With the automotive retail landscape evolving rapidly, it is now more important than ever for dealers to operate efficiently, with every dealership department – including sales, aftersales, finance and marketing – sharing its data through an integrated, dealer-wide DMS. This approach can help to deliver savings to the business and greatly enhance the customer’s experience, ultimately resulting in boosted customer retention.
Retailers failing to address inefficiencies are putting their profitability at risk as consumers simply look elsewhere if they feel they are not getting the right quality of service and value for money. In the aviation industry for example, scheduling inefficiencies for budget airlines can have a direct impact on profits. Flybe found that through better use of smart business management software, alongside other business enhancements, a huge drop in revenues and a slump in consumer confidence could be turned-around.
In dealerships, inefficiencies in sharing data can have a similarly negative effect. Many DMS products restrict dealerships to a segmented, siloed view of consumer information, so it is no surprise that this fragmentation then trickles down to the customer experience. A disjointed approach to gathering personal data can reflect poorly with the same questions being asked by different portions of the same business.
An integrated system that allows a single view of the customer ensures new prospects are interrogated just once, reducing the potential for mistakes from re-keying information, building a more complete customer profile and stopping important information from falling through the cracks. A company-wide DMS system allows customer data to be updated by all dealership departments, making it possible to track customer patterns, whether it be particular offers that attract interest, or a time of day to be contacted.
The intelligent system saves vital staff time, and could even help cut down on the number of staff required at the dealership, which could run more efficiently thanks to more targeted customer interactions. Through clever use of integrated DMS technology, the overall dealership experience and customer satisfaction can improve vastly, encouraging brand loyalty, word of mouth referrals and repeat business.
As part of a fully integrated system, the use of tablets can enhance the accurate collection of data and make it instantly accessible from every part of the dealership. The use of such technology means that there are no longer restrictions on how and where dealership staff can interact with the customer, extending the reach of the DMS. This flexibility allows dealers to opt for a desk-based approach or tablet solution as suits their requirements and their customers’ needs.
With valuable consumer intelligence shared across all areas of the business, whether it be sales, aftersales or servicing, customers benefit from a more positive, personal experience. Having universal access to bespoke customer information empowers staff to strengthen relations, improve retention and ultimately bolster profits.
Author Neil Packham is Vice President and Managing Director, UK Region for CDK Global.