The car buying process involves a lot of hands-on activities. This, along with local and state regulations, makes it challenging for dealerships to go completely contactless – though many great strides were made in the last year and a half. That said, there’s nothing that can replicate the exhilarating test drive experience. Virtual reality may have come a long way, but it’s no substitute for the driving experience of a specific vehicle make and model.
Fortunately, your company can greatly minimize contact and streamline your operations with these eight dealership sales tools.
1. An accessible, mobile-friendly website
One area many automotive dealerships overlook is verifying their websites work on mobile devices. Autotrader’s Car Buyer Journey report says almost half of the people shopping for cars use multiple devices to do their research. The J.D. Power New Autoshopper Study shows more than half of the car shoppers used a mobile device to learn about vehicles.
The automotive industry is also known for its fancy websites filled with motion, animation, and other features to show off their vehicles. However, this isn’t always the best way to capture customers. Animation and motion can be a trigger for those with vestibular disorders and migraines.
The Vestibular Disorders Association says more than 35 percent of US adults aged 40 and older experience vestibular dysfunction at some time in their lives. This isn’t a small population. Many of them are drivers. Letting visitors have complete control over motion and videos creates a better user experience.
You want to ensure your website is accessible to people with disabilities. Considering more than 1 billion people have a disability, that’s a lot of potential customers and their families. Even if someone can’t drive due to a disability, their family members will care about accessibility.
Besides, many people without disabilities take advantage of accessibility. For example, a Verizon Media survey says 80 percent of the people using captions are not deaf or hard of hearing. Are your videos captioned? The customer may not be able to have the sound on.
2. Video meetings
One thing that came out of the pandemic is the meteoric rise in the adoption and use of video calls and meetings in all facets of life. Automotive dealership sales pros can use video calls to take customers on a tour of the vehicle and to discuss options. Make sure that whatever video platform you use has captions. More and more platforms have added captions as a means to meet everyone’s’ needs.
If your dealership uses Zoom, you will need to turn on the captions before the customer can turn them on. Don’t make the customer ask for it. Google Meet has captions built in. You won’t need to turn anything on that platform. Microsoft Teams also has captions, but it has to be turned on by the IT team.
When joining video calls, make every effort to minimize movement. Don’t walk and talk on the call unless you’re walking toward a vehicle of interest to the customer. When showing the vehicle, move slowly. This helps limit motion sickness for the person on the other end of the call.
Everyone uses CARFAX and it’s one of those essential sales tools no automotive dealership should be without. By integrating into your website, it allows customers to view a vehicle’s history without leaving your website. Any opportunity to give customers what they want while staying on your website is gold.
4. Contracts and Signature Management
More and more, you do not need to have the buyer come in person to sign the paperwork. While some states still have not opened up the entire process, many have in the last year. There are many apps for managing contracts and documents containing sensitive and confidential information. These make it possible for customers to sign the dotted line electronically but also keep information secure and integrated with the deal jacket (electronic or otherwise).
DocuSign is one of the most widely known contract and electronic signature applications. However, there are also many integrated options with your DMS that can help streamline the process
5. Remote Video Surveillance
At first glance, you may wonder why remote video surveillance is on this list of contactless sales tools when most dealers look at it primarily as a security tool. While dealerships tend to implement remote video surveillance as a safety and security measure to deter crime and identify suspects, they discover its other benefits once the system goes live. Security cameras usually boost productivity and operations when properly leverage during the day.
For example, dealership managers use video camera footage to study how salespeople move around the lot and interact with customers. The recordings have helped many dealerships find ways to increase the efficiency of the sales and service, teams. In reviewing video recordings, they’ll identify bottlenecks to determine what needs fixing or individuals who need coaching.
Solving these issues greatly affects customer service. When the dealership serves customers faster and more efficiently, it’ll make the customers happy and translate to higher customer scores. Happy customers may return whenever their vehicles need servicing or they’re ready to trade up for a new vehicle. Other security systems can’t find opportunities to increase sales like video surveillance can.
In addition to putting eyes on your entire lot, operational use of remote video surveillance cameras may help maximize your investment that results in a quicker return on investment compared to other security technologies. First, video surveillance is a proactive solution. Most security systems are reactive in that they don’t do anything until after something happens. Video cameras can detect potential problems before they happen.
Here’s how it works. A security expert customizes a security system for your dealership. They’ll install video cameras in strategic places around the dealership lot. As soon as the system is online, video analytics and human monitoring operators will watch over your property. Analytics monitors for any one of many programmed scenarios. When it detects a match, the system alerts the trained monitoring operator who takes the needed action.
Even though the operator works in a building located away from your dealership, the person can alert the intruders on a speaker. Often, this scares them away. If they don’t frighten easily, then the operator can contact law enforcement while keeping tabs on the suspect’s movements.
Unfortunately, employee theft is a problem for many businesses. Video surveillance helps decrease the chances of this happening. Employees won’t be able to hide from the cameras. They also don’t have a relationship with the monitoring operator to plan an inside job like they can with a security guard.
Remote video surveillance can also help protect your dealership from false claims. When customers bring their vehicles in for maintenance or servicing, they may claim the dealership damaged the vehicle. Video surveillance records everything and will show what really happened.
Liability claims are hard to win without proof. Fortunately, analysts can send copies of the footage to law enforcement and insurance to support your dealership’s claim that it had nothing to do with the damage. Here’s how a liability claim against a dealership was dismissed. Thanks to video, you’ll have the evidence you need.
Video surveillance does all this and it’s contactless. Your dealership will save a bundle because video surveillance can cost up to 60 percent less than security guards. That includes everything, such as the hardware, technology, and monthly monitoring fees.
The automotive industry has unique security requirements. You want to work with a company that has current experience in designing an effective video surveillance system for your dealership. When you do, you’ll maximize your investment. To learn more about dealership security, pick up this complete guide to securing your dealership. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.