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Minimizing the Variables

For over 50 years now the Nelson family has been a pillar in automotive retail. Nelson Auto Group is the perpetuation of the business that started with Jim Nelson Ford in the late 1950s. Their current President and Owner, Robert Nelson, continues to build on the cornerstone of excellence that was set by his father years ago.


As a dealership group, the Nelson family continues to see growth and loyalty among their customers and employees because of their commitment to creating an unparalleled business culture and consumer experience. They set themselves apart by giving every customer the treatment they deserve. A dedication to time management, process, and the customer made the Nelson stores a perfect fit for Nextup.

Launched in 2007 by CEO Clint Burns, The Nextup assists dealerships in monitoring and measuring team performances while ensuring effective customer engagement in the showroom, finance office, and service drive. There are three components within the Nextup platform: Engage: focused on Sales; Transact: geared towards Finance; and Maintain: targeting Service activities. Nextup provides in-depth tracking for customer engagement processes and offers opportunities to improve both customer service and time management.

Minimizing the Variables


It’s easy to see from the moment you step into any one of the Nelson Auto Group stores that they stand by their core beliefs of what their customer experiences should be. While it may be easy in their marketing to communicate what to expect when visiting a Nelson store, Chad Custer, Nelson Mazda’s Managing Partner, knows the broader impact when things don’t line up.

“We make such an investment trying to get customers in the door. Nextup brings complete accountability in making sure that every customer begins on the right step, with the right process, and they have the best experience. Any time you can minimize the variables and can bring predictability or accountability into a business, you’re going to be more efficient and that’s what Nextup does for us.”

“The person in the first position knows that their sole focus is to be looking for a customer. When they find that customer, there’s a plan on how we’re going to make sure that we provide the best service as opposed to just anybody being too aggressive or after our customer. It just starts the process with the right plan.”

Trusting your Gut or Living by the Data


While walk-in traffic is slowing, as compared to this time last year, Chad sheds light on when a dealership should flag whether or not their showroom coverage is being tracked properly.

“You know honestly, is the traffic down? If you’re not effectively managing the traffic how do you know? Of course, it’s easier for a sales management team to say traffic is off because that means that their closing ratios are going to be better and the results are going to look better to the dealer principal. But in reality, they might be closing at twenty to thirty percent as opposed to when they could be closing at forty percent. They’re not giving the actual traffic count. You’re not going to miss that one Nextup because you have to account for that customer when they come in because of how Nextup is designed.”

The Process of Staffing Success


The Nelson Auto Group has had incredible staff loyalty over the years, something that can be a bit of an anomaly in the car business. Chad explains how time management and company-wide adoption of their process ensures their staff success and a great work/life balance.

“We’re able to reduce the hours that they’re here and manage the quality of work. If you’re not in first or second position then you follow up with customers, you’re answering calls. They’re in a controlled environment so you’re 8 hours here is productive, it’s not walking around the lot aimlessly. You have a plan for success so when you come in you’re either in rotation, following up with your prospects, answering a lead or taking a phone call.”

Chad Custer - COO & Managing Partner
"You know honestly, is the traffic down? If you're not effectively managing the traffic how do you know?..."
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