Autobytel named a California franchised store co-owner as the Autobytel Dealer of the Month for February.
Earning the honor was Chris Baughman, general manager and co-owner of Sunset Honda in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
The company’s dealer awards program honors exceptional operators who employ the highest standards in customer service and Internet retail sales and lead management processes.
The Autobytel 2014 Dealer of the Year Award is slated to be announced next January at the NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco — when Autobytel officially celebrates its 20th Anniversary — with the crowning dealer chosen from this year’s pool of monthly winners.
Baughman joins Frank Carrasquillo, general sales manager of Mercedes-Benz of Naples, Fla., who was named the Autobytel Dealer of the Month for January, in that pool of winners.
“Chris and his team strive to give every customer the highest level of service, which is why they have been so successful in their market,” said Jeff Coats, president and chief executive officer of Autobytel.
“Sunset Honda has been an Autobytel dealer for nearly 15 years, and this longstanding history has enabled it to fully optimize its Internet business,” Coats continued. “What’s more, Chris and his team are process-driven and deeply involved with the local community. Bottom line, the dealership is a standout.”
Each month, Autobytel’s sales and dealer operations teams evaluate prospective candidates from a competitive field of thousands of automotive retailers in the Autobytel network with a monthly winner selected based on key online automotive best practices. The company launched its Dealer Awards Program at the beginning of last year, honoring monthly winners throughout the year and in markets throughout the U.S.
Criteria evaluated for the Autobytel Dealer Awards Program include conversion rates, lead management processes, customer service principles, customer and brand retention analytics and Internet department practices, among others.
“The key to our success is really just having a good process,” Baughman said. “We understand that an Internet customer is no different than a customer who walks into the dealership or calls the showroom directly. When a dealer provides a very high level of service to all customers, they really appreciate it.
“We’ve been with Autobytel for 15 years, and have never received this recognition from them, so it's really exciting to be named an Autobytel Dealer of the Month,” Baughman went on to say.
A family owned store opened in 1979, Sunset Honda is a single point Honda dealership in San Luis Obispo, home to California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). It also operates an Acura store in Ventura, Calif.
Its customers consist of many Cal Poly faculty members and alumni, as well as residents from California’s central coast, and customers from as far north as San Francisco and as far south as Los Angeles.
For more information about the Autobytel Dealer Awards program, visit the Dealer Corner at dealer.autobytel.com.