With customers expecting more from their in-dealership experience, it is disappointing that the car industry has been so slow to respond to the growing demand to move to mobile. The shift to the use of tablets in the dealers’ interactions with their customers will help bring the experience in line with other high street retailer interactions, providing a more engaging experience, focused on the needs of the customer, rather than dealership processes.
With dealerships continually being refurbished to be sleek and modern, so interactions with customers should reflect this. Some dealers have embraced a digital relationship with their customers, utilising social media, websites and video, however, many appear slow to embrace mobile as part of their operations despite it having become a large part of every customer’s life for years. It is time for dealerships to seize the opportunity and catch-up with this growing trend.
All areas of the dealership can use mobile or tablet devices to make the sales, service and aftersales as smooth and professional as possible. A more relaxed approach to customer interaction makes the process more natural, from starting to gather data around the car or out on the forecourt increasing customer satisfaction. Using tablets or smartphones in conjunction with a fully integrated DMS can ensure that all data collected is accessible from every part of the dealership.
The use of a tablet means that there are no longer restrictions as to how to interact with the customer. Details can be taken from on the forecourt, inside the car or sat on sofas with a cup of coffee. This is not just a benefit for those thinking of buying a new car, but for those looking at used cars or when making an assessment for part exchange.
Dealerships that are currently embracing mobile devices within their customer interactions are seen as forward thinkers. But as technology and customer expectation continues to move forward at a pace, it will be these dealers that reap the rewards in coming years, while others struggle to catch up.
The benefits of moving to mobile are numerous, helping to ensure a consistent experience is enjoyed by all customers, while managing their journey in a relaxed and engaging way. Customers are using mobile as part of their journeys to dealerships, so it is only natural that dealers use this technology as part of their daily interaction and data gathering.Catching up with customer expectations and exploiting the benefits of mobile will soon see the dealers that embrace this step prosper, boosted by customers that rate the business of ease of interaction and great customer service.
Author Neil Packham is Vice President and Managing Director, UK Region for CDK Global.