Depending on your perspective, it’s never been easier, or more difficult, to run a dealership. On the one hand, dealers are struggling with a stubborn labor shortage problem and a tough job market, along with changes to automotive legislation, vehicle inventory shortfalls (especially new-vehicle inventory), and perhaps even their own organizational performance shortcomings. On the other hand, we are living at a time when dealers have access to an abundance of management tools and auto sales training programs to help boost car sales, improve the sales process, and even improve business relations. Today, there’s a CRM solution and dealer management system to suit almost any size dealership. And if it’s car sales training you want for your staff, there are plenty of options, both online and in-person.
There’s an app for that
Whether you’re focused on the customer experience, sales management, strategic marketing or an improvement in the operation of the service department, there’s an app for that. From sales and marketing tools to applications that can help with staff management or auto sales training, you can find solutions that will help your store and your staff take your business to the next level. Today’s dealers have options. If you don’t like one dealership management system, there’s always another DMS system to choose from. Moreover, today’s CRM management tools, like Salesforce, can help you make sense of your customer database in order to improve the customer relationship scenario in your store, and help your sales team boost customer satisfaction and customer retention. Consumer behavior can be finicky, which is why it’s important to use all the tools available in order to provide the kind of customer support that fosters customer loyalty, and keeps them coming back for the next service appointment, the next tire season changeover, and eventually, the next sale.
The business office
Today’s savvy consumers expect a lot from the dealership experience, including when they’re in your business office. Marketing campaigns will attract consumers to your store, but they’ll only come back if the entire sales process (including F&I) leaves them with a good feeling. So when discussing car financing and car insurance, remember that you’re really working in the service sector. You might be selling vehicle financing, and outlining the recommended maintenance plan, but does your customer walk away feeling sold or served?
Finally, as our industry continues to struggle with a chronic lack of new and used vehicles to sell, you can expect your service department to continue working overtime to keep up with demand. Here again, technology can help. With the assistance of a quality inventory management system, you can be certain that your staff will be able to order parts and keep inventory levels at an optimum so that when customers come in for a repair, they won’t have to wait long for the part to arrive, or worse yet, you won’t have to turn them away because you can’t get the part you need to fix their vehicle. Spare part inventory management is a science, and your service department team can succeed if they’re equipped with the right tools for the job.