Shortening "time at dealership" by having customers do work

Allyn Hane

Just rambling but wonder if anyone else has thought of it this way:

I often have tools pitched to me that are supposed to "save the customer time in the dealership" as that is cited in studies as a pain point in the process. Sounds pretty logical right?

I believe however, there is a big flaw in the thinking of the creators of these tools. That being that most of them basically tell the customer "here dude, you fill out all this 'stuff' at home before you come in, and thus we can reduce your time in the store and make you happy" IOW, we basically tell them, "you need to put in work"

I already posted another thread about DDC's tool called "digital retailing" and there are several pieces to it and you can purchase at various price points, and each addition to the tool actually informs the customer "pre-qualify for credit, save 45 minutes at the store" "value your trade, save 30 minutes at the store" "calcuate a payment, save time in negotiations" etc etc.

I say that this thinking is incorrect. If I'm a customer this is like you saying to me "you want to get out faster Bro, then YOU do all the work on your own because we are slow," and I think that's a slap in the face.

If I'm the customer, about to throwdown a few thousand down payment and sign up for a 5 year committment, I think I should have to do as little work as possible. 

I think it's on us to figure out ways to make the customer experience faster and smoother. Why make the customer put in work?

thoughts?

 

 

 

Linda Loepker

I personally have always wondered about "shortening" the time for the process.

I wouldn't want anything to be rushed personally - 2nd largest purchase of my life!  I want to take my time.

Bob Parrish

I agree with Linda.  The time I need to make a decision is the time "I" need, and that's going to be different with everyone. 

My boss told me once that he wanted people to be in and out of F&I in 20 minutes.  Possible? Yes.  Practical? No.  Some people have questions.  Actually, a lot of people have questions and oh yeah, in that 20 minutes I'm also expected to rock the aftermarket products.

I say take as much time as your guest needs to satisfy their needs.

Bob

Allyn Hane

I agree with you guys for sure. But you are referring to the customer taking time for things like test driving different models, asking questions, etc.

I'm talking about reducing all the "down" time in between all of that. Maybe in your stores there isn't so much of that kind of thing because you have solid processes but in many places, once a customer decides on the car they want, and then agrees on a price, it's a good 4 hours more until they are actually driving away. I think that is where these studies come to the conclusion that "time in dealership" is a pain point. 

I've only worked in automotive since 2012 so I very much remember most of my car buying experiences as an "outsider" and many many of those took upwards ot 4 hours to get through. 

 

Chris K Leslie

You know i've been curious about this myself and actually put together a survey asking car dealer folks what they thought the time frame looks like at their store. The resxults so far are insane. 

In the best case scenerio a customer is bound to spend more than half the day at the dealership. So I am with you. I dont want or need products that will make this longer. I need stuff they will make this shorter. 

 

Linda Loepker

Allyn: 

I'm talking about reducing all the "down" time in between all of that. Maybe in your stores there isn't so much of that kind of thing because you have solid processes but in many places, once a customer decides on the car they want, and then agrees on a price, it's a good 4 hours more until they are actually driving away. I think that is where these studies come to the conclusion that "time in dealership" is a pain point. 

Now I understand what you are saying.  We never have someone wait that long!  As a consumer, I would not wait 4 hours to sign some papers!  Good lord - what do they do for that long?  Why such a long wait?

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