A Conversation with the Founders of Carfluent

Entrepreneur and contributor Tony Fragogiannis sat down with Chance Mayfield and Justin Neiser, the founders of Carfluent. Their enlightening conversation touched upon the fusion of technology with the automotive industry, tackling language barriers, and the transformative power of improved user experience.

Video summary: 

Chance Mayfield's journey into automotive digital marketing

Mayfield's passion for the automotive industry was nurtured from a young age. His grandfather and father's careers within the industry kindled his interest in the integration of technology and the automotive business. Having worked with companies such as eCarlist, Dealertrack, Dealerfire, and Sincro, Mayfield gained deep insights into product development and user testing. His background in sales, coupled with his experience in digital marketing and technology, allowed him to see the demand firsthand and identify a significant gap in the industry: the lack of effective solutions for merchandising inventory to Spanish-speaking customers.

Identifying and addressing the language gap

During the discussion with Fragogiannis, Mayfield highlighted that dealerships were keen to cater to Spanish speakers but were hindered by the lack of suitable resources. The primary data on their websites was in English, which obstructed their ability to reach Spanish-speaking customers effectively.Mayfield explained that existing solutions like Google Translate and manual translations fell short. They were either contextually inaccurate or time-consuming and expensive, especially for vehicle data translation. Even initiatives by manufacturers, such as General Motors' Spanish website, didn't address the core issue: the dominance of English data.

Teamwork makes the dream work: Justin Neiser's involvement

To tackle these challenges, Mayfield brought in co-founder Justin Neiser. Initially hesitant, Neiser was drawn in by the project's innovative approach and the potential applications of AI and neural networks in addressing the language barrier. Neiser's expertise in designing user experiences and his ability to assemble a dynamic team, including the key addition of Matthew Sparks to spearhead product development, were instrumental in bringing Carfluent to life. 

Developing an inclusive, data-driven, and customer-centric solution

The Carfluent team developed a tool to improve the buying experience for Spanish-speaking consumers and provide better data for dealerships. Their innovative approach included the creation of home pages, or branded landing pages, that showcased dealership offerings, specials, bilingual staff, and more. These landing pages helped index Spanish content without competing with existing English websites, effectively boosting Spanish SEO.

The home page of a website is an opportunity to build trust with consumers. Incorporating market feedback into its development, the Carfluent team managed to strike a balance between customer input and software solutions, creating a more inclusive, efficient, and user-friendly platform.

Aligning product with strategy and delivering results

Understanding a dealership's existing outreach strategy was crucial for the success of the Carfluent platform. The product was designed to align with the dealership's messaging and goals, ensuring that Carfluent delivered value and a higher conversion rate than industry standards. In fact, Carfluent achieved a conversion rate eight times higher than the industry average. The user experience factor: simplifying to sell more cars The conversation shifted towards the simplification of user experience on websites, specifically in the automotive industry. The goal is to understand that a website's purpose is solely to merchandise vehicles to consumers. By focusing on simplifying user experience, guiding users down the sales funnel, and ultimately selling more cars becomes easier.There's a call for the industry and dealerships to eliminate unnecessary elements from their websites. If certain elements are necessary, they should be implemented with greater care and selectivity. This approach can improve conversion rates across the board and help reach target demographics effectively.

Staying the course: Commitment to vision and impact

The challenges faced during this journey were acknowledged but so was the importance of staying committed to the vision. Mayfield and Neiser, through their work at Carfluent, aspire to make a significant difference in the automotive industry by improving user experience and catering to underserved demographics. They firmly believe that by staying the course, they can bring about transformative change in the automotive industry.

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