Reliability makes a great impression in the auto retail industry. The cars your dealership sells should run consistently year in and year out – and the service on your sales floor should be just as consistent. When your dealership runs like a well-oiled machine, and customers can move smoothly from learning about a new vehicle to signing the paperwork and driving away, you gain a serious advantage over competitors that don’t offer such a smooth and positive experience.
In today’s tech-saturated sales climate, improving auto retail often means tuning up your dealership’s technology. Even a largely brick-and-mortar business such as car sales must contend with the increasing speed and consumer expectations spurred by improving digital infrastructure. When IT solutions aren’t up to par, the strain can show – and lessen the auto-buying experience.
The following are three areas where smooth operations are important – but far from automatic. Working on these is a way to drastically improve your dealership’s appeal to customers.
1. Financing and insurance
Even one faulty step in the auto purchasing process can hurt a customer’s buying experience. The finance and insurance processes may go overlooked, until they suffer breakdowns that weaken a dealership’s appeal. It’s better to be proactive and improve these functions now than to wait until they’ve caused sales to suffer.
When infrastructure is weak, from phones to internet connection, the process of connecting with banks to complete a buyer’s financing process can take longer than expected. Not only should your dealership have strong internet and phone connections, it should have a third party providing service to ensure optimal uptime and minimize breakdowns.
2. Service and maintenance
When shoppers are browsing for cars, they may be willing to take their time, learn about the vehicles and make a considered decision. When they’re coming in to get regular service or emergency repairs, they simply want their cars back as quickly as possible. Speed, efficiency and performance are critical to enhancing the experience for service customers – and cutting-edge IT can help.
As Automotive News recently reported, service departments are using augmented reality technology to bridge the gap between technicians working on vehicles and centralized departments run by the original equipment manufacturers. When live streams of video and data can flow between cars’ onboard computers, headsets worn by mechanics and OEM headquarters, even the most complex repairs become faster and more precise. Such an advanced system can be scuttled, however, by a weak internet connection – these operations need significant bandwidth.
3. Consistent online-offline experience
When your dealership has access to accurate, consistent customer data – taken from interactions both in person and through online channels – you have a better chance of impressing today’s connected audiences. Capgemini recently reported the future of auto sales will include seamless links between channels.
With easy and convenient access to online sites, mobile apps and more, consumers today don’t make much distinction between online and in-person shopping. When your dealership can use data from online interactions to customize consumer interactions, you can live up to expectations. When such data isn’t available, you’ll make an impression – but not a good one. An IT assessment from Helion can tell you whether your technology is up to par in the modern auto retail world.