Dealership Principal Owners and Operators are eager for a fresh return to business. And, just like you, customers are hopeful that a return to business-as-usual will signal a return to ‘normalcy.’ But, reimagining the road to the sale will require new ways of thinking and doing business that allow you and your team to safely interact with the public, manage inventory with technology, and make the digital shift from the sales floor to the virtual showroom. And, with two out of three car shoppers more likely to buy a vehicle 100% online (according to a 2020 Cox Automotive report1), dealerships have a lot of catching up to do. Are you ready?
We’ve compiled a dealership playbook series to help guide your business as you ReImagine the Road to the Sale. To get started, here are the Top Four Steps to Drive your Dealership’s Digital Transformation:
Measure Your CRM Metrics
Bringing your sales team back online—even if they’ve operated remotely for the past few weeks—offers an opportunity to assess skills and approach. This is also an excellent chance to review your Customer Retention Management software processes. Many of the tools needed to drive digital transformation already exist within your CRM. The ability to access key information about your customers, respond quickly to new leads, and access the CRM on mobile tools is critical now as dealers face social distancing and restricted access to the showroom. But the reality is, having these tools in place, measuring their efficacy, and building processes and training within your sales team will build a fast, responsive, and high-performing sales team (that you can measure) in the future, too.
Put Your Customer Front and Center
As people emerge from the shelter-in-place orders from spring 2020, your dealership may or may not see a rush of shoppers on your showroom floor. It’s extremely important to offer multiple ways for buyers to visit your dealership, view your showroom inventory, or interact with your sales team. Making sure to regularly audit customer sentiment is the best way to identify steps within your sales process that need improvement. Identifying the opportunities you can implement within your sales process, today, will help strengthen your team members’ skills for the future.
Utilize Technology Tools and Processes
Many dealers have been forced to rapidly pivot into the digital age due to social distancing restrictions seemingly overnight. While others, who have invested in customer-friendly technology integrations hit the ground running when they were forced to limit their face-to-face interactions. Wherever your business falls on this spectrum, the good news is that it’s easier to make this digital transformation than you might think. Self-service options now offer safety and great customer experiences such as online service and payment processing, self check-in capabilities, and live service progress tracking. Not only has technology leveled-up the ability for your Fixed Operations team to safely do their jobs, you can now offer the most convenient solutions that outshines your competition.
Lean On your Digital Partners for Training
If a lack of customer engagement has your sales team going ‘stir-crazy,’ don’t panic. At this point, the stress of social distancing has caused many businesses to struggle, people are feeling isolated, and others are simply ready to forget this whole thing ever happened. Just remember, how you choose to return to work might look different depending on the unique circumstances of your particular region. But, you certainly don’t need to do this alone. You’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and money into your digital advertising budget, as well as your dealership technology and systems. It’s time to call upon your partners and ask for their assistance. In many cases, there have been assets developed specifically to position your business for growth. Online training and learning programs are available for your remote team members, as well as anyone who has taken on a new role or more responsibility. As you implement new processes for the ‘new normal,’ make sure that you are keeping everyone up to date on changes, rules, and processes. But, as always, call on your technology partners for assistance.
This is a tremendous time of change for the automotive industry. And, with great change, comes opportunity for you and your sales team. The road to success will be filled with twists and turns. But, Reimagining the Road to the Sale is your chance to rebuild for a bright future.