While retail today looks different than it did just a few weeks ago, people are still shopping. Customers and businesses alike are adjusting to our new environment, with online orders for everything, no contact pick-ups, and very little face-to-face interaction.
Dealerships are a part of this new retail environment, and many of your customers still want to buy a car under these new circumstances. And even if they are planning to delay their purchase a bit, customers are doing their research on the best options online – and even starting deals remotely – now.
Working car deals remotely isn’t just new for your dealership staff; it is new for your customers too. Just as your staff need certain tools and capabilities to be able to work deals at a safe social distance, your customers need the information and tools to shop – and buy – remotely as well. Here a few things to make sure you give your customers for the best remote buying experience possible.
Consistent Communication Across Channels
Regardless of how state and local regulations are affecting your operations or how your store is using digital retailing tools, consistent communication with your customers is key to the success of remote deals. Whether you’re texting, sharing videos or video chatting – all great ways to reach your customers right now – you should clearly explain new processes for remote vehicle purchase and socially distant delivery.
To ensure that your customers don’t have to start over every time they communicate with your dealership, make sure every customer interaction is entered into the CRM. Your hours and staff might be in flux, and logging every customer interaction in the CRM enables your customers to pick up where they left off – regardless of which salesperson or manager they spoke with previously. Make sure every text is sent using an integrated tool like Connect Texting, and take notes about any video chats you have with customers outside of the CRM.
You should also audit all your auto-responses and make sure that they are aligned with your current operating model. You don’t want to confuse your customers with auto-responses with outdated information about when your doors are open, how customers should contact you, and what they need to do next to keep the deal moving.
A streamlined online shopping process is critical to your customers being able to shop and buy remotely. Digital retailing tools are a big part of that, as they provide customers a way to quickly get customized offers and your team a way to quickly understand your customers’ needs.
But the streamlined shopping processes that digital retailing enables cannot live and die on your dealership’s website. If your customers spent time filling out forms and customizing their payment options online, they are going to want that work to be recognized by your dealership. Don’t push them away by ignoring all that hard work when your salesperson calls to follow up.
This is where a digital retailing solution that integrates with your CRM, like Cox Automotive Digital Retailing integrates with Connect CRM, becomes very important to providing a good experience for your customers. With these integrated tools, your salespeople know exactly where customers are in the deal-making process, and they can more easily provide recommendations that streamline the shopping experience.
It goes without saying that price is important; it always has been and always will be. But customers are especially likely to be price sensitive during these unpredictable times. Now more than ever, your customers need to feel confident that they are getting a competitive price before they can move forward with a remote deal.
Tools like Connect Desking, which integrates with Connect CRM to streamline the deal-making process, and Rates & Residuals, which provides current manufacturer incentives alongside bank rates, help ensure that you’re providing your customers with the best financing options available to fit their unique needs.
Clear Next Steps
Because buying a car remotely is so new to most customers, throughout the entire process, your customers need to know what is coming next. They are likely to have a lot of questions, from your showroom hours to the measures you’re taking to sanitize your vehicles. At every step of the remote deal process, overcommunicate your dealership’s processes, tools and next steps to give your customers the confidence and peace of mind they need to work their car deal remotely.
For more information on the best ways to work with your customers in today’s environment, please contact your Performance Manager and visit the VinSolutions Business Continuity Tools & Resources hub.
For the months of April and May 2020, Cox Automotive Retail Solutions will provide a 50% discount on our Retail Solutions Dealer Subscription Product fees that include VinSolutions.
How is your team proactively identifying which customers might be in the market right now? In this webinar, you’ll learn how to find and segment customers, utilize the right reports and prioritize and respond to your best leads efficiently and effectively.