Thinking about last week and digesting everything that was presented at Digital Dealer is exhausting. I looked at a ton of products, and was a great week overall making connections on a vendor and dealership level. There were a lot of really good products there and caught not only my eye, but a lot of dealer's eyes in the sea of vendors in the exposition hall, but any solution is only how great you use that product.
Thinking on all of the sessions that I attended, they all had a similar underlying theme. The bottom line theme comes down to processes. There's a process for social media, a process for online marketing, a process for first responses and follow up, and a process for reputation management. Everything has a process. If your processes aren't there and not being executed, you won't see the success that you were promised by the vendor and you will fail. But it doesn't end there. Have them in writing so you can watch the flow of things over time and make sure that all of the tasks are being completed according to plan. No matter how great the product is, even if it is the best thing since sliced bread, it may be horrible with your dealership because of your process that is in place or lack there of.
Every dealer has different processes, but you have to find the sweet spot and find the processes that works for you. It will take some trial and error time, but in the long run, it will all be worth it. You have to come up with a good Internet process, good follow up process for unsold showroom traffic, unsold I-leads, unreachable customers that have submitted for info over the Internet. Not one process will work for every dealership. It may have the same concept or be similar, but they will be different in every store.
The process has to be unique to the customer to make you stand out from others. It will make the experience for the consumer great if you have the right processes in place. I heard in the last week that it's not the best price that matters, it is the best experience that will get you the business. It all comes down to how you handle the Internet lead or incoming phone call. It's all your process. People will travel over 30 miles when the process is flawless and be executed correctly.
If you don't have a process in a certain area, get one. Collaborate with managers within the dealership that are involved in that area of focus and talk about it. Let that process work for 30-60 days and reevaluate it and make sure things are happening correctly and is being executed correctly. If the process that was decided on isn't working as planned, steer the ship back onto course and make changes on the fly as needed. Once you have all of the processes in place, you will have the success you are looking for.
What products did you see that can take your dealership to the next level and have a clean process with it?