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HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — The Dealer Services Group of Automatic Data Processing has rolled out four new solutions than can help dealers get the most out of mobile technology.

Basically, ADP's Mobile Application suite allows dealers to capitalize on the growing usage of smart phones among consumers to improve how they reach out to shoppers and take care of their own internal business needs, as well.

Specifically, the suite's Drive DMS and IP Telephony applications aid dealership communications in the business-to-employee arena, while the mobile Web sites and customer text notifications deal with the consumer-facing aspects of their business.

"As more consumers and businesses rely on mobile devices for their content, dealerships need to have a technology provider who can enable them to maximize on this opportunity," explained Kevin Henahan, senior vice president of marketing for ADP Dealer Services.

"Just as we have in many other dealership technologies, ADP is staking out a leadership position in Mobile Applications," he added. "These four new offerings clearly place ADP in the forefront of providing dealers all of the options they need to attract more consumers, easily convert prospects, retain customers, and better run their businesses."

The following are the four solutions of the Mobile Applications suite, explained in more detail:

—Drive DMS for Mobile: In this particular solution, ADP has made the key metrics from the Drive securely accessible via smart phones. For instance, Drive DMS for Mobile allows dealers to check current cash balances, approve PO's, track deals and monitor dealership gross profit

—Mobile Desk Phone Integration: This tool allows dealers to use the desktop ADP Network Phone's capabilities on their mobile phones.

Basically, dealership users can access the same features on their mobile devices that they would be able to use on their desk phones. This includes four-digit dialing, hold, transfer and conferencing. What's more, with customer relationship management integration, it allows users to log leads, look up customers and vehicles, and view missed calls on the desktop phone's log.

—Mobile Web sites: This helps dealers reach out to shoppers on the go. Specifically, through the Inventory Mobile Web site, shoppers can view inventory from a mobile device, search dealership used and new vehicle listings, view images, see detailed listings for each car, and get vehicle history reports. 

Moreover, it allows consumers to punch in their contact information or contact the dealership directly from the vehicle listings via "click to call." This can produce solid leads for dealers, as well.  

—Customer Text Notifications: ADP's CustomerTouch communication allows dealerships to reach out to customers via text messaging. They can send service notifications and reminders to the shopper's mobile device, to let them know their vehicle is ready, to notify them of  special order part arrivals or remind them of service appointments, just to name a few. 

Officials explained that because the process is integrated to the DMS, it can be activated by events in the DMS. That way, dealers don't have to double-enter the data into another system.

ADP Rolls Out Social Media, Reputation Management Solutions

In other news, the company also launched  a comprehensive service of social media/reputation management solutions. These can assist dealers in making social media an integral part of their marketing strategy while also gaining more control of their brand reputation.

Officials explained that in the midst of a burgeoning social networking environment, ADP's tools allow dealers to keep "vibrant" user communities. It can also help them remain relevant in growing social-media arena.

The solutions can also assist them in maintaining stronger control over their brand on the Internet. The company said that depending on the solution, it allows:

—A dealer's brand presence to be established and registered in more than 100 relevant social arenas.

—Makes dealers aware of and provides consultation for negative brand comments that they might encounter in the social media environment.

—Provides systematic processes for fostering positive brand awareness with consumers.

ADP said working with professional social marketing representatives can help dealers build quality content that aims to "engage and expand a dealer's trusted relationships and online community participation."

Specifically, ADP's Social Media/Reputation Management can help dealers:

—Increase brand awareness among automotive consumers within the local area.

—Improve search-engine rankings and volume of relevant results listings.

—Grow their user community's participation and overall customer base.

—Create a direct, opt-in communication channel to customers bypassing artificial filters.

—Drive additional customer traffic to their Web sites.

"Social media is a new way for us to build a deeper relationship with our prospects and current clients. Since we've gotten our social media program up and going, our organic search ranking has improved and we've already seen many positive results, not only in our sales department but in our service and our body shop as well," shared Elizabeth Barrera, information technology director at Ancira Auto Group.

Steve Anenen, president of ADP Dealer Services, added: "According to J.D. Power, 35 percent of car shoppers use consumer-driven Web sites like blogs as part of their buying process — and this trend is only going to increase. The growth of social media represents a major opportunity for dealers to communicate with their customers in an environment different than the typical sales cycle — and it's one of the most effective means to do so.

"As a leader in both digital marketing and managed services, ADP is uniquely positioned to provide a comprehensive Social Media solution that drives significant opportunities for the dealership to manage its online community efficiently and effectively," he continued.

By taking care of the tasks involved in running the site, including content syndication and publishing, ADP's tools allow dealers to have more time to concentrate on the messages they use to foster strong relationships with customers.

"ADP has made it very easy for us to manage the social media sites enabling us to be as detailed or as relaxed as we want to with it. ADP keeps an eye on what's going on for us," Barrera explained.