This is Amplify, the retail automotive podcast by Reuters Events and ASOTU.
During Automotive Retail USA 2023 in Las Vegas, Paul J Daly and Kyle Mountsier interviewed dealers, OEM representatives, industry partners and more, looking to make the most innovative voices in retail automotive louder.
Paul Daly, Paige Goodwin, Kyle Mountsier
Paul Daly 00:00
Today we have Paige Goodwin, Director of Digital retailing for Group 1. Hello
This is amplify a retail automotive podcast brought to you by Reuters Events and ASOTU. It's time to make the most innovative voices in retail automotive. Louder
Paul Daly 00:22
All right, this just feels like old friends having a cold
Kyle Mountsier 00:26
friends just hanging out. Paige. Paige is such a good friend. She's like I would we've only been in person together what three or four times you may be actually the very first time we ever sat down with you. I think it was a lunch at what used to be MRC.
Paul Daly 00:43
Yeah, that's true.
Kyle Mountsier 00:44
Paige Goodwin 00:45
it was definitely 7am breakfast. Oh,
Kyle Mountsier 00:47
is breakfast 7am hanging out
Paige Goodwin 00:51
the morning time is not my favorite. So I remember that. Oh, man, we were on the East Coast.
Kyle Mountsier 00:56
And she she said that something like this? She goes, so okay, what do you guys exactly do? How can I
Paul Daly 01:03
literally somebody just asked me that question. That question.
Paige Goodwin 01:09
I had Paul's manifesto. Like, right after it came out. So I knew who you were. But you just kept evolving. So I'm like, What are you doing now?
Paul Daly 01:17
Okay, yeah. Okay, that's fair enough.
Kyle Mountsier 01:19
Well, okay. That's a great segue into just what are you doing right now, because group one is, is always an organization just because when we as an industry are looking at, what do we do next? Is it it's everyone's kind of looking at the public's? You know, the major news sources are always asking what are the public groups doing? And so there's some weight with that. But there's also a lot of energy and excitement because of what you have the opportunity to do. So what are some of the things or one of the things that you guys are working on as a project or maybe as an initiative right now that others might be looking toward?
Paige Goodwin 01:54
Yeah, well, first of all, we're growing like crazy, which is really fun and exciting. We bought three stores Last week saw that Houston, and I don't know, I'm so jazzed up on day one every time because it's just like new energy you walk in. And, you know, there's just a whole crew of people who are making sure that we are set up for success. So growth is a big thing for us. But as far as projects, there are a couple that I'm really involved in. So the first one, obviously, if I'm the Director of Digital retailing, I'm constantly trying to evolve what we're doing there. And you know, the biggest focus right now is how do we make our people as productive as possible. And to me, digital retailing doesn't necessarily mean remote, it means we are digitizing the sales process.
Paul Daly 02:39
I like that. I've never heard that and productivity tied together, like directly.
Paige Goodwin 02:44
Yes. And I mean, that's the initiative right now is how can we be as productive as possible CFO loves
Paul Daly 02:49
you, the CEO loves you.
Paige Goodwin 02:53
And, and our CEO, and CFO, and honestly, this is why we are so successful is everyone is involved, from the top down, everyone's involved. So we have, you know, several layers to our organization. And this is an initiative for every single layer. That's why we're so we're so successful. We really are. And I just get to, you know, sort of take some credit, but really, it's it's a complete group and group effort.
Kyle Mountsier 03:21
She's She, she threw that group effort in there, like, it's a group one,
Paul Daly 03:26
little marketing, right? Yeah, let's make it a group effort. It is.
Kyle Mountsier 03:30
Hashtag hashtag that. So when you're looking at just how do you make digital retail or being a digital retailer, not just remote or not just online? What are some of the steps that you're taking to ensure that that process or that productivity flows all the way through everything that you do?
Paige Goodwin 03:52
So I started a Group 1 about three and a half years ago, actually was five months before COVID. So I didn't have much prep, you know, on on, you know, this nice to have thing go into a must have thing to get down. But one thing that our president at the time and now CEO, you know, drilled into my brain was we want to do business how and when customers want. So to me, that meant it could be online, it could be online and offline. It could be I start at home, I walk into the store, I go back home to finish. I mean, there's all different variations of how customers want to do business. You know, I get out and talk to our salespeople. And recently one of them told me Yeah, you know, there was a woman who came in and she wanted to look at a car and and and then she had to leave to go pick up her kids. So I sent her a link. And she went home and filled out the credit app and uploaded her driver's license and uploaded her insurance and did all these steps at home, and then she came back to pick up the car. But what it did was make everyone more productive, including the customer, right because she got to pay can choose what she wanted to do on our own time. And I mean it the buying process fit her schedule. And that's the goal, right. And we want our salespeople to also be able to sell more cars per person, right? Let's let's maximize efficiency. And if they've got steps that are being taken at home, and if the customer wants to come in, that's awesome. And most people still do they want to see it, feel it, touch it, drive it. They have questions on financing, but we're going to conform to them, right? How they want to do it, and let them do steps at home, if they want to save time when they get there.
Paul Daly 05:34
Very cool. Why is what's the major breakdown when you think of like doing the digital part of the process? Or whatever the customer chooses to do digitally? And or going into the showroom or calling or emailing? What's the major point of breakdown? Why is that so hard to get together from your perspective. So
Paige Goodwin 05:54
when we were choosing a partner for our technology, it was super important that we had the ability to see in store what the customer had done from home. And so, so important to not start them over when they walk in the store, right? Because it could just be a sunny Saturday, they've taken time to do work at home, we nothing worse, and they just walk in right, no appointment. And the worst thing we can do is start them over. So we very specifically, have built a solution and a process around not starting the customer over that is the breakdown that most dealerships who can't get this down, you know, can't transfer
Paul Daly 06:38
and accessibility of the information that they've already done
Paige Goodwin 06:41
right now it's taking them longer, you know, because the customer actually spent time before they got there. Do you think
Kyle Mountsier 06:48
they're doubling work? Yeah, can you that's, that's a customer, there's double Yeah, that the customer is doubling work. And then even that, that the sales team is loaded with inefficiency, because they do they would have the opportunity to have all this information. And now they're technically doing double work as well. Like they could be
Paul Daly 07:08
the worst parts to, especially if there's like a challenge credit situation. You know what I mean? Like, let me engage that twice. If I'm the consumer, and I know I'm going to have an issue Great. Now I did it online. Now I get to do it in person too. Exactly. And you're not paying attention to the best car fit, right? The needs of the family getting make sure the car is right. The salesperson is already like backpedaling trying to aggregate trust. When he's asked asking all the hard questions, right, that's
Paige Goodwin 07:33
fine. The time spent at the dealership should be spent differently than it has in the past, right? Let's get all these kind of steps out of the way that we can do it at home. And then let's spend the time educating the customer on what they're buying.
Kyle Mountsier 07:46
Yeah, yeah. I love it. What as you're kind of looking toward where consumers are at right now and and into the next couple years, because there's a lot of prep work that it takes to get a major organization to move into anything. What what are you looking to in the future to make sure that you're set up for success and that the organization is set up for success?
Paige Goodwin 08:09
Well, one of the big things is we have invested in a CDP consumer data platform that's really tying everything together. And for the last two years almost. And I've been intimately involved on this small team with this project as we've been working to build a CDP so that we can own our own data destiny, right, and having all the integrations necessary flowing in and out of that CVP. So we are making sure we're going to communicate correctly to customers, we're not going to over communicate to customers. And we're going to, you know, build, build models and build audiences out there to, you know, grow grow our business, the name of the game is retention and growth.
Kyle Mountsier 08:56
That's really interesting, because like, everybody would say retention and growth. But the active steps to get there seem to be a lot different.
Paul Daly 09:05
They look way different than the typical ones that you'd see. Right.
Kyle Mountsier 09:09
And and when you're dealing with so many different brands, so many different franchises, so many different areas and zones and regions of the country. Customers interacting different cultural differences
Paul Daly 09:22
between the North and the South different Gera they are. A joke, come out here we're in Las Vegas right now. It's a little different out here today. Yes,
Kyle Mountsier 09:33
it's different. California is definitely another country, Texas, so totally different country trying to be another country. Yeah. And
Paige Goodwin 09:39
generations are different. Right? Yeah. So we have to be able to and we have customers across, you know, at least four generations, right? So we have to be able to transact the way they want. And they are very different on each end of the spectrum. Yeah, very different. It's
Kyle Mountsier 09:57
extremely, extremely complex puzzle. All that putting together requires a lot of data insight, a lot of understanding of the customer. And like you said, like, I love how actually the people process side kind of began everything. It's like, Hey, we got to get this people process thing, right so that we can create the streamline and efficiency to make sure that our people are doing the things well, now we're gonna layer on that how we communicate with our customers, the technology to move that forward. That's, it's actually it's a really, like proficient use of technology in the group.
Paige Goodwin 10:31
Yep, I wake up every day and think, okay, what can I do today to make the customer experience better and make our employee experience better?
Paul Daly 10:39
I don't think that anything else from that? A Paige if people want to stay and follow along with the work you're doing? What do you have like TikTok or something?
Paige Goodwin 10:50
I do, but I'm mainly because I love to cook and I do like recipes.
Paul Daly 10:56
Okay, know what, what's the best way if people want to follow on with the work you do? I
Paige Goodwin 10:59
am on LinkedIn. And I would love it if they would follow Group 1 automotive accounts. Yeah, you're rocking that which you guys have been consulting with us on? And I actually I know, we're probably the end of our time. But I need to give you guys a plug. So I don't take compliment. No, I know. And that's why you're gonna get it. So. You know, you recently have been out filming in dealerships, right? More Than Cars. And you visited our Audi of grapevine dealership. And I think, you know, I know you went in there with intention. But I think your eyes were even open to how, you know, wonderful of a store it was. And we have stores like that everywhere. And it's not just group one, right? There are stores everywhere that are beautiful facilities full of great people. We're doing things in the communities. And I want to thank you guys for bringing that to light. You send us the segment for ally of grapevine. And I cannot wait to see the full the full thing. I smiled the whole time I watched it, just like a smile the whole time. I watched this last segment that I just saw. So thank you. And I really hope it makes it outside of automotive because there's a stigma with dealers that we've got to overcome some kind of way. And I think this is the entry point to that
Paul Daly 12:17
one story at a time. Well, thank you for the compliment. We're gonna keep doing the work. But the work is nothing unless the dealers are making the stories day in and day out working so hard. So thank you so much for that. We'll see you soon. Thank you.
Thanks for listening to the AMPLIFY podcast brought to you by Reuters events in ASOTU. For more engaging episodes like this, subscribe or follow us on your favorite podcast platform. You can learn more about our hosts Paul J. Daly and Kyle Mountsier by visiting ASOTU.com