The process of shopping for and buying a car has changed dramatically in the last several weeks, and the industry is only going to continue to see more change. According to the Cox Automotive COVID-19 Consumer and Dealer Impact Study, 55% of shoppers are less likely to visit a dealership, and 28% of shoppers are looking to delay their vehicle purchase or lease.
Many dealerships have quickly started adjusting to our new world of social distancing and remote shopping. Nearly half (49%) of dealerships are encouraging customers to complete as many steps as possible online, and 20% are allowing employees to work from home. With the right tools, resources and strategy, dealerships can develop a fully digital mindset that will serve them well in the coming weeks and beyond.
Many of the tools needed to drive this digital transformation are already in your CRM. Here are a few key CRM tools to leverage as you start shifting your dealership to be fully digital.
Your CRM processes can help streamline and automate many of the operations adjustments your dealership is making. Create groups that differentiate which employees are actively checking for and responding to leads, and make sure you adjust your CRM processes to account for all existing leads. Include automatic email and text replies in your processes as a safety net to let customers know your dealership might be delayed in replying.
As more businesses move to a more remote structure, your sales team needs to be able to reach customers from outside the dealership. To minimize disruption to your business, your salespeople need the same access to information as if they were in the store. Ensure your team can reach your CRM and customer information away from the dealership, and encourage them to utilize your CRM’s mobile app to stay better connected to their leads and customers.
Texts are almost always read and are often responded to quickly. Using your CRM’s texting tool, be ready to work with your customers in real time via text. Texting is a great way to bring the showroom to your customers with photos and videos of vehicles of interest, which can be sent directly from your CRM.
With your website now being your primary storefront, more customers will be spending more time shopping for vehicles online. A CRM with artificial intelligence can give you better visibility into customers’ online behaviors and help you identify active and ready-to-buy shoppers before they contact your team. Build custom reports to monitor lead and task activities so you know how your sales team is engaging these customers.
For more information on maintaining business continuity in today’s remote shopping environment, contact your Performance Manager and explore these resources.
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.