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Travel restrictions and the health and safety of team members and customers forced Auto/Mate to quickly pivot from its planned, in-person User Summit in Nashville, Ten., to a Virtual User Summit Series that opened on Oct. 22. More than 550 Auto/Mate customers registered — more than twice the attendee count for the company’s 2019 in-person event.
“Although I really enjoy the in-person summits, the way the event was handled due to global circumstances was extremely smart and caring,” said Renee Derenzo from the Outten Dealerships. “I really thought it was very useful because members of my team who could not attend the in-person summit were able to participate.”
Virtual User Summit sessions were live-streamed over a four-week period ending on Nov. 11. During the first day’s Kick-Off and Town Hall sessions, Auto/Mate’s leadership team provided updates on new integrations with DealerSocket’s product suite, as well as DealerSocket’s investments in product development and customer support. Also revealed were DealerSocket’s investments in Auto/Mate’s accounting, service, and contracting tools, and attendees learned of the company’s plans in e-contracting, digital retailing, and more.
Daily session tracks focused on sales and F&I, accounting, and service and parts. Each track featured a session that summarized new features in those respective modules, as well as a session offering real-world “Tips and Tricks” from managers employed by Auto/Mate dealerships. A Q&A session also allowed customers to ask any lingering questions.
“The Virtual User Summit was amazing. I love hearing the new upgrades in the works,” said Michael Holec with Wisconsin’s Hudson Ford. “It seems like the transition with DealerSocket was a very streamlined one, and I sure hope it continues to be a great fit for you and our dealers.”
Highlights from the summit’s final day included an integration session that allowed audience members to learn about current and soon-to-be-released integrations from DealerSocket’s product leadership team of Alok Tyagi, Jeff McCurry, and Larry Colson. Also revealed were the company’s plans in e-contracting and expansion of Auto/Mate’s OEM coverage.
Closing remarks were delivered by DealerSocket President and CEO Sejal Pietrzak and Auto/Mate’s new executive vice president and general manager, Tony Graham. The executives stressed the preservation of Auto/Mate’s customer support model before introducing members of Auto/Mate’s senior executive team, including the now-retired Mike Esposito. Attendees also learned that Esposito will remain connected to the company in a strategic advisor role.
Although we’re still collecting feedback, our Virtual User Summit attendees have reported a 97% satisfaction rating to date. Additionally, sessions were recorded so registrants can watch them after the event through Auto/Mate University (AMU). Thank you to all of Auto/Mate’s customers who tuned in, and we hope to see you again in 2021!