The Future of Integration - AutoSuccessOnline

The Future of Integration

See how dealers are unlocking the power of true performance, personalization and integration with customer experience solutions.

Connecting the Dots for a Better Customer Experience

Today’s automotive ecosystem is being reshaped by seamless integration, digital adoption, technological advancements and empowered consumers. Thanks to companies like Amazon and Netflix, consumers no longer strive for personalization, convenience and speed, they expect it. 

“It’s astonishing — dealerships today utilize about 10 to 15 different technology applications to communicate with customers. Like separated pieces of a puzzle that were never designed to integrate or fit with one another,” says David Boice, CEO of Team Velocity. “This siloed system leaves the customer more confused and frustrated than ever.”

Just in these past two years, we have seen the industry lean into a new digital and integrated era more than ever before. Companies regardless of industry are searching for new ways to stand out from their competition and provide the best possible customer experience across both online and offline mediums. 

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Luckily, dealers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), are utilizing an all-inclusive customer experience platform called Apollo, which is designed to facilitate the entire customer journey through both sales and service interactions from first click to the final transaction.

One of Apollo’s main objectives is the ability to create a personalized and frictionless shopping experience for every customer, dynamically customized to their unique information. Consumers never are put off by discrepancies between the offers they receive via mail, email or even what they see on Google and what they encounter on the dealership’s website. Even better, the experience starkly contrasts that of an anonymous consumer looking for a vehicle.

“With Apollo, we liked the personalized experience and consistency across all mediums,” says Charles Daher Jr., owner of Commonwealth Automotive Group. “For example, with Apollo and Apollo Sites, or websites, our websites literally sit on top of our DMS, so every customer has their own unique shopping experience.  When they log into the site, no matter when they go back, it tells them exactly when their car is due for service or their eligibility for an upgrade, which is a huge advantage for us in this competitive market.”

With Team Velocity’s all-inclusive customer experience platform, dealers have the ability to access a range of important and groundbreaking tools. Apollo provides dealership’s website, customer relationship management, advertising and data collection altogether to make not only the team’s job easier but the customer’s experience completely enjoyable and frictionless.

“It’s known that a Customer Experience drives over two-thirds of customer loyalty, more than brand and price combined in today’s landscape,” says Boice. “Customers long for seamless and connected experiences at scale, from both online and offline channels. We created Apollo and its suite of integrated applications to provide just that. A frictionless and integrated approach across all mediums, without noticing the difference.”

With access to integrated and game-changing technology, Vice President of Lou Sobh Honda, Mike Sobh said, “Team Velocity and its suite of Apollo products, the results are better than ever. Apollo enables our customers to have a seamless, personalized and frictionless customer experience from beginning to end. Initially, we began with Apollo and Apollo Ads but soon realized to create a consistent message across all mediums we needed to add in Apollo Sites or websites. Since then, the transition has been flawless. For the first time, we can offer our customers a fully integrated experience with personalized offers and messaging across both print and digital mediums.”

It’s not only Apollo’s ability to provide consumers with a frictionless experience across all mediums that has dealers around the country raving, it’s also its comprehensive sales retention tool that takes equity mining to a whole new level. 

Rachel Pullen, vice president of New Car Operations at Brown’s Automotive Group, says, “Apollo, enables us to provide unique snapshots of each customer’s entire shopping journey from equity position, email and digital campaign interactions all the way to real-time website engagements. We can easily identify who is ready to service or buy at any time. Next-level equity mining is the future of dealerships today and Apollo is the key to our market success.” 

Apollo Sales takes the hassle out of market data and customer verification. It analyzes years of sales and service data to verify vehicle ownership, identify who is ready to buy and deliver personalized offers designed to engage a transaction. Apollo Sales includes an integrated suite of email campaigns that feature customized, payment-driven offers and upgrade options based on the customer’s vehicle history and status with your dealership. Best of all, every campaign drives customers to a personalized Customer Website where they can claim offers, customize a quote and schedule a service appointment. 

In this increasingly digital and integrated world, a user-friendly, personalized and one-stop-shop type of website isn’t just preferred by car shoppers — it’s expected. Auto dealers who fail to adapt to the changing digital market will be left in the dust by their competitors.

“I wanted to have a website that would be unique to Paragon’s customers to give them a more personalized experience, and Team Velocity got it right,” says Brian Benstock, VP and general manager of Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura. 

“I made the switch to Apollo Sites because it generates more transactions than my previous website,” Benstock continues. “Everything my customers need to transact is at their fingertips, with transactional features like online service scheduling with touchless pick-up and delivery, virtual test drives and buy online applications. With Apollo Sites, I am able to deliver a truly frictionless customer experience.”

Apollo Sites harnesses the data goldmines within the dealer’s DMS to provide every customer a unique, personalized, Amazon Prime-like experience. In addition to a public-facing website, Apollo Sites creates a personal website for every customer, dynamically customized to their unique information, including vehicle history, equity position and shopping activity. Apollo Sites even generates personalized upgrade offers, recommended vehicles, service coupons and recall notices — all based on unique customer data. These progressive sites also include interactive features like texting and service scheduling, and in the very near future, will offer the ability to complete the entire vehicle purchase process online.

Inspiration for Team Velocity’s Apollo technology came from the increasingly popular digital retailing model simply described as “Amazon Prime-like” by the company. The idea of this “Amazon-Prime-like” online shopping experience is exactly as anyone who has visited is imagining. 

“We chose Apollo Sites because it provides every consumer with a truly unique and relevant experience,” says Scott Jaeger, president at Thompsons Honda. “With personalization at scale, every customer regardless of if they are first-time shoppers or existing customers can enjoy relevant offers, coupons and more. With real-time updates and integration across all platforms, you’ll never wonder if your customers are receiving the best service.”

“Throughout the past two decades, dealers have been plagued by ‘Mission Improbable’ — the impossible task of creating a seamless, personalized, omni-channel customer experience across every marketing channel — due to the numerous vendors and technologies on the market that simply do not integrate,” says Boice. “The vast majority of all consumers visit a dealership’s website before they purchase or lease a vehicle but are immediately put off by the huge discrepancies between the offers they receive via mail, email or even what they see on Google, and what they see on the dealership’s website. Apollo was designed to solve these integration challenges and make it easier for the dealer to provide the best consumer experience possible. The evolution of Apollo to include websites has brought that vision full-circle.”

When paired with other products like Apollo Ads, Video, Email, Mail and Text, Apollo Sites unlocks a one-of-a-kind, fully integrated solution for customer retention, advertising, websites and retailing.

Through Apollo, Mario Murgado Jr., the marketing and operations director of Murgado Automotive Group, says their dealerships are able to create a consistent brand message that is distributed across all customer touchpoints, both digital and print. As a full-service partner with Team Velocity, the Murgado Automotive Group takes advantage of the full suite of integrated technology applications that make, manage and measure the entire customer journey — from equity mining, sales retention and digital marketing to even direct mail. The ability to send communications customized to meet the individual customer’s needs is vital.

“The Apollo platform allows us to send targeted messages to our customers based on their current needs,” says Murgado Jr. “For example, customers who recently purchased a vehicle from us would not receive a sales message but an upcoming service reminder message and a coupon. All messages are customized to each customer based on their vehicle history, equity position, trade value and engagement. Apollo allows us to send timely communication that makes sense for our customers, depending on where and what stage they are in the purchasing funnel.” 

“I made the switch to Apollo Sites because it integrates with all my other marketing,” Murgado Jr. continues. “For example, the offers I advertise on my website will match the offers I advertise in my digital ads, emails, videos, etc. on a one-to-one basis for every customer and their specific vehicle. This level of price transparency and consistency not only builds my credibility with the customer, but improves engagement rates and increases my ROI.”

In an industry where competition for consumer attention online and offline is likely to intensify more and more, the need to embrace new technologies to improve the car-buying experience seems critical. Apollo’s intelligent and personalized campaigns not only deliver a better customer experience, but are proven to boost sales and service growth year over year.

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