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Conversational Websites, Virtual Test Drives, and Pontiac Trans Ams with Kevin Frye

  • January 18, 2021
33 min read
Conversational Websites, Virtual Test Drives, and Pontiac Trans Ams with Kevin Frye

Aharon Horwitz
CEO, Fullpath

Ilana Shabtay
VP of Marketing, Fullpath

Kevin Frye
e-Commerce & Marketing Director, Jeff Wyler Automotive Family

Kevin Frye is the e-Commerce & Marketing Director at Jeff Wyler Automotive Family and an Automotive Technology Innovator. He is an automotive industry technology pioneer with 15+ years of experience driving e-commerce development, creating integrated sales solutions, and expanding virtual reality & auto subscription services.

Kevin is a keynote speaker who has spoken at national and international industry conferences including NADA, Digital Dealer, Digital Marketing Strategic Conference, Driving Sales, Dealer Think Tank, Thought Leadership Summit, Women in Automotive, and more. He is a former Naval Officer with the US Navy and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business and a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Boston University.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Kevin Frye shares his background and transition from serving in the Navy to innovating in the automotive industry
  • Kevin talks about working with QR codes and auto subscription services
  • The risks associated with holding large amounts of inventory and how to mitigate them
  • Kevin shares his thoughts on customers who insist on buying cars in person
  • The 3 major moves Kevin and his team made in 2020 in light of the crisis caused by COVID-19
  • How Jeff Wyler Automotive Family tracks their website metrics and how they use augmented reality in their dealerships to engage with customers
  • Kevin talks about the steps he took to bring augmented reality into the dealership and how customer feedback shapes his marketing strategies
  • How Kevin creates conversational websites to market his company’s products—and increase sales
  • Kevin Frye talks about his cabin in Cincinnati and his predictions on when life will return to normal

In this episode…

When looking to buy a car, most buyers love walking into dealerships to see what’s for sale, inspect the options, and go for a test drive. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic hit and limited our movement, most customers still want to touch and test drive cars before making a purchase.

Kevin Frye and his team at Jeff Wyler Automotive Family recently performed a study on their customer’s response to adding a digital retailing tool to their website. The results? Most responded that they would not buy a car 100% online; they would still want to see and touch it. So, the company shifted to find virtual reality solutions to meet their customer’s needs and allow them to test drive their preferred cars virtually. Win-win.

In this week’s episode of the Inside Auto Podcast, Ilana Shabtay and Aharon Horwitz talk to Kevin Frye, the e-Commerce & Marketing Director at Jeff Wyler Automotive Family, about the future of augmented virtual reality in car dealerships. Kevin explains how his company and their customers use virtual reality, using customer feedback to improve business processes, and the 3 major steps the company took to deal with shifts in customer behavior caused by the pandemic.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by AutoLeadStar, a company that helps car dealerships engage quality customers on the web and convert them into car buyers.

Co-founded by Aharon Horwitz, Yishai Goldstein, and Eliav Moshe, AutoLeadStar’s state-of-the-art software automates a dealership’s entire marketing funnel and provides around-the-clock service for dealers.

AutoLeadStar’s innovative technology helps dealerships automate ads, connect with customers, and discover ROI and performance metrics

Visit their website at to learn more about their around-the-clock marketing service.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:03

Welcome to Inside Auto Podcast where we feature everyone and anyone you’d want to talk to in and out of the automotive industry.

Ilana Shabtay 0:14

Ilana Shabtay here with Aharon Horwitz, co-hosts of Inside Auto Podcast where we interview top dealers, GMs, marketers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders in and out of the automotive industry. Aharon, are you so excited to be back for season two of the Inside Auto Podcast?

Aharon Horwitz 0:31

Season two we are here. Let’s do it.

Ilana Shabtay 0:33

And we have an amazing guest to kick us off. But before we introduce today’s guest, this episode is sponsored by The AutoLeadStar platform is built on technology so powerful, it allows you to market, sell and service cars as you would in the real world, online and at scale, making one to one matches between shoppers and inventory. AutoLeadStar is the only platform that is powered by scale speed and specificity to change the way dealers do marketing.

Aharon Horwitz 1:03

Okay, Ilana, here we are. This is amazing. So our guest today does not actually need an introduction. When you talk about the auto industry. It is. Let’s just reveal it. It’s Kevin Frye from the Jeff Wyler group. And Kevin, in addition to hailing from Ohio or calling us in from Ohio, which is where I’m from. He’s a fantastic guy to talk to now, I think we’re in a very interesting kind of inflection point in the COVID pandemic and the auto industry. But really, Kevin’s experience goes very deep. And we like to go deep here. It’s also very, very, we like to also be very shallow here. As those of you listening regularly know, Kevin has been in the industry for over 15 years. And what’s so cool about what he’s done is I think poke at the edges of any technology that’s out there and see how it can be integrated and applied to auto virtual reality. e-Commerce, integrated sales solutions, subscription services, right, all those things that people talk about, he’s actually doing it. And that’s great, because we get to talk about that. And things like affordable mobility, mobility. And it’s just fantastic to have. Kevin here with us. I will also note, Kevin’s a former naval officer. And so he gets to talk about cool things when we see him conferences and his

Ilana Shabtay 2:18

Thank you for your service.

Aharon Horwitz 2:19

Legendary. Yes, of course. So Kevin, welcome. Thank you for joining us.

Kevin Frye 2:24

Well, thank you so much for having me. And what you’re leaving out is I always like talking about your Israeli experience. And the service that’s required in that country is absolutely unbelievable. We actually have two former presidents of Israel that worked for us. And they’re fascinating in it, I look at it, it’s like they have a higher level of maturity, based on their experience growing up there. So the respect is mutual for both of you.

Aharon Horwitz 2:52

Well, thank you very much. And we know that in your office on the wall, there’s some great paraphernalia, we recommend anyone who’s in your store to come see it. So Kevin, give us before we like to get to know our guests on a personal level, before we get into auto and whatnot, maybe bridge for us, whatever you want to highlight, by no means you have to tell us everything but from your naval career into the auto business. How did that happen? And what led to that and kind of what were the events that took place?

Kevin Frye 3:21

That is a great question. And I think my answer is similar to 95% of people in automotive, I fell into the industry. And the way that happened was I was involved with eBay in the early days as an entrepreneur and we had a series of shops where you could bring your stuff in and we’d sell it on eBay. And we were really involved early with eBay Motors, one of the pioneers, and helping people to sell their cars. And looking back now might seem kind of silly, but back then in the early days, people like I don’t even know how to take a digital photo, what resolution do I do? How do I host photos? How do I sell a car online? And we were working directly with eBay and I’m going to tell you back in the day, it was a train wreck around the country or break key laws left and right. They had no idea what they were doing. But what happened was we learned the school of hard knocks how to do and how to do it well. And as a result, I had dealerships start approaching me. Hey, can you help us to list cars on eBay? I created a separate business to accommodate that that grew rapidly. And eventually what happened was the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family made a very attractive offer to bring me on board because they knew that digital is the way of the future and asked me to come in to lead them in that direction and they gave me a very simple direction, do whatever it takes to put us at the front. So that’s where I’ve been ever since and where I am very fortunate is that I have dealer principals that support me 100% and that not only includes the home runs, but when we innovate, and we get black eyes and bloody noses, they’re still there behind me. So that’s part of what makes it great.

Aharon Horwitz 5:09

Wait, you see, you’ve had a few things that haven’t worked?

Ilana Shabtay 5:14

Oh, yeah. We want to, we want to hear about that we like hearing these stories,

Kevin Frye 5:17

you know. So QR codes are really making a comeback now, especially with COVID. Right. But in the very beginning, we were very involved with QR codes and the short codes with texting. And I remember one of our dealerships, they were having a big sponsorship for this county fair. And so we probably ordered like 1500 t-shirts with these QR codes and fans and text shortcodes all as a T-shirt cannon, and we would shoot off in the grandstands. We did this for an entire week. And I think we had like seven clicks. It was awful. It just did not work at all. But you learn from that there are some things people will engage with and will be successful. There’s other things that don’t work out necessarily as expected and auto subscription I can share with you some of the things we’ve learned from that, because that certainly took us several different directions as well.

Ilana Shabtay 6:13

Yeah, I definitely want to hear about subscription services, especially since I know you basically pioneered that and automotive.

Kevin Frye 6:21

I wouldn’t say I was the original person with the idea I would put myself in the first five. How’s that? That’s pretty good. That’s great. We were definitely the first model.

Aharon Horwitz 6:33

Kevin as well. There were a whole, there were a few right there, there was a subscription window. And I feel like some have successfully built the business model. Others are still struggling, like where are you guys at on that? If we’re jumping ahead

Kevin Frye 6:45

so we no longer run or on a subscription. And then I’ll tell you why. And this could be a whole different session I would share with us first, the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in automotive was working with auto subscription. And it absolutely blew up the local media. We were on NBC Nightly News, we are on NBC today show and when he created a tremendous amount of excitement. So without question for the people that were utilizing it, they absolutely loved it. But I’m going to tell you on the other side, this is where I’ve always I’m known in the industry for being very transparent, very high risk for very low return. And the reality of our subscription is first there was not a defined business model, which didn’t stop us because we’re innovators. We got out there, let’s test this and go out there. But what I’m going to lay out for you is that the larger the fleet grows, the larger your risk grows, because depreciation is your key factor to measure. And if that depreciation doesn’t work out the way you think it can take you under very rapidly. This year is a great example. If you look at hertz, rental cars, I was about to say yeah, that’s exactly what bankrupted them. But if you’ve been around for a while you remember 2009. That is what brought down the OEMs with leasing all those vehicles that they expected to depreciate at a certain rate and command a much less value they had to that is essentially which took them to bankruptcy at that point is that what was that also,

Aharon Horwitz 8:23

I think fair had that challenge. Uber had that challenge. They tried to finance vehicles, then there was another challenge with there was I think carvana before they got that Alliance, commitment they also were looking at, I just think having a large fleet or a large amount of inventory on hand that you are responsible for is extremely risky. How would you mitigate that if you were building a ground up?

Kevin Frye 8:46

So I mean, we ran it for a year, we did pencil it and get it into black. And to do that, you have to look at the entire picture. And that was the biggest thing I kept trying to tell dealers, if you created as a standalone model, it’s probably going to show that it’s losing money, which would you have to understand is that if if you have that auto subscription service, make some money, that entity, where are you buying those cars phone, buying them from yourself? So there’s profits you need to take into account? Where are you servicing those cars? You’re servicing them at your dealership, so that’s another element of revenue. And then what do you do with them once you’ve depreciated them and finish them in the fleet, you’re going to sell them back to your own dealerships and then go from there. But I just keep coming back to the same thing. When you look at all the different avenues where you can invest your money and get the greatest return it was just a razor thin margin with a really high level of risk.

Aharon Horwitz 9:44

Got it.

Kevin Frye 9:45

from what I walked away from it was that I think personally it’s best positioned at the OEM level. because number one, they can get those vehicles obviously cheaper than we can in a fleet and then they have a much greater size to Be able to bear that risk and we are a dealer and we’re a top 50 By the way, and I’m better than that. So, right.

Aharon Horwitz 10:06

Okay, that’s a very, that that transparency is really appreciated. I think that’s a very very interesting insight. Let me read you something from 2016 Okay, this is you in an interview on our blog in 2016.

Ilana Shabtay 10:21

Just thinking about that, we interviewed Kevin on our blog.

Aharon Horwitz 10:24

Okay, so here’s what I want. Here’s first of all your favorite vehicle you most wanted to see back was the Pontiac Trans Am from smoking the bandit.

Kevin Frye 10:34

I still stand by that.

Ilana Shabtay 10:36

I was gonna say he probably still stands by that.

Aharon Horwitz 10:39

Amazing, I love it. Okay, so besides for that Pontiac turns out this is something you wrote. Okay. We asked you a question. Do you foresee a future when customers don’t step into the dealership and I want you to react depending on what you said? Then tell me whether you know about how the pandemics may change your view or not? It goes that way. It won’t happen for a long time. I was involved with eBay Motors from the earliest days. I sold over 500 cars in one year on eBay with fewer than 10 people actually coming in to test drive a car. So you’d think I’d foresee a move away from the dealership. But I wouldn’t say that buying the car is the second largest purchase decision in a person’s life. And most people still want to come and see it, touch it, feel it drive it, I think you’re always going to have that. How do you react to that quote, today? Do you still think that that’s going to be the case after this thing goes away? Or have we changed fundamentally,

Kevin Frye 11:31

I still believe in that. And I love talking about this topic, because we were the first in the Midwest to introduce digital retailing on our website. It’s ours. Ours is Wyler, direct, but the engine underneath it is accelerated with Cox automotive. And so this COVID was a great year to really measure digital retail. So we had a three year Head Start over everybody in our market. And I want you to understand that at the height of COVID. With more than half of our dealerships located in a state where they cannot even open that peak at home deliveries or alternate deliveries, whatever you want to call it was still less than 15% of our total sales. And not only that, so we’re located in Cincinnati, on the we were open in Ohio and across the Ohio River in Kentucky they were shut down. What we’re finding is that the people that shoppers in Kentucky were crossing the river into Ohio to buy from our stores that were open because they still want to touch and test drive the vehicle. The other thing I’ll go back to is you look at these big studies that Cox, automotive and others do. Where you know, people, they still want to touch your test drive the car, we run around consumer experience study in house, we have a studio, we bring in people we film them. And it was really eye opening. We did this a couple years ago. We asked them Do you want a digital retailing tool on our website? and 90% of them said absolutely, yes. And then we asked those same people would you buy 100% online? and 90% of them said absolutely not. But what was more insightful as we asked them why. And I get it when I listen to the one that sticks in my head. We had a lady that said, you know what my fear is that I’m going to buy a $30,000 car, click the button and get it and realize I forgot one thing. I forgot Bluetooth or something and this is such a big purchase. I can’t mess it up. I want to come in and finish and be absolutely sure. So I tell dealers, there is nothing to fear with digital retailing. I can go more into that. Why? Because we have a tremendous role in the future as dealers in automotive retail. We are still a big part of that because they want to finish the process with us.

Aharon Horwitz 14:03

Yeah, no, I think that’s a very deep insight. And if you look at if you look at the market, right, you look at non private transactions. I mean, the pure play digital environment carvanha room shift, it’s what 2% of the total market means 98% of sales are on the traditional brick and mortar infrastructure, even though there’s a tremendous amount of technology now there and I think the mission of that part of the industry is to become as tech savvy as necessary to give consumers an amazing experience. But understanding that there really is a role for you know, for that for that showroom. And for the dealer experience. Even I’d say Tesla, which you think is an exception that proves the role. In some ways. Tesla has an amazing showroom infrastructure and people want to drive the cars right so it’s not even buying online. I think even that doesn’t necessarily indicate that’s going to go away. Okay, good. So you stand by your quote from 2016

Kevin Frye 14:54

I do it, and the trans-am and the transit. That’s very important. So yeah, absolutely. Great.

Aharon Horwitz 15:03

Okay, so tell us a little bit now that we kind of broached it. What are some of the things you did this year, meaning anyone who’s followed you online and social media knows that there’s been a lot going on. And a lot of innovation, you are sharing a lot. I don’t know that everyone listening has seen that. So kind of give us you know, what have been the three or four or even two major kinds of moves that you’ve made in order to react to this reality that we’re all living through in the COVID-19 era.

Kevin Frye 15:30

So I’ll give you three things. And the first is a general strategy that everybody should apply when you run into a situation like COVID. So in automotive land, we run any 30 day cycles, right, month to month. But you can pretty much create a marketing plan, for example, for a year, you know, your seasonality, you set it, it’s kind of like an autoplay, you monitor each month, and you adjust it from there. Whenever you get into a crisis type situation. And I learned this as a naval officer, you need to start breaking everything down to a much smaller time increment, while you’re making decisions day by day, hour, by hour or minute by minute based upon the information that was in front of you. So one of the key things we did when COVID started, which was late March, right really came into place, is we started tracking key KPIs on a daily basis. And we started making decisions aggressively on a daily basis. And the two primary KPIs we tracked were website traffic. So measure demand, and then show in visits, how many people were actually coming in. And I’m going to tell you, obviously, we saw this steady decline that bottomed out on April 5. And then what happened was, we started seeing a slow growth in showroom visits, but a big spike in website activity. And what was going on, was that when the stimulus checks, the initial round, went out and started hitting People’s Bank Accounts, there was an immediate spike in demand reflected in the website activity. All right. So what we did when everybody in our market was dark, and in panic mode and scared to death and shut down, we spent into it and put out a real aggressive spin, and in letting people know that we were open, and we could function during COVID. And what happened in April is when everybody else took a bloodbath, we actually didn’t do that well or poorly. I mean, it was still rough. But we came out way ahead in our competition, because we acted decisively by just magnifying everything down to a smaller time. And so that was the first thing we did.

Ilana Shabtay 17:45

Okay, you mentioned that you tracked all of these metrics very closely, what are you using for tracking them?

Kevin Frye 17:51

Well, because one of the downfalls of Google Analytics is it’s really hard to see aggregated numbers, you know, everything totaled up. So we use Google Data Studio, we build out a platform where we can select some or all of our websites to aggregate that information, we literally graph it on a day by day basis. In fact, if you’re with me right now, looking at my glass, I have three huge screens out there. And we’re looking real time at what’s going on with website activity and showroom counts. Because those are the two primary ways we can always get deep, but I like to keep things simple as well. And then we could act upon it rapidly.

Aharon Horwitz 18:30

And what’s the second thing you did, Kevin?

Kevin Frye 18:32

So on the innovation side, we’ve done a couple things. And we’ve done several things, really. But one of the projects we’ve been working on in house is augmented reality. And we had developed this completely in house for the past three years. And what we have is essentially a life size cutout of our principal Jeff Wyler that has a QR code on. So when you come into the showroom, you can pop up a phone, our sales people will take you over, you hit that with the QR code, and he will come to life in your phone in front of an augmented reality experience, you get a personal welcome from our dealer principle. So this creates a wow moment, it sends a message that we are more leading edge, more innovative, that’s out there. But also some of the underlying thing we’re doing with that is we’re preventing people from showrooming. And visiting if you leave them alone, while desking a deal and they’re checking out the competition, what we’re doing is we’re getting them engaged with augmented reality while they approach the desk and we build more value into the deal. That’s already catapulting into other ideas. And we’ve got like little one flip versions on the desk where you can do a review or whatever the case may be. Wow. But that’s one of the things we’ve done.

Aharon Horwitz 19:56

And did you guys build that in house or did you contract with someone? How did you go about Kind of bringing the reality into the dealership?

Kevin Frye 20:03

So this is such a great example of being an innovator I was out in Silicon Valley A few years ago, seeing some of the initial rounds of this and what we started doing literally as we were buying used equipment to do that, for example, like alive sighs, Jeff Wyler, to do the body scan and all of that. And it was a tall task and a very fast moving market. And what you do is you take a big problem, and you break it down into very small things. And so we just started out very simple. How can we create a trigger to depop a graphic now we just pop a square. Now let’s take a square and make it into a rectangle. Now can we do a small graphic and then work your way up to a big person. The other thing that was going on with that is that I’m telling you the equipment we would get without date in three or four months. Wow. And so what we were doing to be cost effective, we kept going after and buying used equipment. And moving along there. One of the things I share with dealers when I speak at the conferences, is if you’re going to try and do this leverage off the assets that are around you. So we have a strong partnership with Nick Cybela from FlowFound. And I knew on Nick’s team, he had some people, specifically one that used to work for Coca Cola and had all this background in AR. So what I do is I get on the phone when we get stuck. I’d say Nick, let me talk to what the guy in your team, can you help us out? Absolutely. And that’s what you call a partnership. And so if you become a partner of the Jeff Wyler, we might ask you to do a whole lot more than you normally do.

Aharon Horwitz 21:45

It’s Uncle Sam, the uncle, your Uncle Sam background comes in there.

Kevin Frye 21:49

There you go. never know what you’re gonna get asked me better do it?

Aharon Horwitz 21:53

Did I just add that it’s I want to hear the third thing but doesn’t put you in FlowFound has they built something virtual, they did a virtual virtual test virtual reality

Ilana Shabtay 22:03

test drive they Yeah.

Kevin Frye 22:06

They’re very first customers with the virtual test drives. I’m a big fan. One of the things I’ve shared with a digital dealer and other shows is that as a marketer, you’re always trying to find great calls to action that convert, right? You know, like, look at our huge inventory, whatever the case may be, when we did take a virtual test drive. When we first ran that call to action, crickets. Nothing happened. And I was like, What is going on? Why does nobody respond to this? And when we started just talking to regular non automotive people, why don’t you interact with this? They said, well, because I don’t have an app, or No, they didn’t have the glasses, the virtual reality glasses, I don’t have the glasses. And then we had to explain them, well, you don’t need glasses, or an app is just on your phone. So when we changed our ads to show basically people actually interacting with the phone without glasses, it exploded and became our number one call to action. So I would show like five calls to action, take a virtual test drive would have more interaction than the other four combined. It’s a great component of the mobile car buying experience.

Ilana Shabtay 23:15

Well, your customer feedback really shapes your marketing bait between digital marketing and digital retailing and virtual reality. All the feedback has basically shaped how you’ve done your marketing, which is pretty amazing.

Kevin Frye 23:28

If you go out to Silicon Valley, the thing they’ll constantly preach and I’m 100% behind is that you have to be consumer facing. It doesn’t matter what I think or you think it’s what our consumers think. And so I always shared the simple question, ask yourself, if you’re working, you don’t have to be at a dealership. If you’re working on the vendor side, whatever the case may be, when you have a product or a service or for example, a change in your website, ask yourself this. Does this make us more consumer facing? If the answer is yes, you’re probably going to win. But if the answer is no, I can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be a ball. So that’s definitely what drives everything we did.

Aharon Horwitz 24:10

I kept what was the third thing you guys did. So

Kevin Frye 24:14

when it comes to all the websites,

Aharon Horwitz 24:16

and giving yourself two metrics that you looked at augmented reality and spending into the downturn with.

Kevin Frye 24:24

Conversational websites. And let me explain because I think in automotive, we do a horrible job, which is to be completely cynical and transparent about ourselves. If I have 100 people go to my automotive website, and I get two to three to fill out a form that is considered excellent. And if I get another eight to 12 to make a phone call and add those two numbers, I have a 15% conversion. They’ll say, Kevin, you are a rock star. And I’m going to tell you are you kidding Me. So at five out of every 100 people, I never really get to directly touch. Are we really doing that? Well? And the answer is no, I still say we’re in the stone age’s. And it doesn’t go any further than this. I don’t care what website you have across the country, I can almost guarantee the number one most clicked on button on your site is going to get today’s prize, get a prize, whatever format that is. And Brian Pash has been great at exposing this as well. If you set an event and your analytics on that button and watch what happens, someone clicks on the button, and about 70% of the time, those people jump right back out, because they think they’re going to get a price. So I’m going to tell you what we’ve been doing. It’s innovative, and it’s gutsy, and it takes work. And that is this, we started with, take that button, get a price. And when you click on it, it doesn’t go to a forum, it goes to live chat, where we set up where you can actually get that price real time that you want. So let me give you one of the first obstacles we ran into with new car pricing, this can be a tremendous advantage, because of map rules, right? minimal allowable price that you can show on your site. But the manufacturers will require that you get a name and or a phone or email address to be able to provide that right. So that’s what we would do, we would pop up hey, you know, welcome to the site, can I get your name and number and guess what happened? 70% of them jump right back out.

Kevin Frye 26:37

then what we did is we changed the wording. We would like to give you the absolute best price, but Honda requires that we get your name and phone number or email. And then guess what? All of a sudden our conversion skyrockets. But what’s more important, because we’re getting in contact with them real time live, we’re answering their questions real time, we started setting more appointments, we’re making more sales, we are more consumer facing because we’re giving them a better experience. And on the dealership side, I’m getting ready to get rid of form leads that have these 30 6090 day workflows and all we do is pound ourselves trying to chase them three weeks later to set an appointment, it becomes way more efficient. This is now how we empower My Lord. We have tested this so much. What we’re doing now more in its final version is AI initially answers the chat to make sure it’s not Hey, are you open? Or where’s the direction stuff like that AI can answer that. What if they pop a question? Hey, I’m looking at the 2014 Honda Civic. What’s the condition of the tires? It is pinging to let’s say I have eight salespeople on the floor. It’s hitting them on the phone like a text, the first one to respond, answers it owns it and pushes to get the appointment from there. I just do a whole bunch. I love that. I love that. That’s really fantastic.

Ilana Shabtay 28:10

Yeah. And I’m assuming that’s going to continue post-pandemic.

Kevin Frye 28:16

Well, so we started it with our Honda stores. And now what we’re doing is we’re expanding it across all of our other stores. Now it does require a lot of training with your salespeople and how to handle those texts or chat. Worst case example and I’ve seen this several times. Hey, do you still have the 2018 Chevy Silverado? No. It’s like inbound phone calls. You have to keep training on them. Yeah, but think about this and the other side. What is our biggest obstacle in hiring millennials and younger people? They hate the phone. What do they do all day? They text Yeah. And now when we transition to communicating with them as text and chat, I still think they’re already very good at it. We have a higher morale at the stores because they have less word chasing forms. It’s the modern day up his way of looking at it. Totally cool.

Ilana Shabtay 29:13

Yeah. And before we wrap this podcast would not be complete without talking about your cabin for a second. I know that you and Julie have been putting a lot of work into the cabin. I feel like this pandemic has given you a lot more time and opportunity to do so, give us some insight and what you’ve been working on in the cabin during this time. I follow you so I see some of it but I know our listeners will be interested if you don’t you totally should follow Kevin Frye and Instagram because he has the most amazing cabin that he basically built in like a year.

Kevin Frye 29:44

So tell him if you’re those first at the 34 acres now at the entrance we have a smaller cabin that we restored from the 1820s and if you’re ever in Cincinnati, we’ve already hosted several of our automotive friends. Stay up there Get the full experience. And on the center part, we connected two cabins, one from 1791. And the other ones 1820s 1840s. Probably the big project of recent and through that from the summer through, was setting up for chickens. So Julie now has seven more pets warning, don’t give your chickens names. Because we did lose one to a hawk, and she was heartbroken, had a funeral and everything. But we have fresh eggs. I love working outdoors and doing that type of stuff. So that’s a good way for me to burn off some steam and relax and be creative. Yeah. Wow, that

Aharon Horwitz 30:41

is great. Great. Sorry, we learned so much in this podcast. You know, I don’t know, when will we next be in a conference together? What’s your prediction?

Kevin Frye 30:49

I hope sooner rather than later. I applaud everyone that’s working hard on the virtual conferences. But for me automotive, it is such a personal space. I often joke we’re one big inbred family. Because it doesn’t take that long. We all know each other. We really do. And so if I’m going to work with a new partner, I guarantee I can talk to someone else that’s probably worked with them. And we share feedback. And my favorite thing to do at work is to go to the shows, meet with people like you talk, and learn about the latest and greatest. You’ve been around me, those are the questions I’m asking when I’m going around, what are you doing? What’s working, what’s not working? And we all become better in the process. Yeah.

Aharon Horwitz 31:38

We can get something in 2021 that’s our that’s wonderful. All right. Wow, what a great conversation. Kevin. Thank you very much. Kevin Frye, Jeff Wyler Auto Group and we learned a lot. We want to have you back and we’ll get you up on our blog again. So in a couple years we can quote what you said and see what you stand by. We know you will still want that. That that vehicle we’re, we’re certain of that. Thank you very much.

Kevin Frye 32:06

Thank you. I really enjoyed it. I hope we get together in person this year. And come stay in the cabin. If you’re ever in Cincinnati.

Ilana Shabtay 32:14

Get on my it’s on my bucket list. Thank you so much. And to our listeners. If you liked this episode, please tune in to Inside Auto Podcast. We’ll catch you next time.

Outro 32:28

Thanks for listening to the Inside Auto Podcast. Check out our other episodes with top entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

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