Updating the infrastructure behind key technological tools is an important part of modernizing any business – this includes auto dealerships. A new generation of shoppers is on the rise, with an expectation of convenience – up-to-date tech tools can deliver the easy experience they're looking for. When dealerships neglect their IT infrastructure, they may find these self-motivated millennial buyers aren't satisfied.
Tech-savvy shoppers are numerous
A Brandwatch report on automotive customer makeup noted that over the course of a decade, the demographics of car buyers will change. Four-tenths of new vehicle purchasers will be millennials, and as many as 94 percent of these young people collect information online when they shop. Much of the transition to the new digital era will fall on the shoulders of original equipment manufacturers, but dealerships shouldn't let themselves be left behind.
According to Cox Enterprises research, the typical modern shopper looking for a car isn't just spending time online – by the time he or she reaches out to dealerships in person, the buying journey is already more than half complete. It's then up to dealership personnel to ensure these potential buyers' attention doesn't fade as they complete the purchase process.
Avoid infrastructure mistakes
A dealership with a weak IT setup may end up losing customers' interest. Delivering a smooth and positive customer experience means being ready to deliver answers on demand. Technology makes this possible. The following are a few common areas where dealerships don't deliver optimal performance, with potential negative effects on customer attentiveness and loyalty.
Ensure fast,up-to-date wireless throughout the dealership:
Information is valuable, and data must flow freely throughout the dealership. Representatives on the sales floor should be able to call up answers to questions on customer questions immediately, service technicians need to connect to manufacturers and financial personnel must be able to connect with banks. Weak Wi-Fi coverage makes these everyday activities unnecessarily slow and difficult.
Don't settle for poor internet connection:
There's one thing that a strong Wi-Fi connection can't fix: Good coverage isn't worth much if the dealership's internet connection is not optimal to begin with. Leaders should ensure they're working with ideal partner organizations, and that they're getting the best deal available.
Prioritize speedy phone call flow (and routing to the correct person):
While online shopping gets the lion's share of attention today, there's nothing better than an old-fashioned phone call to get clear and immediate information. When dealerships neglect their phone infrastructure, customers trying to reach the right person – or employees communicating with other departments – may end up frustrated and unable to connect. This can slow down the overall process, leading to unnecessary downtime and can certainly hinder a dealership's customer service reputation.
The necessity of IT assessment
Determining whether these capabilities are up to standards is an essential process, and therefore one that demands the focus and attention of an expert, third-party IT assessment. The value of an assessment comes from its comprehensive nature. Dealerships need to rethink and upgrade any weak links in their IT value chains. From hardware to software and internet service, each high-tech system is an essential part of the modern auto sales ecosystem. An assessment lets dealers know where they stand.