Your dealership’s performance is driven by smart leadership, adaptable technology, and powerful strategic partnerships. In today’s volatile market—with shifting customer buying habits and demands—the dealerships willing to move fast and adapt with new technology will meet these needs first. Fortunately, with Performance Management, dealers are discovering a trusted partner in their corner to help them keep up, and even exceed, these expectations. Cox Automotive Performance Managers are dedicated, field-tested professionals with years of high-level dealership experience assigned to your dealership, standard, when you partner with our Dealer Software Solution offerings. Here’s how Performance Managers are helping our partners meet the needs of today’s automotive buyer.
Adopting a virtual sales approach was a move that many dealers made during the first few weeks of March and April as social distancing and safety regulations impacted the way buyers could access the dealership. But, people still needed access to your service department and your business needed to find a new operating model in order to function and market to potential future buyers. The economy has stabilized and people may feel more confident about visiting your dealership, yet a “return to normal” may not be in your immediate future. According to a Cox Automotive COVID-19 Consumer and Dealer Impact Study, 71% of shoppers want to do more of the purchasing process online since the last time they bought a car.
…But Not Going Alone
Dealers who were able to provide digital services for their customers were already at an advantage when the pandemic struck. For some dealers, having a Performance Manager in their corner to ensure they could meet and exceed expectations meant they were able to keep the lights on. One dealership, Steven Nissan, was able to do more. “In April, we broke a used record by adapting our internet processes and staying dialed into our CRM and followed it up by breaking the same records consecutively in May and June,” According to Jake Sodikoff, Dealer Principal Owner, ”We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the reporting and strategizing conversations we shared with (our Performance Manager). VinSolutions has been a valuable resource in assisting us with navigating the digital landscape and ever-changing environment.”
Unlocking Your Hidden Technology Potential
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, dealerships and businesses faced uncertainty and fear. Getting over the initial panic may have been the first step, but once dealers were able to find the calm within the storm, Director of Performance Manager for Xtime Darrel Furguson and his team had a clear message for dealers, “No matter how impacted your business has been, the use of technology is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.” In order to help dealers unlock the technology, tools, and potential within the software driving their business, Darrel’s team found ways to connect virtually with their dealer partners. Pre-COVID-19, his team would often travel to conduct in-person, high-impact assessments to help dealers get the most of their technology. “We’re now 100% virtual when it comes to meeting with our dealers, but we were well-prepared to make the shift. At 75% virtual and 25% travel-wise, our team was ready.” His team has also organized numerous best-practice training webinars to help everyone stay up-to-speed on the latest updates. “The level of interest is changing radically, too,” he explains. “Owners and leadership are now really dialed into these calls to get the most out of training.” And his team is committed to helping dealers discover more profitability. “Our tools are perfect for this new level of technological service. Understanding that providing a more touchless service experience can be profitable, that repair orders and dollars per RO have increased dramatically, and that dealers are seeing more business despite the pandemic…” It’s almost like a silver lining.
Rolling Out New Innovations to Help You Deliver Your Best
There’s a difference between surviving an economic downturn and thriving in the midst of a challenge. Director of Performance Management at Dealertrack DMS Randy Wilson knows in order to be a successful dealership his Performance Managers have to make it their mission to aim higher. After all, when the pandemic hit, he knew the DMS would play a crucial role in his dealer partners’ success. His team worked to develop new integrated solutions that work with the DMS, while building solid processes and best-practices that improved performance and efficiency. With online tools and resources, meetings and webinars, his team was on-hand when they couldn’t be on-site. And when it came to rolling out new DMS integrations, Randy states, “every dealership has unique needs, so simply handing over a complicated, one-size-fits-all system would be a heavy lift.” When his team helped launch Critical Analytics for the DMS, it was up to the Performance Managers to ensure dealers hit their customized, targeted goals with improved sales, accounting, and reporting analytics features. After all, business may have changed during the last six months, but Randy states, “reporting didn’t just go away—it became paramount!”
The rapid shift to a digital dealership happened quickly. In the last six months, buyers are able to shop, service, and purchase vehicles from your business. And your dealership can now carry these opportunities into the future. As you learn and discover new ways to optimize your technology, leverage the operational expertise of your Performance Managers and thrive.