Like every aspect of our lives, the rapid technology evolution and development has been transforming the world of auto dealerships. This is resulting in material changes in every step of the auto sale process as well as the experience for both the consumer and auto dealer.
In this article we take a look at what some of those changes have been and how auto dealers are responding to the challenges and opportunities presented by technology changes.
Car finance is often a crucial component of an auto sale. In years gone by these credit applications were written out by hand and faxed of to a credit analyst, often with follow-up conversations via telephone. Contracts were detailed documents that had to be signed and data collection often took days. Today credit scoring can be done quickly online, with instant messaging the preferred way of communicating with the relevant executive so that customers can be given an instant outcome on their credit application, speeding up the purchase process.
CRM systems have long been an expensive marketing tool that were primarily used by the finance sector, but changing technology has made auto dealer CRM systems much more accessible to businesses of all sizes in all sectors. No longer to auto sales dealers have to try and remember to write down customer names and contact details, today modern, integrated CRM systems not only improve data collection but also enable the delivery of integrated marketing campaigns that can drive sales. Social media has also changed the way that you can communicate with your target customers about new deals or special offers – no longer do you have to mail out letters or brochures, you can simply send a tweet or share a video about the vehicles that you have available.
Manual inventory management used to take hours and often required a subjective vehicle appraisal to determine vehicle ageing. Today there are a range of simple to use systems that have transformed the inventory management process.
Service and support
CRM systems are not only for sales leads and closing deals – an important component of any auto dealer is the follow up service relationship with your customers. Technology is now available that can deliver all the relevant customer and vehicle data to the service team instantly that the customer drives into the service area.
Expensive-to-print brochures that are soon out of date are now a thing of the past. Devices such as iPads, smartphones, and tablets are now empowering sales people to have dynamic conversations with media rich demonstrations of the features of each vehicle. This is technology that customers are used to interacting with in every aspect of their lives and by beginning initial discussions with this type of technology you can quickly begin to collect data and feed it into your CRM and credit approval systems – all of which will help you to progress the sale and help to find the right car for the customer.
How has your auto dealership responded to technology changes in the industry? Make sure that you are not stuck in the past but investing for the future.