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2023 Post-NADA Conference: Part 1

By: Kristen C., Senior Marketing Coordinator

We’re “back back back, back again ‘gain ‘gain” 🎶 The Gurus are back from another successful NADA Conference! We participated in a number of workshops that touched on business essentials and innovations, digital super track, fixed operations, human capital, leadership, marketing, and variable operations. In part 1 of our NADA recap, we will focus on in-store mystery shopping, federal consumer protection laws (FTC), and artificial intelligence (AI) phone systems.

In-Store Mystery Shopping 🧐🛒

Are you at a loss for ways to improve your dealership experience? Consider hiring an in-store mystery shopper. “Mystery shoppers are consumers hired to enter a business and interact with employees. They might browse as any customer would or have a specific scenario to test, such as interacting with an employee, making a certain purchase, returning an item, or posing as a difficult customer” (Indeed, n.d.). There are vendors who specialize in this service and can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your dealership’s customer experience. Vendors who offer this service are Shoppers Confidential and Proactive Dealer Solutions, amongst many others. By investing in an in-store mystery shopper, you are likely to see an improvement in customer satisfaction, identify problems you are unaware of, and increase sales.

FTC Laws❗❗

Beginning June 2023, we can expect to see major changes and crack-downs on the FTC laws in the automotive industry. We strongly encourage our dealer partners to ensure they are covered and to hold vendors accountable. One example of a major concern is the personal usage of sales representatives’ cell phones when communicating with customers. This is going to be a difficult one to stop and pivot from with current sales team members.

AI Phone Systems 📲

Most recently, we see the usage of artificial intelligence skyrocketing! In terms of your dealership, we are seeing a high usage rate of AI phone systems. One vendor we learned a lot about at NADA is Stella. Stella built their own AI phone system for the sole purpose of scheduling service appointments to prevent service writers from spending hours on the phone and allowing them to spend more time helping the customers standing in front of them. A unique feature that Stella offers is the capability to pick up the tone of voice and attitudes of customers to add to the disposition and then transfer the customer to a live person if there seems to be any frustration. This will limit the number of dissatisfied customers. There is also no longer a language barrier, so all people of ethnicities will be able to communicate effectively. Since Stella launched, they have made it easier to customize dealership prompts that are unique to your dealership. The system is also able to pick up specific keywords such as “recall” and transfer them to a service writer who can assist. Stella currently has a lot of great features in the works. For example, they are currently working on implementing appointment reminder calls and taking inbound calls to schedule sales appointments. Two other vendors that offer a similar service are Brooke AI and CDK Intelligent Connect.

If you are looking to learn more about in-store mystery shopping, FTC laws, and AI phone systems, please reach out to our team!

Visit us at

Jonathan Thompson, Lead Guru | CEO email:


4 Reasons to Hire a Mystery Shopper for Your Business. Indeed.

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