All dealers think about the future of their business, but some demonstrate more readiness than others. The true forward-thinking dealers are those using data and technology to advance their operations in ways that are already paying off today.
In fact, forward-thinking dealers employ specific tactics across their marketing, inventory management, service, and sales operations that set them apart from other ‘static’ and ‘modern’ dealers. And they’re planning to invest more in certain capabilities to drive more growth over the coming years.
Here are a few key priorities of forward-thinking dealerships to consider as you plan your path to a more profitable future.
Leverage Consumer Data to Appeal to Buyers
No two customers, nor their buying journeys, are alike. Everyone has their own unique buying preferences, opinions, and interests. Forward-thinking dealers recognize the sooner you can key into this individuality and understand your customers’ distinct motivations, the better you can build a personalized buying experience. This process is key to closing sales, but it is made more difficult in today’s digital world. Your sales team must get to know shoppers and appeal to their interests without meeting them in person.
To aid in personalizing experiences, look for technology that shows you exclusive insights about shoppers, based on their online browsing behavior. This technology empowers you to proactively find and engage shoppers and guide them through their unique purchase path. While other dealers are waiting for customers to come to them, using first-party data, you can see insights about your customers right in your CRM, and appeal to them with personalized offers.
Technologies that Maximize Service Capacity
Every dealer service department can diagnose and repair a vehicle. Those service departments that optimize available time and technician talent to service more cars in less time are significantly more profitable. It’s a balancing act that favors prepared, well-organized service departments. Forward-thinking dealerships are using technologies that maximize every service minute and get the very most out of their service department.
When evaluating ways to optimize your service department, start with your scheduling technology. Are you overselling or underselling shop capacity? Do you have peak bottleneck times, followed by periods of downtime for your team? Find a scheduling software that can help your team optimize service capacity and enjoy a smoother service experience—for your team as well as your customers. That might mean incorporating technologies like text confirmations and reminders and putting vehicle history at your team’s fingertips, so you can keep cars flowing through the service lane with minimal complications or interruptions.
Drive Performance and Deliver Data that Matters with Real-Time Reporting Tools
Modern dealerships have access to an unprecedented volume of customer, inventory, financial, and even behavioral data. That data can unlock new capabilities and profit streams for dealerships but harnessing it all can be very difficult. In order to capture insights and make better data-based decisions, dealers need flexible reporting solutions that integrate directly into their existing technologies.
Forward-thinking dealerships are maximizing their data by using solutions that deliver it consistently, promptly, and intuitively. Look for reporting tools that come with prebuilt dashboards and modules that make it accessible to leaders. Your technology needs to allow users to drill down deeper into their numbers for forecasting, filtering, and grouping information so they can track progress and growth.
To learn more research-based strategies and tactics for boosting profits, download The Forward-Thinking Dealership guide.