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Is New Car Technology Worth It?

A few weekends ago I found myself in an empty house. Kids were gone with grandma and grandpa, husband on a guys-only weekend and, let me tell you, it was nothing short of incredible.

At some point I thought I would put together a bookshelf despite my strong dislike for directions. After trying to figure out the directions, the tools and various whatevers – the bookshelf found its way to being returned.

Too many directions.

Much like my bookshelf, but way more expensive automotive makers are feeling the hurt with the technology built into vehicles today. J.D. Power’s first 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience Report is telling us that the average vehicle has 33 features, however only about 20 percent of those are being utilized. Ouch.

According to the report, owners who don’t begin using the technology within 30 days are not likely to use it at all. Of those surveyed, many reported the technology within their vehicles was something they wouldn’t use, didn’t want or simply came in a package. Makes sense – but, this begs the question: If the consumer knew how to use it, wouldn’t they? Lack of education around using technology in vehicles is no reason to shy away from having it.

[Tweet “People don’t read directions about complicated technology in cars.”]

I know I would need a week to learn how to use our long-time DealerRefresher Kelly Wilson’s car. That thing told us the weather.

At your dealership you can decide to have dedicated technology specialists or train your sales staff to do it. Either way, you win. When customers are more interested in leaving the dealership than learning about Park Assist think of creative ways to get them back in to learn more. Do you offer a first free oil change? You can teach them more about it while they wait. Can you email them short how-to videos? Post the videos on your website?

Despite the report’s numbers revealing low adoption, I think technology in vehicles will get better and only grow from here. It’s education and process that is a little bumpy. Like, my relationship with directions.

I ended my long weekend alone by ordering a fully assembled shelf from Amazon and that was nothing short of incredible either.

Jessica is a Branding and Marketing professional, working to keep DealerRefresh the automotive industry's leading community based blog and forum. She'...