Few would argue that mobile capabilities are not taking over the world. Our younger generation is so wired it is very hard to get away to simply think and rest. In fact, people check their phones 150 times a day, according to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’s annual Internet Trends report. Mobile usage is growing 31% per year and expanding rapidly around the globe. Because of this the use of mobile technology throughout dealership processes is proving increasingly beneficial, for both the dealership and its customers.
For instance, a recent J.D. Power study noted how powerful mobile technology is for the automotive retail industry. “Sales satisfaction among new-vehicle buyers is 52 points higher when their salesperson uses a tablet device than when their salesperson does not use a tablet during the sales process,” the report notes (in fact, according to KPCB, current tablet growth is three times smartphone growth). Satisfaction was highest with customers to whom new-vehicle price/payment options were presented on a tablet screen, for instant review and analysis.
I see several reasons why consumers respond more positively to dealerships that use technology to engage customers:
- Use of technology conveys the dealership’s modernism; wired consumers expect the businesses they choose to patronize to be as technologically adept as they are.
- The newest generation of buyers is impatient and wants instant answers and results.
- It gives consumers some control, from shopping online to researching online service menu options and booking service appointments online.
- It enables staff to capture and share information with customers almost anywhere: on the lot, in the service lane, or a local restaurant, for instance, without the limitations of hardwired communications.
- It happily surprises consumers when your sales staff uses mobile devices to quickly configure remarkably compelling new-vehicle sales presentations, almost on the fly, and help a customer waiting in the service drive or service lounge to become a new-vehicle customer.
For example, new data mining apps for iPhones and Android devices let auto dealers and their staff access and use data mining’s selling advantage anywhere on the dealership grounds. Sales staff using mobile technology like this will know the sales or trade opportunity position of every vehicle that comes through the dealership using VIN-scan technology.
The many advantages are:
- Scan any vehicle’s VIN to view that vehicle’s deal sheet
- Log in and out of the dealership’s data mining solution from a mobile device
- Set up appointments and view action agendas
- View Deal sheets
- Browse inventory
Whether a sales associate is working this mobile app at a desk, with a customer on the lot, or in the service drive, they can access customer and vehicle information, service history, payment information—including months remaining on the contract or lease. A deal can be configured quickly, and using the mobile device the associate can present to the consumer a side-by-side comparison of their current vehicle and a similar monthly payment of a newer year make and model. Who wouldn’t like to drive a new car if the monthly difference was negligible?
Depending on sales volume, most dealerships using data mining technology sell from five to more than 100 additional vehicles a month, to existing customers. Technology like this helps to sells more cars and, as J.D. Power noted, makes the customer’s experience that much more satisfactory. Which means better profit margins for dealers with less negotiating and of course, this helps with your CSI rating as well.0