As the longest-serving Mercedes-Benz dealer to the greater Houston-area of Texas, Star Motor Cars has an enduring commitment to excellence. For General Manager Tom Jinks, achieving excellence in selling and servicing luxury vehicles requires dependable partners. That’s why he uses Mercedes-Benz certified CRM and website provider, DealerSocket, to power his sales and marketing departments.

"It’s very easy for someone who may have come from another industry or even another dealership to learn DealerSocket because the training and help line are so good."

Tom Jinks

Star Motor Cars Mercedes-Benz

Overcoming Turnover

Eight months ago, Tom was faced with an incredibly challenging yet all too common scenario. “Our in-house IT guy – a guy who did everything from our maintenance to email blasts - one day left without notice. All of a sudden, we didn’t have him, and I didn’t know what I was doing.” It was then that he turned to his DealerSocket Customer Success Manager (CSM), a seasoned representative dedicated to consulting him on best practice technology usage.

“Our CSM quickly taught me how to download a specific, targeted list for marketing and walked me through how to produce an email step-by-step.” From there, Tom picked up where his former-IT rep dropped off, working with his CSM to test new marketing strategies. “I did email blasts that were very specific in terms of age and model of the vehicle. On the Mercedes-Benz side, you can pull people out of lease three months early. So, I pulled all our E-Class current customers and sent them targeted emails.”

Like most dealerships, Tom has his fair share of employee attrition. While new hire onboarding has its own set of challenges, one thing Tom doesn’t worry about is system training. “On the sales side, you have more turnover than you do in other departments. It’s very easy for someone who may have come from another industry or even another dealership to learn DealerSocket because the training and help line are so good. So, I'm not spending my time training people how to use a CRM; DealerSocket does that for me, which is huge.”

“We work with plenty of other vendors. They all promised great support, but none of them had ever over-delivered on that promise before DealerSocket. DealerSocket really has over-delivered in supporting me.”

Tom Jinks

Star Motor Cars Mercedes-Benz

Driving CRM Utilization

Creating a culture of accountability across a sales organization starts with ensuring each team member is actively using the CRM. DealerSocket’s CRM can be customized to the preferences of each salesperson, empowering them to create their preferred path to goal achievement. “Once sales staff knows how it works, they’re all in. I like getting to the dealership in the morning and seeing my staff doing their to-do lists on DealerSocket. It’s up on every screen,” says Tom. “The sales team can even create their own email templates, so they have ownership over what goes out. I love that - and so do they.”

For management teams, the system drives performance through simplicity. “Sitting on my side of the desk, it’s all about ease of use. If it’s not easy to use, I don’t want it,” Tom states of using the CRM. With a lot going on in any given day, Tom relies on mobile to keep abreast of important happenings. “The phone app is incredible. As a manager, I'm rarely on my desktop with DealerSocket open. I'm on my phone app, just seeing if we have any untouched leads, who’s answering those leads, and how they answer them. That's all done on my phone. There are times when a day goes by where I'm not on my desktop but I'm just on my phone doing everything that I need to do from the app, which is awesome.”

“Once sales staff knows how it works, they’re all in. I like getting to the dealership in the morning and seeing my staff doing their to-do lists on DealerSocket. It’s up on every screen.”

Tom Jinks

Star Motor Cars Mercedes-Benz

Simplifying With Integration

When selecting a website and digital marketing provider, DealerSocket’s DealerFire was a natural choice for the Star Motor Cars team. DealerFire’s Mercedes-Benz certified websites are fully responsive and come equipped with an industry-leading vehicle merchandising suite and hands-on SEO.

The CRM and website connect to enhance experiences for retail staff and consumers alike. Seamless integration matches customers between platforms, providing a real-time view of the buyer journey. “The integration with our CRM alone makes DealerFire worth it. The key is we know when one of our leads in DealerSocket is on our website. And what car they’re looking at. That’s huge. If that’s all that was offered on it, that would be worth it,” says Tom.

The results with DealerFire speak for themselves. Year over year, Star Motor Cars Mercedes-Benz has increased form conversions by 7%, organic traffic by 55%, and overall traffic by 30%.

“It’s the integration with everything we’re doing with DealerSocket. We have two separate platforms and they just work together - and that’s always been the key to us.”

Tom Jinks

Star Motor Cars Mercedes-Benz