For years we’ve been talking about new technology that will allow car buyers to purchase their vehicles online, essentially eliminating the need for sales people and for years this topic has been top of mind.
Sure, we have seen a little uptick in online vehicle purchases but whether this has addressed the main issue or has been an effective solution, is quite debatable. For the millennial, it may be the perfect solution, being that they are “so called” less social and more tech savvy, skipping the dealership is no biggie but Baby Boomers on the other hand, are less tech savvy and crave the face to face interaction.
What about Gen X? They too crave interaction but without the pressure of car sales tactics.
Let’s face it, nobody likes to feel pressured when buying a car thus the need for a better solution. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Although we know this about our customers, there still seems to be that disconnect and lack of consistency.
Guess what? Customers WANT to buy face to face but they are desperate for a better EXPERIENCE!
Listen, your customers want to feel in control, it’s that simple. After all, it is their money, their time and their decision. Isn’t it? Sometimes it feels as though there is a huge “toddler/mommy” power struggle between car salespeople and customers. If it’s your ego, put it away. That doesn’t belong anywhere near this industry.
We are here to serve our clients, to help them find better solutions, educate them and help them make the decision that best fits their wants and needs. Giving your customer that sense of control and great experience, is what will keep them coming BACK. Now I’m not saying there isn’t a need for technology, as a matter of fact it’s quite the opposite. The need is there, we’re just not implementing or leveraging technology in the best ways possible.
We should be utilizing technology to create a better experience for our customers and leveraging Artificial Intelligence to relieve some of the admin processes so that we are more available to sales opportunities. Now, I’d hate to say it but if the technology at your dealership isn’t making your life easier, it’s time to reevaluate.
Below you’ll find 4 secrets to leveraging technology in a way that will make your life easier and have your customers coming back.
1. WiFi – Get your IT together! Customers are spending a lot of time at your dealership, either waiting in service for their vehicle or waiting patiently during the purchase of a new vehicle, and there’s NOTHING worse today than a slow internet connection. Get with your IT provider and be sure you have capable hardware and bandwidth in order to provide a decently fast connection to the World Wide Web.
2. Give customers better communication options – The key word here is OPTIONS. According to a recent study GSMA Intelligence tells us that “Consumers prefer to open texts on their mobiles rather than receive emails or calls.” This may indicate that texting is viewed as a more trustworthy channel than email or phone calls, which are more likely to be affected by robocalls or spam. Also, consumers prefer texting to email when it comes to getting time-sensitive notifications.” So why the excessive calling? Your customer despises those calls and it’s because they are predictable and annoying. Maybe 10% of those calls got your customer back into the dealership, and maybe about half of them bought. You absolutely should pick up the phone but there should be some sort of consistent communication. The goal is to stay top of mind, in front of your customer.
3. Secure access to their information – Showcase your ability to keep their information secure and make it simple for them to access their information when necessary (like lease term, service logs, vehicle information). They have a right to access their own information too. With the appropriate cybersecurity in place and the technology available today, this can easily be developed and integrated with an existing platform (like, salesforce, Dealersocket, VinSolutions, DealerPeak etc.) Most importantly however, keeping this information safe and secure will be your customers greatest concern and will be your greatest differentiator.
4. Customer Data – Leverage the customer data you already have in your CRM, or data base, to give your customers a better buying and service experience. Example: Your service logs show vehicle year, make, model, dealership maintenance and history, why not give your customer access to this information through a dealership app? Transparency is key. Some dealerships already give their customers the option to schedule services online but imagine being able to notify a customer directly through a customized app on their phone, eliminating the need for them to even call your Service department? Essentially this will quicken the process while keeping their information secure.
Differentiate your dealership by leveraging technology to create a unique customer experience. Consider your own mobile app that allows customers to feel in control of their interaction with you, keeps your sales team engaged with their customer without having to pick up the phone every time, and attracts new prospects to your dealership.