CommentaryJul 27th, 2018

How Dealership Tools That “Play Nice” Together Engage Buyers


As a kid, you were probably told at some point to “play nice” with siblings, cousins, and classmates.As an adult, you automatically play nice with family, coworkers, customers, and the various people who cross your path in the course of your daily activities. When you play nice, interactions seem to go smoother, and all parties involved have a better experience.The same principle applies when connecting your systems within your dealership. Dealership tools and systems that are seamlessly integrated are in essence playing nice: working together to create a continuous streamlined purchase process.When a customer fills out an online credit application, data can be shared in your DMS or credit application portal and filtered into an e-contract, alleviating the extra work and aggravation that could result if you or your customer have to enter the same information subsequent times at the dealership in multiple systems.When all the tools that make up your sales process play nice, you can enjoy a streamlined digital workflow. A modernized process can help create a vehicle-purchasing path designed to not only optimize the customer experience, but also save you and your dealership precious time and money.

The ever-present customer experience

We hear quite frequently about customer experience in connection with our current retail landscape. A recent survey uncovered that customers are willing to pay up to 16% more for a better experience.Creating a better customer experience is now vital to survival. Consider all the interactions that can play into your consumer’s experience, like offering a simpler contracting process, washing a vehicle after it’s brought in for service, or fresh-baked cookies in the showroom, to name a few examples.These extras are the finishing touches that consumers remember, and help set you apart from your competitors. It’s worth your time and effort to invest in tools that will elevate how consumers feel about your dealership’s ability to serve their needs adequately.Consider the positive response customers will have to an emerging technology like remote document delivery, which empowers you to remotely send crucial documents to them all at once for individual review.You could even offer the added flexibility of remote e-signing as well. Buyers may feel less pressure and more confident about buying their next vehicle with your dealership when they can leisurely review and apply their signatures on their own time, in their own space.These are finishing touches that consumers remember, because they reflect how easy it was to do business with you. They certainly won’t miss having to hang around your F&I office longer than necessary.Remote document delivery and remote e-signing enhancements not only play nice in the e-contracting process, but they serve consumers that prefer to manage most of the purchasing process on their own.For example, remote capabilities let customers download, print, and retain copies of their vehicle contracts, keeping your dealership in-line with Regulations Z and M.Adding remote tools to the vehicle-purchase process can also expand your business reach and help make some sales easier; for instance, for consumers who don’t have any additional time to spend in the dealership on a lengthy F&I process.

Prepare for today and tomorrow

Robust and integrated digital contracting platforms can boost your opportunities and expand your retail horizons, especially if you utilize key functionalities, like the ability to add your aftermarket products into the e-contracting workflow.You can present all crucial contract documents, including both finance and insurance products, all at once for a single e-signing ceremony in the F&I office, or remotely, depending on the customer’s preference. Contracting will likely take less time for all parties involved when aftermarket products are streamlined into an overall digital workflow.Customer experience has a significant impact on dealership reviews, referrals, and return business. The journey toward vehicle ownership is changing for consumers, with technology touching the lives of virtually every demographic.That’s why your dealership should choose flexible and transparent retail solutions that uniquely fit your business strategies and seamlessly connect to your consumer’s interactions, at whichever part of the purchase path they happen to land: your website, your DMS, or in-store.After all, you don’t just want to make the sale today, you also want to build relationships with customers for their growing needs down the line.Perhaps this time around they filled out an online credit application and applied their signatures electronically at home, or on a tablet in your dealership. If they enjoyed that experience, you might mention that for their next vehicle, they could consider receiving their contract documents remotely.

As technologies become more advanced each year, the behaviors of many consumers will continue to evolve. Although many consumers might want to be as autonomous as possible when they buy their next vehicle, they may still want a dealer they trust to be involved in navigating the sale and purchase.Consider driving your business through changing marketplace dynamics with the latest remote dealership tools that will help you adapt and play nice with the consumers’ buying habits of today — and tomorrow.Brad Rogers is the chief operating officer of RouteOne LLC, a joint venture between Ally Financial, Ford Motor Credit Company, TD Auto Finance, and Toyota Financial Services. He is responsible for managing all sales, customer strategy, integrations, and support services for the company.

Authored by

Brad Rogers

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