CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
Anyone who runs a business knows that transparency is considered to be a good thing. Transparency is an important part of a company's efforts to improve productivity, boost employee morale and earn customer trust. Yet, to be transparent is apparently easier said than done.
It's a sad fact that auto dealerships are--still, today--repeatedly listed in the Better Business Bureau's Top Ten industries with the most customer complaints. Even if you're an auto dealer who works hard to create one of the most transparent, honest dealerships in town, fighting public perception can be like swimming upstream.
The fact is, people tend to believe what they read more than what they hear from another person. These days, most people read online via a computer or other device. This is where mobile tablets can help.
Incorporating mobile tablets into your dealership processes allows you to present visual information to the customer. Information increases transparency because the customers feel empowered to make their own decision. It's one thing for your service advisor to recommend a service. It's quite another to present the customer with a picture of a part that needs to be replaced and a video that explains why that part is important and gives safety precautions. Seeing really is believing.
Here are three ways that mobile tablets can be used to increase transparency in your dealership:
1) In the service department. Mobile tablets allow service advisors to greet the customer in the service lane, conduct a multi-point inspection, get the customer sign-off and complete the service write-up process on the go. Spending more time with the customer helps to build trust and pave the way for a better upsell process. Customers can view service history along with any recall that may be needed on their vehicle. When a customer sees a checklist of maintenance items with a gradual progression of green to yellow to red, they feel more confident about approving a recommended repair.
2) In the sales department. Mobile tablets shine as a tool that can present visual information such as inventory videos, dealership videos, online reviews and other information that may be used in the decision-making process. Rather than attempt a hard sell, engage your ups by asking them about their needs and then pulling up information on why that vehicle and your dealership are the best solution for their needs.
Mobile tablets can also be used by salespeople to combat showrooming. This is when savvy customers come in to your showroom with smartphones and start checking out your competitors' pricing. If you really want to be transparent, have your salespeople beat these price shoppers at their own game. If a customer starts showrooming, a salesperson could whip out their tablet and search along with the customer, all while guaranteeing the lowest price.
3) In the F&I office. Mobile tablets can greatly reduce the time involved in the F&I process. While your customers are waiting to see the F&I manager, hand them a mobile tablet that allows them to answer questions about their driving habits, view the menu, watch educational videos about products and drag and drop products into a customized package. Your customers will be thrilled because they will save time and feel empowered to make their own decision.
If your dealership hasn't integrated mobile tablets into your processes, now is the time. Increased transparency and customer trust are just two of the many benefits enjoyed by going mobile.