There’s no denying that technology and mobile applications are running the world, and more importantly, the way businesses and their customers interact.
Consumers have grown to expect and rely on the instantaneous results and convenience of digital technology. Things have been drastically changing in the last decade in areas such as retail, the food industry, real estate and business. Now it’s time for the automotive world to catch up.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, dealerships today need to fully embrace new innovations and adapt older processes to include these technologies. One of the most harmful phrases in business is “We’ve always done it this way.” Today’s rapidly changing business world is not the place for resistance. It’s not productive to keep using old processes that have always worked ‘just fine’.
Dealerships need to graduate from some of the more antiquated processes that hold them back from improvement and modernization. How do you know if your dealership is stuck in the past? If your dealership still has dry erase boards with sales pricing or names for upcoming sales appointments; out of date posters and print material in service; if your staff are leaving voicemails or sending emails waiting for approval (to name a few), then you are guilty as charged.
“One of the most harmful phrases in business is “We’ve always done it this way.” It’s not productive to keep using old prcesses that have always worked ‘just fine’.”
Modernizing your processes is the first step to building a better dealership. And building a better dealership means building a better customer experience. Embracing digital technology and mobile solutions will get your dealership to that level. Here are some common areas of frustration and delay at a dealership that can greatly be improved with new technology:
PRE CHECK-IN. What are you doing to engage your customers before they even come in for service? Are you providing frictionless appointment confirmation and reminders that allow them to confirm or reschedule an appointment? With over 90% of text messages being read, and in under 90 seconds, sending your reminders by text is the most beneficial way for both you and your customer.
THE CHECK IN. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Welcome and inform your customers as soon as they enter your dealership with branded Appointment screens identifying their appointment time and assigned Advisor. Educate and help upsell your current specials with appropriate videos and promotional marketing on digital screens.
COMMUNICATION. Keep your customers in the loop throughout their service with text alerts for progress of their vehicle or unforeseen repair issues. Give customers a quick and direct line of communication to their Advisor with text messaging to address any questions or concerns they may have.
TRANSPARENCY. Provide full visibility to your service customers with detailed videos and images sent directly to their mobile device. Add further value with itemized digital estimates allowing customers to review all recommended work and choose which items they want to move ahead with. This provides a level of confidence over traditional phone calls telling them what needs to be done and asking for a verbal approval.
SALES OPPORTUNITIES. Your sales team can receive details about customers regarding possible trade in or appraisal opportunities. Digital screens can display Pre-owned vehicle inventory to catch the attention of customers in the dealership.
TRANSPORTATION. Imagine knowing at all times where your Shuttle or loaner vehicles are. With the right technology you can provide scheduling and management of your transportation vehicles and loaner fleets to keep all staff informed and organized. Keep customers in the loop about their transportation requests with text confirmations and links to track shuttle location and arrival details.
THE CHECK OUT. Decrease wait times and frustration at pick up by providing a mobile payment option. Allow customers to pay quickly, securely and conveniently ahead of time, and from any location. Give customers the ability to safely provide deposits or payments for parts, vehicles or warranties without having to come down to the dealership or give out credit information.
BEFORE OR AFTER HOURS. Not every customer is able to work within your hours. You can provide Mobile Check-in options to allow customers to comfortably confirm appointments and provide extra details or concerns the night before their appointment. Provide options to collect after hours pay
It’s easy to see that there is a whole new world of technologies available. Technology that can help increase productivity and customer service. Technology that can elevate your customer experience, and in turn increase CSI scores and ROI. Dealerships who embrace these digital and mobile technologies can improve in two major areas. First, it will make all of your dealership processes run more efficiently and profitably. Second, it will drastically improve the customer experience and let your customers know that your dealership is forward thinking.
Investing in your customers and improving their experiences with your dealership will ultimately benefit customer retention and loyalty across all your dealership departments. And that is a very good reason to embrace the digital and mobile future!