COVID Taught Us To Keep Thinking.
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by CDK Global | 4 June 2021

COVID Taught Us To Keep Thinking.

How something as big as a global pandemic ultimately affects business takes years to assess — but as our industry has learned, waiting that long to adapt is not an option. Change was essential in 2020. In 2021, things are different, but the demand for change remains.

As is often the case, those changes are largely consumer-driven for the process of purchasing a car. That has created more demand for advancements in automotive technology than ever before — not only regarding how they’re powered, but how they’re serviced and sold.

The rapid transformation to touchless car sales has taught us that the brainpower behind a business is a vital resource. Our industry scrambled to reevaluate business strategies, processes and investments in order to keep up with the needs of customers. That was step one. But for dealerships finding success during the pandemic — and those still catching up — the next steps are crucial.

Adapting for a new retail experience

With a more contained COVID situation spreading across the country, automotive retailers are bound to experience an increase in showroom visits while maintaining a need for modern retailing solutions. As the spectrum of customer experience demands widens, it’s no time to take off your thinking cap. Change is here to stay. What can you do to be ready for more? Start by thinking about the many strides made over the past year in optimizing dealerships for touchless retailing.

If you’re doing it right, the car-buying journey is a quick, easy and comfortable process for your customers. Many dealers have found integrated DMS solutions facilitate a faster, smoother buying experience and offer penny-perfect calculations that build trust with consumers. If you’re doing it wrong, today’s customers are likely to avoid your dealership altogether.

What if you haven’t made the changes necessary to meet today’s modern retailing market? It’s not too late. But you can set aside any plans to revert back to pre-COVID processes. That’s going backward when it’s time to continue forward.

Facing a new set of challenges

Meeting the customer demand for touchless auto sales was a good start. But going touchless, by itself, can’t fix a flawed system.

Optimizing your dealership for success means doing more. The status quo simply does not translate to today’s market, and it’s no surprise that processes that failed in a traditional retail environment are now failing in a touchless environment. It’s imperative for dealerships to continue to evolve. The dealerships finding the most success today are establishing permanent process change that is embraced by not only car shoppers, but employees on the floor, behind the desks and in the Service lanes.

How an objective evaluator can help

An outside eye is necessary to get a better perspective on operating at your full potential. Consultants help identify opportunities for improvement with data, analytics and insights by reviewing these critical areas:

Operations
Are you implementing best practices to your processes?

Business Office
Is your ROI on point?

Sales
How can your sales improve?

CDK Performance Consulting touches all areas of the dealership, aligning people, processes and technology by implementing best practice processes. We identify workflow opportunities and coach Sales and Service employees on product utilization. Now is the time to define dealership goals. Through benchmarks and metrics, we can help track your progress over time while identifying areas of need and help implement a culture that drives behavior for predictable results while addressing departmental challenges.

At any stage of change, CDK Performance Consulting is here to help you take advantage of lessons learned. With more optimization in place, the traction gained during the pandemic can be sustained, and permanent shifts in behavior and process can set dealerships up for long-term success. Thinking ahead means you can be less reactive, more proactive — and a lot more profitable.

The pandemic proved our industry can adapt fast, but it also revealed we have other problems. It’s time to prove we’re smart enough to think ahead and make the changes that matter. To figure out what you should fix now, look to CDK Performance Consulting for the insider insights you need. Contact us today.