With all but a handful of states under stay-at-home orders, you probably know the importance of being able to work car deals remotely by now. According to the 2020 Cox Automotive COVID-19 Dealer Impact Study, 86% of dealers agree digital retailing solutions give them a competitive advantage.
But do you know how to enable your staff to be as efficient, productive and profitable as possible under this new digital-centric operating model?
With so many big, sweeping changes happening in the automotive retail industry, it can be challenging to keep a handle on the details. The VinSolutions Performance Management team has your back. Here are some key things we’ve seen successful dealership management teams provide their staff to help them work deals remotely.
- The Ability to Work from Outside the Dealership
In normal times, many dealerships have IP security settings in place to keep employees from accessing the CRM if they aren’t at the dealership. If you have staff working at home, make sure you modify those settings so active employees can quickly and easily access the systems they need.
You should also check in with your employees about the devices they are using at home to work. With apps like Connect Mobile, it is totally possible to work from a phone or tablet. If employees are working from a mobile device though, a few simple steps like auto-emailing reports can streamline workflow significantly.
- Leads Routed Correctly
You probably have had to make some difficult decisions when it comes to staffing at your dealership. To maintain business continuity and help your staff work efficiently, it is critical to ensure that your lead processes are aligned with your staffing strategy. One way to do that, and make management easier, is to create employee buckets in your CRM.
By creating separate buckets for active and furloughed employees, you can:
- Ensure new and existing leads are going to people who are actively monitoring and responding.
- More easily monitor and manage employee activity and opportunities.
- Avoid frustrating furloughed employees with CRM notifications they cannot act upon.
- Temporary CRM Processes that Meet Today’s Needs
The CRM processes your salespeople were using a month or two ago are probably not going to work in today’s environment. With Connect CRM, you have the ability to temporarily adjust your processes to accommodate social distancing measures and a reduced staff. Once stay-at-home orders have been lifted and your dealership returns to normal, you can simply delete that temporary process and your CRM processes will return to how they were.
These temporary processes don’t have to be temporary though. Now is a great time to challenge your existing processes and ask yourself how you can incorporate some of these changes moving forward, such as adding more text messaging-based tasks, sending more photos and videos, and encouraging customers to engage with digital retailing tools before they come into the dealership.
- Connected Workflow
Providing your staff with integrated tools has always been important to productivity and efficiency. But into today’s digital-centric selling environment, a connected workflow is more important than ever.
Connect CRM integrates with other key dealership software solutions, such as your Dealer.com website, vAuto and Cox Automotive Digital Retailing, to reduce the amount of manual data entry needed, reduce opportunities for error and keep deals moving quickly. It is especially critical that your digital retailing and desking solutions integrate with your other dealership software today. If you are encouraging every customer to start the process online and work the deal remotely, it is critical to customer satisfaction that every employee is able to see where that customer left off in the process.
- Effective Management
Working from home is tough, and good management is key to helping your employees thrive in these odd times. It all starts with consistent communication. Now is the time to put real thought into how you’re communicating with your teams offsite. Give your staff structure with standing meetings, as well as regular opportunities to talk about challenges and how you can help.
Don’t wait for your team to come to you with roadblocks, though. As managers, there are several reports in Connect CRM that can help you spot opportunities and potential issues more easily, including the Desk Log, the Unanswered Emails and Text Replies Report, the Showroom Visit Log and the Connect Automotive Intelligence Buying Signals dashboard. Reach out to your Performance Manager if you need help accessing any of these reports.
For more information on setting your staff up for success in today’s environment, please reach out to 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.
Join our free webinar to learn CRM strategies that drive efficiency and maximize opportunities in this new sales environment, including modifying lead strategies, keeping customers informed and back-to-business strategies.