If you haven’t noticed, a revolution is happening in our society. More and more businesses are going paperless. Airlines issue boarding passes via, email, text message or through a mobile app. Sporting and entertainment tickets are increasingly delivered via email or through a mobile app. Most credit card companies and banks send electronic statements and incentivize customers to go paperless. The list goes on.
Why are these companies doing this? Because it saves them money and it’s more convenient for the customer!
How many storage areas does your dealership need to maintain the mounds of documents between sales and service, while remaining compliant? All those signed contracts, repair orders, invoices, etc., add up. And you must put them someplace, protect them from floods and fire. In addition, let’s not forget the rising cost of paper.
I’ve spoken to plenty of dealers and service managers seeking to go entirely paperless in their service drives by the end of 2018. They want the ability to email invoices and receipts and are even looking at installing kiosks in their service waiting areas for customers to arrange their own shuttle rides.
Consumers increasingly use apps to make their lives more convenient. For example, some large hairdressing chains have the option to check-in prior to showing up; in effect, reserving the customer’s place in a virtual line.
Go to Nordstrom, or an Apple store, and buy something. The sales rep can ring up your purchases, accept payment on a mobile device and email you your receipt. This makes the transaction much faster, more efficient and saves the business money. You no longer have to wait for the receipt to print, or for the printer to run out of ink or paper, making the wait even longer!
The future is already upon us. The automotive industry is slowly coming around with technologies allowing some paperless transactions -- but it’s not quite there yet. Eventually, consumers will require these interactions to be done electronically – as that is what they can do everywhere else they shop and receive service. Dealerships will either be ready for that permanent mind-shift or find themselves scrambling to catch up.
Which group do you want your dealership to be in?