Implementation Consultant II, DealerSocket

A veteran consultant for DealerSocket, Esther Aikey has helped hundreds of independent dealers install IDMS and take their business to the next level. A verifiable expert in all things independent & BHPH operations, Esther has keen insights into dealer training & best practices that has earned dealer trust over the years.

 

Steven “Joey” Wallen, Sr. Hands-On Lab Instructor, DealerSocket

Joey is a familiar face to some of our IDMS customers as a virtual classroom instructor, doing regular deep dives and walkthroughs of IDMS and its components. With a comprehensive knowledge of IDMS, Joey helps independent dealers elevate their stores by giving them the hands-on training they need to succeed.

With threat actors working overtime, DealerSocket’s head of information security offers three tips to keep your dealership’s and your customers’ data protected.

By Gregory Arroyo

Greg Tatum has a warning for dealerships everywhere: Cyber threat actors are working overtime. Noting a definite uptick in suspicious activity since COVID-19 hit Europe in late February, he adds:

“Threat actors are actively searching for new targets through a number of different mediums. Things like social media platforms are a very popular target for information gathering that can be used in an attack.”

Tatum serves as DealerSocket’s head of information security. He joined DealerSocket nearly four years ago from a security services firm that works with companies in much more sensitive environments than automotive. I’m talking about healthcare and government contractors, sectors that see billions of attacks each year. So, yeah, we have the right guy on the job.

“DealerSocket spends a considerable amount of effort protecting our customers’ data,” he notes. “It’s part of what we do just to make sure our customers’ customers’ data is protected.”

Tatum isn’t the only one sounding the alarm. The FBI issued its own warning on March 20, noting that scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal money, personal information, or both.

 

 

Just last week, the National Automobile Dealers Association reported that attackers are now putting up COVID-19-related websites that prompt visitors to download an application to receive COVID-19 updates. But you don’t need to download the app, as the site installs a malicious binary file as you contemplate whether you should.

The attack method uses AZORult, software that originated in Russia approximately four years ago to steal data and infect the breached computer with malware.

Tatum also alerted me to a new phishing campaign that pretends to be from a local hospital notifying recipients that they have been exposed to the Coronavirus and they need to be tested.

But it’s not just phishing and ransomware attacks. Business email compromise, or BEC, is also on the rise. That’s when a cyberthief breaks into a legitimate corporate email account and impersonates an employee to get the business, its partners, or other employees to send money or sensitive data to the attacker.

“In this climate we live in today, this is part of business,” Tatum says. “This is part of what we have to deal with as consumers of technology.”

Tatum, by the way, is available to help. He advises DealerSocket customers to contact their Customer Success Managers to get connected. In the meantime, he offers the following four tips to safeguard your organization and your customers’ data:

1. Stay Committed to General Security Awareness

The following is general security etiquette your teams should employ:

2. Separate Work and Personal Data

Use company-issued computers and mobile devices for work purposes only. If you don’t have a company-issued device, be sure to check your company’s policies about using personal devices to access your organization’s data or networks.

Additionally, consider creating separate user accounts. Never use your work email for personal reasons or vice-versa. This segregation helps the company maintain the confidentiality of the data it collects and helps you maintain your privacy.

3. Secure Your Home Network

Update your router’s username and password immediately and use a strong, unique password. And never use the same password for your network and your router. Note that most routers ship with default login credentials that are public knowledge.

4. Don’t Forget About Physical Security

The comfort of your own home is no reason to forget about physical security. Simple acts like keeping doors locked and not leaving mobile devices unattended in a vehicle are non-technical ways to improve security.

Gregory Arroyo is the former editor of “F&I and Showroom” and “Auto Dealer Today” magazines. He now serves as senior manager of strategic content for DealerSocket. Email him at garroyo@dealersocket.com.

AutoRaptor provides independent and BHPH dealerships with our powerful, affordable, and easy-to-use CRM software. AutoRaptor allows dealers to implement an effective sales process by capturing leads from all sources in one place. AutoRaptor CRM gives dealers features such as: robust automation, texting, license scanner, reporting, and third-party integrations, all of which are designed to improve their sales team’s productivity by ensuring they focus only on the best leads. Our Support Team is one of the best in the industry, providing dealers with an added value that they didn’t even realize they needed!

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