Cars.com, a leading automotive Web site, today launched CustomerCenter, a Web-based customer relationship tool for car dealerships. CustomerCenter provides car dealers a direct online link to customers for information on such dealer offerings as maintenance service, special promotions, and aftermarket product sales.

(Photo: www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000415/CARSLOGO )
"Research shows that customer loyalty increases as service satisfaction rises and we know fifty percent of dealer profits are generated by the service and parts department," said Mitch Golub, senior vice president, product development and marketing for Classified Ventures and acting general manager of cars.com. "CustomerCenter positively impacts the key revenue drivers of the dealership by providing dealers an easy to use tool that strengthens customer relationships, delivers greater brand awareness and offers more effective marketing."

According to cars.com research, service, parts and accessories facilitated by the Web is a $30 billion market. CustomerCenter allows dealers to tap into the market potential by establishing a personalized Web page for all car buyers and service customers that promotes local dealers' brands. The personalized Web page integrates into a dealer's Web site and serves as a personal reference point for customers to receive email reminders for factory recommended service and lets them learn about promotions specifically related to their vehicle. In addition, customers can directly schedule service appointments at the site and track their vehicle's service history.

The customization and personalization features of CustomerCenter motivate customers to return to their Web sites, but more importantly to dealerships for service. CustomerCenter records and certifies all services completed at the dealership. This feature provides an accurate record of services rendered that can be beneficial when a customer plans to sell their vehicle. CustomerCenter also allows customers to post their vehicle pictures and track their mileage. This feature allows consumers to know exactly when to conduct vehicle maintenance activities.

CustomerCenter enables dealers and automobile manufacturers to create cost effective targeted marketing campaigns informing customers of special offers and dealer events via email and posting it directly onto customers' personalized Web pages. In addition, CustomerCenter is integrated with dealers' Web sites, resulting in constant online customer contact with the dealers' brand over a lifetime.

About cars.com

Cars.com simplifies local new and used car shopping on the Internet. With Inventory in 26 of the top 30 U.S. markets, cars.com is the only automotive Web site to provide daily updates of dealer inventories. Cars.com allows consumers to search vehicle listings by zip code, vehicle make, model and year and easily submit a quote request to a car dealer by e-mail, fax or telephone. In addition to vehicle pricing, cars.com provides consumers with trusted automotive information, including rich editorial content pertaining to real-life issues such as how to purchase a vehicle and tips for parents of young drivers. The site also provides consumers with tools such as an auto loan calculator, news and reports on new and used vehicles, more than 3,500 independent vehicle reviews (from 1983 to the present), vehicle performance data and vehicle recall information. Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, Inc., which is based in Chicago.

About Classified Ventures

Classified Ventures, Inc. provides nationally branded online services in the classified advertising market place that build upon the capabilities and local expertise of its national affiliate network of more than 130 newspapers. The company currently operates the national Web sites Apartments.com(TM), http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000415/CARSLOGO, Auctions.com(TM), www.auctions.com, cars.com(TM), www.cars.com, Moving Center(TM), www.movingcenter.com and NewHomeNetwork.com(TM), www.newhomenetwork.com. Classified Ventures, Inc. also operates HomeHunter(TM), a local resale real estate service.