About Unstoppable Auto Group
Since its early days, Unstoppable Auto Group has focused on delivering an incredible customer experience with every car sale and car service appointment. Ever since starting the company in 2014, Unstoppable Auto Group’s founder—Garth Blumenthal—has had ambitious plans. Just 8 years later, the group has grown to 5 luxury dealerships and now has plans to grow to 20+ across the country. Unstoppable Auto Group currently serves customers across Southern California at the following dealerships:
- Mercedes-Benz of Temecula
- Audi Mission Viejo
- Volvo Cars Mission Viejo
- Polestar South Coast
- Polestar San Diego
In just one year, Unstoppable Auto Group has used Podium to connect with customers via text, grow their online reviews to more than 7,000 across all locations, modernize the payment experience, and maximize marketing efforts with text campaigns that consistently bring in 20-30% click-through rates. Podium helps Unstoppable Auto Group sell more cars and grow their business easily.
Before Podium, Unstoppable Auto Group needed to improve the reputation of a few dealerships they had recently acquired. Their existing reputation management software was outdated, expensive, and didn’t produce the results they were looking for online. And their efforts to grow the business through email marketing were falling short. More specifically, Unstoppable Auto Group needed help with these challenges:
Improving the reputation of a few recently acquired dealerships
“The reputation scores for our Audi and Volvo dealerships weren’t great on Google and Yelp,” said Amir Alahwal, the Dealer Development Director. But it wasn’t just online reviews that were negative, the manufacturer survey scores also needed serious help. “The surveys from the manufacturer, sent directly to the guests, were struggling. They send those after car service or after a car is purchased. And we just didn’t have a good reputation management process so the whole thing fell apart.”
Replacing an inefficient and expensive reputation management tool
The software Unstoppable Auto Group was using before Podium relied mainly on email invitations for reviews. “We were using Dominion Prime and mainly only sending out review requests through email. We noticed a consistent declining rate of responses and even email opens,” said Amir. But even the text option for review requests wasn’t producing the results they wanted—and it required manually texting every number individually. “The software was very expensive. And the texting platform wasn’t advanced. We had to text every number–every single number individually. And we didn’t get any reporting,” said Amir.
Pivoting away from an email marketing strategy that wasn’t producing results
The team at Unstoppable Auto Group needed a better way to reach customers with promotions and incentives. The current strategy—email marketing—was falling behind on response rates, just like the review requests sent via email. “We just weren’t seeing the results we wanted from email marketing. The open rates, click-through rates, and even attribution back to that channel were all lacking,” said Amir.
The Podium Solution
With Podium, Unstoppable Auto Group improved their review request process and grew their online reputation at each dealership. With Podium Campaigns, they turned their lackluster email marketing strategy into a turbo-charged text campaign strategy that produced incredible results. Plus, they modernized their customer payment experience with text payments. Altogether, Unstoppable Auto Group uses Podium to improve the customer experience and to deliver:
An improved review collection process and online reputation
“In my opinion, reviews are the most important thing you can have—they’re a reflection on the customer experience and that’s what we stand by at each of our dealerships,” said Amir. Unstoppable Auto Group set up each dealership with Podium and the changes online happened overnight. “We set up each of our stores with Podium Reviews and it was pretty dramatic how quickly everything turned on and how fast we saw results.”
The process for sending out review requests is now automated—the team doesn’t have to send out each request manually. “After we sell a car, the review invite goes out to the customer within an hour. And that timing is critical.”
A better way to send marketing campaigns—with texting
Unstoppable Auto Group implemented Podium Campaigns, a better way to send incentives, promotions, and other messages to their customers with texting. “I knew the power of text, but to see what we see now—with how engaged our team is—texting with Podium Campaigns helps us sell cars,” said Amir.
With Podium’s wide array of subscriber opt-in points, such as after a review is left or a payment is received, the team was able to quickly build a robust text marketing subscriber list in a short period time–over 11,400 customers subscribed in under 12 months.
And the results are faster than the team expected. “Texting is not like SEO where it takes several months. This is immediate. We send a text campaign out to a small fraction of our database in the last few days of the month and we sell cars. It’s very powerful.”
A more convenient, modern payment experience for customers
By adding Podium Payments, the team can send a quick payment request via text. It’s adding convenience to the customer experience and modernizing the payment process, not to mention saving time at the dealership. “Podium Payments makes the payment experience faster. You can send a payment request via text after they visit the service department or while they’re right in front of you. It’s so nice to have it all in one software.”
And the setup for Podium Payments was fast and easy. “Traditional payment processors take at least a week to set up and they require you to buy credit card machines or processors. It can be expensive and you have to wait for everything to ship,” said Amir. So when Unstoppable Auto Group acquired a new dealership and needed to get set up quickly, they decided to try Podium Payments. “We were up and running with Podium Payments in one day. Podium shipped us free payment card readers and everything was so much easier. We started sending texts for down payments immediately.”
Results and ROI
In just one year, Unstoppable Auto Group has used Podium to see results like:
→ Campaign click-through rates of 20-30%+
After implementing Podium Campaigns, the team has seen incredible results with typical click-through rates between 20-30%. “We know that click-through rates between 9-12% are great, but when you see something along the lines of 35% with Podium, it’s unheard of. I’m so happy with it,” said Amir.
→ 1 text campaign sold 5 cars in 1 week with a 35% click-through rate
In just 1 week, Podium Campaigns helped Unstoppable Auto Group sell 5 cars. “The texting campaign basically pays for itself. We sent an Audi campaign that got a 35% click rate and we sold 5 cars in 1 week,” said Amir.
→ 7,000+ reviews across all locations with 1 location now boasting 3x the reviews
The number of online reviews for each dealership has improved dramatically. Overall, Unstoppable Auto Group has seen 7,000+ reviews come in across all locations. But at one dealership, they tripled their numbers. “We were averaging 10 reviews a month at one dealership before and after Podium, we immediately tripled it.”
→ 50% increase in average reviews per month
Each location is averaging 32 reviews per month now, a 50% increase from where each dealership was before implementing Podium. “We were paying double for our old legacy review software and it didn’t make sense. Now, we’ve increased our average reviews per month by at least 50%.”
→ 80% increase in reviews when payment requests are sent via text
Modernizing the payment experience has also increased reviews. “Customers are 80% more likely to fill out a review if they get a review request right after they get a payment link via text,” said Amir. Connecting with the customer via text is improving the entire customer journey—from first message to post-purchase reviews.
“Podium has pushed us at least five years into the future. I would never go back to another platform because of how successful Podium has been. Podium has modernized our operations, enhanced our customer satisfaction, and allowed us to build loyalty with the customer.”
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