3 Min ReadDecember 13, 2023

Speed Up the Car Buying Experience With Modern Retailing

Speed Up the Car Buying Experience With Modern Retailing.

The time it takes between when a customer walks through a dealership’s doors to driving off the lot is crucial to customer satisfaction. A CDK Global survey of shoppers indicated that the expectation is two hours or less in the dealership. Anything beyond that begins to degrade the experience.

Dealers need time and efficiency on their side to meet that two-hour mark while ensuring all questions are answered and customers feel confident with their vehicle purchase. This is particularly important when a customer is sitting right in front of you because that’s when incremental time savings add up.

You can increase efficiency without cannibalizing the customer experience if you focus on these areas.

1. Recruit a Process Champion

One of the most powerful ways to change a process is to enlist a champion to lead the way. Every business has someone like this who’s not afraid to try new things, who willingly helps others, and who leads by example. It’s crucial that you get this person on board because technology tools alone won’t speed deals. In fact, tools used without a process in place can slow down deals.

2. Use Digital Retail Tools All the Way Through the Sales Journey

Your digital retail tool isn’t just for lead capture; it’s a powerful sales tool when you use it correctly. Use the same tool in-store that your customers are using on their couches to boost salesperson productivity and customer satisfaction. The proof will be in the results.

According to NADA, salespeople who use digital retail in the showroom average 16 units sold per month versus 10.8 for those who don’t. Your champion can take the reins with this new process. Once others see results, they’ll be more open to this change.

Luke Smith, general manager at Audi Rocklin explains, “When there is transparency of information and ease of making a car deal … closing ratio goes up, CSI goes up, and of course that transfers into the back end of the deal.”

3. Free Your Desk

When customers must wait for the Desking manager to clear deals, it can eat up a lot of time, especially on busy weekends. A digital retail tool with the proper profitability guardrails can empower salespeople to desk their own deals and free up time.

Mike Ebrahimian, general manager for Sunnyvale Volkswagen in Silicon Valley says, “We used to have a serious bottleneck in the sales process with a line of salespeople at the Sales manager’s desk day in and day out. Now salespeople desk their own deals and managers are free to greet customers and coach their team.”

4. Introduce F&I Early in the Process

Studies have shown when F&I menu options are introduced earlier, it gives the consumer transparency, helps set better expectations, and allows them to move faster through the process once they’re in the F&I office.

Sunnyvale Volkswagen decided to incentivize salespeople to showcase F&I products throughout the digital retail experience. Product penetration jumped 150% and friction between Sales and F&I managers was significantly reduced.

5. Maximize Your Business Development Center (BDC)

With the right tools and processes, your BDC can do much more than just set appointments. Full visibility into what the customer is doing online within the digital retail tool means they can encourage customers to complete more of the process, answer questions as they come up, introduce F&I products and even start deals.

Joel Bassam, director of marketing for Easters Automotive Group says, “There is a lot of power in seeing everything that the customer did online.” Visibility into the customer’s full journey allows the BDC to act on that information so the in-store process can be as fast as handing over the keys.

Get time and efficiency on your side through the combination of internal processes and modern retail technology. Learn more about modern buying and selling and start elevating your customer satisfaction.

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CDK Global
By CDK Global

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