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From: Jared Hamilton
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Paige Donnelly

Paige Donnelly Owner

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Delivery Specialists: Helpful or Hurtful?

A recent trend for dealerships has been to hire in a "delivery specialist", someone whose sole purpose is to help deliver vehicles efficiently to customers, including helping set up the customer's phone and in-vehicle technology before they leave the lot. This has come in response to CSI scores being negatively affected by a customer's technology experience at the dealership, and the concept itself clearly has great intentions, and the customer's best interest in mind! As a matter of fact, Cox Automotive found in a recent study, "4 Truths of Connected Retail", that customers actually want to spend more time on the delivery of the vehicle, specifically to learn the vehicle technology.

However, there can be a few problems with hiring a delivery specialist for your dealership. I recently had a conversation with Laurie Foster, founder of Foster Strategies Group LLC and an experienced professional with 20 years in the automotive industry. As we discussed the topic, Laurie brought up a great point: customers want to feel taken care of and like they are of importance to the dealership, and although it would seem that a delivery specialist would help showcase the fact that your dealership wants the customer to have the best experience possible, it can instead come off to the customer that they are simply being passed off so that the sales associate can move on to the next sale. This "passing of the baton" can leave a bad taste in customers' mouths, especially if they have grown to like and build a relationship with their sales rep (as they should!). Another Cox Automotive study, the "2018 Service Industry Study", highlights the fact that one of the best ways to increase customer retention is to simply obtain the customer's trust. A customer's trust in their sales representative is likely diminished when they realize the sales associate won't even be present for the delivery of their new vehicle, which they undoubtedly spent a lot of time working on together.

Another negative aspect of hiring a delivery specialist is the cost. To hire another employee full time at your dealership, when the current market calls for reducing unnecessary expenditures, is obviously a questionable move. According to ZipRecruiter, an immensely popular job aggregator, "as of May 6, 2019, the average annual pay for a Delivery Specialist in the United States is $29,933 a year". An infographic from ZipRecruiter's website is shown below:

From ziprecruiter.com

 

What is the best solution, then, in regards to the customer complaints regarding lack of information and instruction on in-vehicle technology? Get your entire sales staff up to snuff on in-vehicle technology and infotainment. Eliminate the need for a delivery specialist entirely, by having confidence in your sales team that they are capable and excited about presenting new technologies to customers.

Visit www.emeraldinfotainmentspecialists.com for more information on educating your staff on infotainment systems, and preparing them to be able to properly demonstrate these systems to their customers.

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