American scholar and author Warren G. Bennis once said, “In life, change is inevitable. In business, change is vital.”
The automotive industry has never shied away from change; in fact, throughout history, it has been a shining example of innovation and inspiration. That dedication to rise to the occasion and offer up the newest, most promising designs and technology is what has kept consumers enthralled with the industry as a whole.
This willingness to change and find ever more innovative solutions is what keeps buyers coming back time and again. And although consumers will continue to change, technology will advance and businesses will seek new ways to reach out to them.
The business of change and innovation remains much the same. It takes bravery, foresight, and creativity to innovate and discover new ways of doing things, and those who are willing to inspire change are the ones who will stand out to consumers.
Today’s changes and challenges
Many of us went to the NADA Convention earlier this month to connect and share with other professionals, so it’s a good time to talk about the changes we’re currently seeing in the automotive industry. One of the biggest and most important issues now facing dealerships is getting in touch with—and truly understanding—the way consumers are communicating, researching, and sharing.
Dealers are aware there is less foot traffic at individual rooftops; however, consumers are still buying cars. That’s because shoppers have taken their buying journeys online, and even though they may not be able to complete their vehicle purchases online, they can interact, get feedback, share, and research—all before setting foot in a dealership.
That’s why it’s critical for dealerships to innovate in the area of consumer communication, and up their games when it comes to how and when they are reaching out to shoppers. It’s not enough to sit back and wait for shoppers to come to dealerships; instead, it’s imperative to take advantage of today’s newest technology in order to meet shoppers earlier in their journeys.
The importance of innovation
It’s common to think of innovation merely as the next in-vehicle technology or enhancements. But it’s the way you approach innovation when it comes to communicating, providing superior customer service, and implementing the latest technology in your dealership that will keep you front of mind with consumers in a marketplace that’s teeming with competition.
Keep in mind that your shoppers are cognizant of new technology, and not only are they eager to use it, they want to do business with dealerships that are on the cutting edge of what’s new and innovative. In addition to helping you more efficiently give shoppers what they’re looking for, the latest technology can dramatically impact your dealership’s bottom line by giving you valuable insights and shopper intelligence, as well as enabling you to pinpoint things like in-market shoppers, in-equity shoppers, and even in-market leads you may have marked lost.
In its simplest form, innovation is the introduction of something new. It can be centered around technology, behaviors, or interactions; but one thing is certain: When you innovate for the benefit of both consumers and your dealership, you will see positive changes you can continue to build on.
By taking advantage of the latest tools available, you can exceed consumer expectations, build an exceptional dealership reputation, and turn more leads into sales. The automotive industry has never shied away from innovation, so take away all the insights you can from NADA 2016—and then turn them into actionable solutions for your dealership.
Joey Little serves as director of digital and social engagement for AutoAlert. An expert in customer experience management, he educates automotive professionals at speaking engagements across the country. With results-driven advice and proven industry knowledge, he assists dealerships in reaching their audiences and increasing business via their social platforms.0
Latest posts by Joey Little
- 4 Steps to Redefine the Consumer Experience - May 18, 2016
- Innovation and Technology Drive Change for the Better - April 22, 2016
- Millennial Buyers Say “Give Us Authenticity” - March 7, 2016