3 Min ReadDecember 4, 2023

Why Process Is as Important as Dealership Technology

Why Process Is as Important as Dealership Technology.

Customers are increasingly vocal about subpar service and they’re taking it online. According to the latest National Customer Rage Survey from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, about 32% of dissatisfied customers shared their unhappiness on social media. That’s more than twice the number reported in 2020.

As dealerships continue to digitize operations and the Net Promoter Score (NPS) becomes more important to attract and win business, it’s important to remember that technology alone can’t deliver an enhanced customer experience. Clunky or disjointed online tools could even make it worse with customers sharing their unhappiness all over the web.

To improve the experience for both customers and employees, modern retail tools must be backed by in-store processes that simplify and speed up buying and selling a car. Let’s look at the steps of an ideal modern sales process that customers will want to praise online.

1. Use an Online-to-In-Store Deal-Building Tool

When your salespeople use the same deal-building platform in-store that customers use online, fantastic things happen. The work customers do online automatically flows to the in-store selling portal so associates know when to reach out to offer help or a test drive. Customers develop trust in the process knowing that their work is being saved and respected. Customers and salespeople work side by side in the store to complete the first pencil, review F&I products and even complete the final paperwork with electronic signatures, if preferred.

2. Connect Your Systems

Ensure that everything is connected: the online experience, your Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), desking, F&I, trade valuation and Dealer Management System (DMS). These connections will reduce friction points and ease the in-store experience.

When solutions are integrated, you won’t have to ask customers to upload information again, repeat steps or start a deal from scratch. The customers start a deal online and that same deal is mirrored in your CRM and desking solution. No rekeying required.

3. Elevate the Trade Walk

A customer has built their deal and now it’s time to evaluate the trade. Elevate the experience by doing the walk with the customer. Use a tablet device to complete the walk-around and snap photos that can be automatically pushed to your trade valuation solution. Use the opportunity to introduce appropriate F&I products and build value. For example, a trade-in vehicle with noticeable wheel damage. Take the opportunity to talk about products that’ll cover repairs on the new vehicle if the same damage happens again.

4. Speed Up the F&I Process

You can shorten the F&I process if the sales associate completes the first pencil side by side with the customer (according to preset dealer parameters) and recommends F&I products. Waiting on F&I was ranked the second most troublesome task of all shoppers surveyed for the CDK Global 2023 Friction Points Study. Further, if a shopper had to wait more than 30 minutes for F&I, their NPS dropped nearly in half. A modern retail process speeds up this last step and allows the F&I Manager to add products, complete the credit app, scan a driver’s license and insurance card, and obtain a signature electronically. No more printing. Documents are signed online and stored securely in the cloud.

5. Rate the Experience

Make it easy for customers to rate their experience before they drive off the lot with a simple question on a tablet: Would you recommend our dealership? This ensures customers don’t forget to rate your dealership, but it also helps you weed out and fix problems before they affect your NPS.

Implement a Modern Sales Process With CDK Global

Technology can improve the car buying and selling experience, but it must be backed by complimentary in-store processes. At CDK Global, our Modern Retail suite connects Digital Retail, CRM, Desking, F&I, and document storage into one customizable solution. This creates a faster, more seamless process from online to in-store to contracting, making it easier to buy and sell.

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