It’s 2020 and your dealership should be looking forward to the new year. With a new year ahead of you, your staff is most likely reviewing the way business was being conducted last year and considering options for improvement and growth in the new year.
Keeping up with current technologies and staying ahead of your competition can be a bit challenging, but very necessary. Staying competitive and current will help keep your dealership strong and your customers happy. A new year should bring fresh ideas, better processes and new ways to enhance your automotive dealership.
With that in mind, here are 6 great ways to improve your dealership’s communication, enhance your overall customer service experience and customer ratings, as well as streamline your processes and productivity.
Customers have indicated for years that their preferred method of communication is through text messaging. If you’re not offering texting as a form of communication to your customers, you may not be listening to what they want. Did you know that 98% of text messages are read compared to only 22% of emails? The numbers aren’t much better for voice messages, with about 33% of customers listening to business related messages, and that number dropping down to only 18% from phone numbers that customers don’t readily recognize.
If you want to get a hold of your customers quickly and relay timely service updates, the best communication method is text messaging. And giving your customers the ability to send a quick text to their advisor to communicate with them will add to their customer experience and satisfaction.
2. MOBILE PAYMENT
Your customers are busy, on the move and work irregular hours. It’s important that you offer them payment options that work with their schedules and time lines. Giving your customers the ability to pay ahead of their vehicle pick up can alleviate that 5pm rush. This can free up both the customer’s and the advisor’s time, allowing more time to discuss the repairs and next maintenance recommendations. Providing a mobile payment option also allows customers to pick up their vehicles after hours or make a down payment without having to come down to the dealership. Plus, providing a secure way of making that payment keeps both your staff and your customers safe and compliant with strict privacy laws.
“Providing a secure way of making mobile payments keeps both your staff and your customers safe.”
3. REWARDING YOUR CUSTOMERS
A happy customer is a returning customer. As you know, it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. An increase in customer retention of merely 5% can equate to an increase in profit of at least 25%. This is because repeat customers are more likely to spend more with your brand — 67% more, to be exact — which results in your business having to spend less on operating costs.
A great way to ensure your customers are happy and keep coming back is to provide loyalty rewards and incentives. Reward dollars can be earned as a percentage based on customer service spending, or you can reward dollars to customers as a thank you, incentive or adjustment. With dollars waiting in their account, customers will be sure to book future service visits or purchase their next vehicle with your dealership to take advantage of the savings.
4. EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
Providing seamless and pain free transportation options for your customers is no longer a dealership perk, but a necessity. With today’s increasing busy schedules, customers need to be able to get on with their day and still be productive, even without their vehicle. Keeping your shuttle and loaner vehicle departments organized and running smoothly can be an overwhelming job, especially during peak hours and busy seasonal times. It’s wise to invest in the proper software to track and schedule your shuttles and reserve and book your loaner vehicles. Communicating transportation details to customers in a quick and straightforward manner is key to keeping everyone organized, on time and happy.
“Communicating transportation details to customers is key to keeping everyone organized, on time and happy.”
5. INFORM AND ENTERTAIN
Digital signage is the easiest and most effective way of modernizing your facility, keeping your customers informed and providing a level of entertainment — and all while staying environmentally friendly. With various options allowing you to showcase current sales and service promotions, display digital menus for pricing or appointments, provide information on dealership services and events, and more, your dealership can keep your customers informed, entertained and up-to-date, all in real-time. The cost and environmental savings by not having to print and reprint posters and signs is an added bonus. The immediacy of being able to change digital content and messages on the fly is also more in tune with today’s busy lifestyles and customer viewing consumption practices.
6. CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT OPTIONS
Your customers are busy and can have very demanding schedules, so dropping off their vehicle for service needs to work with their timing and their deadlines. Dealerships that can provide before hours check in and after hours pick up solutions will definitely stand out from their competition. Providing self-led check in kiosks allow customers who are in a rush, or know exactly what they want, a faster, less stressful option to bringing in their vehicle and getting the repair process started. Secure key lock boxes and kiosks will speed up their check in times and allow a safe and secure way of bringing their vehicle in for service with as little interruption in their day as possible.
“Providing self-led check in kiosk allow customers a faster, less stressful option to bringing in their vehicle for service.”
The start of a new year is a great time to review your dealership’s processes and practices. Doing so will help you to identify any areas where your dealership may have been lacking or areas that definitely could use some improvement. The customer service experience is what will keep your customers coming back and referring you to their friends and colleagues.
Today’s customers are busy and only getting busier, making it more important to ensure proper communication and fast and efficient service options that are convenient and flexible. Make sure your dealership and your staff are ready to embrace and tackle these challenges in 2020 with the proper tools and solutions.
For more information about VenueVision and our full line of dealership solutions, call 866.401.1300 or Book a Demo to see them in action!