Nathan Elliott

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Dealerships: Make your buying experience as good as Amazon

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 13-Feb-2019 10:50:00

The buyer’s journey and experience has changed thanks to the digital revolution. Customers are spoilt for choice and let’s be honest, they can have the majority of things with a click of a button. It’s all about convenience. So, to keep the customer happy you need to make the searching and purchasing as simple and straightforward as possible. Amazon have nailed this.

This, however, is something we fail to offer in the automotive world, especially when it comes to the car buying experience. Cars.com reported that having limited finance options or giving a poor customer service experience affects 1 in 4 walk-in shoppers. So, consumers want the same experience they have when they shop with Amazon in dealerships, they want a speedy and efficient process so they can drive away in their shiny new toy.

Auto Trader reported that 80% of consumers find the process of buying and selling cars stressful, with more than half claiming to have been put off altogether.

So, where do you start?

When it comes to dealerships the experience starts as soon as your customer walks through the door. Every member of staff needs to be on the same page, by this I mean they all need to be focused on giving the customer a consistent experience throughout their buyer journey. This means delighting them pre, during and post sales. Reception, finance, sales reps and service crew, everyone in essence becomes a salesperson. To implement this, dealerships need to empower the entire team to complement the role of salespeople.

Next, remove any ‘headache’ the customer may have. You want to make the process and experience pain free, so your team need to do their homework. The modern buyer is now armed with so much information they will no doubt have a list of questions and as the ‘expert’ they expect you to answer and solve any queries. This is the ideal opportunity for you to build trust and resolve any issues, so the process truly is headache free.

A 360-degree approach is needed.

Above, I’ve mentioned the face-to-face interactions but what about the other forms of communication? They too need to sync and offer the same level of customer service. A bad online experience might put a potential customer off so they go to your competitor. A generic marketing touch offering them an invitation to a VIP event on new and used cars will go down like a lead balloon if they have just been in recently and put a deposit down on a new one. Remember, every touchpoint counts, so make sure you have the correct procedures and process in place to avoid the examples given.

Time.

Change takes time and so will the above suggestions. Staff will need time and dealers will need to encourage the behaviour. Dealerships need to be more customer focused and embrace the concept of making the car-buying process simple and easy.

Download a copy of the CustomerVue brochure

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Topics: dealerships, buying, dealer software, car buying, sales, customer journey, convenience

Does your DMS Have These Key Features?

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 05-Feb-2019 10:40:00

An effective Dealer Management System has some pretty key features that means your processes are streamlined, your communication is optimised and you’re able to nurture and sell effortlessly.

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Topics: dms, selling, upsell

Drive customer retention with these two loyalty gems

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 28-Jan-2019 11:21:00

A study by DMEautomotive noted customers who develop a habit of maintaining their vehicle at a dealership are 86 times more likely to purchase their next vehicle from you.

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Topics: loyalty, customer experience, customer satisfaction, communication

Understand what your car buyers want when it comes to touchpoints

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 22-Jan-2019 10:01:00

45% of people want face-to-face guidance from a dealer during the car buying journey. The main elements people want guidance with is the vehicle (67%), warrantee and maintenance (68%), and finance options (37%).

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Topics: buying, car purchase, digital, dealer software

When it comes to your CRM, don't make these mistakes

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 17-Jan-2019 10:39:00

You get out of your CRM whatever you put in and without the right usage and processes, your dealership will be wasting resources.

A common mistake with CRM usage, especially in dealerships, is the follow up process.Every conversation and prospect should be recorded in the CRM.

If a conversation is had and not recorded, it might as well not have happened. This is where dealerships can fall down- The Sales team have a lot of conversation daily and there needs to be a record of updates whenever there is progression. This is the only way you can make the most of your CRM- there’s no point booking a sales meeting about a new model and not making a note of it for the rest of the team to see. This is where miscommunication happens, incorrect comms get sent to customers and there’s no consistency.

 

Another mistake is using your CRM to send mass messages. The point of a CRM is to be able to communicate with each individual contact in a way that specifically suits them. Your CRM provides individual profiles for each contact which allows you to tailor your messages and communications. There are so many cases I’ve seen where CRMs are still being used to send the same message to the same person at the same time- this really defeats a lot of the purpose of your CRM. Your CRM should enable you to upsell specific products to the right people and send them personalised touchpoints to nurture them before, during and after the purchase. One size does not fit all.

Your CRM supports you through every stage of the customer journey. A customer has come in to look at a car for the first time? Record it, should you follow up? Assign a task or notification to remind yourself and keep track of their responses. A current customer wants an upgrade? Upsell to them using information found on their record on your CRM. Their profile says they’ve looked at two models before- focus on that, ask them questions, send them relevant and useful information.

Autino’s CustomerLounge enables you to completely tailor your communications. This is a platform that lets you speak to your customer as if they are across the service desk at anytime, anywhere and on the devices they use.

Your customer relationship management system is just that- something that helps you manage and develop the best possible relationships with your customers and prospects. Taking full advantage of every part of your CRM will mean you are consistent, thorough and reacting in real-time. Your CRM can empower you to take control of internal and external communications, improve efficiency and save time and money resources to drive your revenue. The biggest CRM mistake you can make is to not fully utilise the system to reach your goals.

Download a copy of the CustomerVue brochure

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Topics: crm, Customerlounge, technology

Strong aftersales is what develops a dealership's brand

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 16-Jan-2019 11:05:00

With literally hundreds of franchise car dealerships in the UK only, it is difficult for dealers to differentiate themselves from one another. This also means that differentiation is key to stand out, especially with the changing definitions of loyalty. I’ve mentioned this stat before but it’s recent and it well worth considering- AutoLoop carried out a study called “Life After Loyalty – Learning to Embrace Customer Engagement” and found that 60% of millennial customers said they were loyal to a brand, even though they shop elsewhere. This says a lot to dealerships about their retention and means that there is a need to differentiate that is stronger than ever.

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Topics: Aftersales, dealerships, dms

"Car buyers likely to ditch dealers that get their details wrong"

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 08-Jan-2019 10:21:00

I recently read an article that talked about a recent study by Marketing Delivery. It found that 57% of UK motorists said they would be less likely to purchase a new vehicle from a dealership that made an error such as their name or details of their current vehicle.

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Topics: buying, car purchase, digital, dealerships

Millennials will buy cars if you sell to them on their terms

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 03-Jan-2019 10:48:00

Millennials. If you google the term you will get a number of different descriptions but Millennials are people who are born from 2001 onwards. As I’m classed as a generation Y it’s safe to say I feel old! But jokes aside, there is common misconception of Millennials- they are tight! Well Ally Bank reported that millennials are not buying cars less often than baby boomers or members of Generation X. They are saving money for longer periods before purchasing.

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Topics: selling, buying, car purchase, dealerships, millenials, technology, car buying, finance

GDPR and your dealer software

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 18-Dec-2018 10:44:00

The new data protection regulation is just around the corner so everyone’s asking the question “Are you ready?”. Despite being quite ominous, the question is an important one. Dealerships hold a lot of data in their CRMs and DMSs and there needs to be a few changes before the 25th May.

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Topics: gdpr, security, process, dealer software

Customer retention tips for 2019

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 13-Dec-2018 11:19:00

Customer retention is the end game- it’s what all dealerships are looking to nail and this is becoming increasingly hard. Doug Van Sach, AutoLoop’s Vice President, put it perfectly when he said, “the hard truth for dealers is most consumers have redefined what it means to be loyal in the digital age.”

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Topics: customer satisfaction, dealerships, loyalty, technology, retention, customer loyalty, millenials, car buying