Dealerships, that weren't all in on digital, had their hands forced through COVID-19.
Dealerships across the nation have had to take a critical look at their business. From changing roles to new technology all of these areas have been disrupted during the pandemic. One role in particular is that of the BDC. The primary job of this person was to schedule an appointment and answer base level questions. With the sales process happening almost purely online, the BDC role is now responsible for much more of the car selling process. Not only did this role change, but the dealership work week was also disrupted. Gone are the days of multiple sales associates in the dealership from 9 am to 9 pm. Customers are now scheduling virtual appointments.
There have been many positive changes, one dealership was keeping showrooms open until 6 pm and if the sales associates didn't have an appointment they could leave at 5:30. This turned out to be a great experience for both the employees and customers. For customers, there wasn't the pressure of being hounded as soon as they walked into a showroom. Sales associates had their appointments and knew exactly who they were talking to. Leading employees to feel like they got their time back. Dealers soon began to understand that they were selling almost the same number of cars with a more efficient business model. Many dealerships even brought back their top tier sales staff, created a schedule that was more conducive to them and their performance has been trending upward.
Dealers don't have the luxury of time. They are ramping marketing efforts back up as their states and regions reopen, while implementing new technology (Google analytics, SEO, digital ads) instead of just spending money on the half page black and white ad in Sunday's paper or the Saturday morning radio ad. Customers are now expecting dealerships across the nation to be able to deliver a virtual and touch-less sales and service process. With more than half (53%) of automotive internet shoppers using a mobile device in their quest for automotive information this is a necessity for dealers.
We recommend all of our clients analyze what tools and offerings they currently have. And begin to identify current and potential weak points in their new business process.
Start with meeting the needs of your current customer. Ensure that they understand your COVID-19 process and the tools and systems your dealership has in place to service them. Once you have identified these areas carefully examine your sales process. You may find that you have a gap in your new sales process and are in a need of a program/software to assist you. Examine your dealership as a whole, if you are
faced with a second wave of COVID-19 do you have the necessary tools to battle the storm?
We recommend investing in cloud-based solutions. This allows for safe access for your entire staff from remote locations. Carefully analyzing each aspect of your business will allow for a secure and seamless process for you customers and staff.