When Digital Starts Winning, Fight Back

In the last few years, a war between dealerships and independent service centers over consumers has fueled a competitive fire.  At stake is millions spent by consumers on retail service and, perhaps, the survival of many dealerships.  The marketing weapon of choice used to be retail signage or print advertising, but now it’s all about digital marketing. And, in the digital world, the independents are winning the war.

 

However, one segment of service business which is completely safeguarded for dealers is recall repairs. But hold that smile for a minute, as this recall opportunity doesn’t necessarily mean that consumers are thrilled to be visiting a dealership.  Recent surveys suggest that consumers prefer independent service centers, citing quick service and ease of appointment scheduling.  So, once the recall work is complete, that customer quite often defects to an independent for future service.

 

Today’s internet behemoths have essentially trained consumers to expect prompt service - an “I want it now” mentality. And, sometimes the speed at which recall repairs can be completed is out of the hands of dealerships. Parts availability, trained technicians and shop capacity, all play a part in fulfilling these customer’s needs.

 

Well, how did Amazon leapfrog and, at times, squash traditional “brick and mortar” industries in an era where people “want it now?” How did they find that balance between “now” and “fulfillment” that has escaped the grasp of many now defunct retailers?

 

They used technology.

 

There are a plethora of technologies in the automotive industry alone that, collectively, can transform a dealership’s scheduling, parts and service capacity into a well-synchronized machine that provides consumers with the “Amazon-like” experience they have come to expect.

 

With the huge volume of recalls dealerships and consumers currently face, it makes sense to investigate technologies that can help your dealership deliver a better customer experience. Look for solutions that help identify and improve shop loading and capacity. Technologies that help prevent service advisors from promising customers they can accommodate them when, in fact, they can’t due to lack of parts or shop capacity, leading to angry customers. Amazon isn’t perfect, but they have a pretty stellar track record of delivering on promises, which convinces consumers that the experience is desirable.  

 

Use technology to build and strengthen relationships with recall customers and, perhaps, even convince many of them that they should continue to bring their vehicle in for regular maintenance…not just recalls.

 

In my last blog, I pointed out that “discounting” as a differentiator in the service industry does not serve dealerships well.  I’m not reversing on this stance by using Amazon as a model.  This isn’t to suggest that Amazon doesn’t lead with “price” as a key market differentiator – obviously, they do.  What I’m saying is that Amazon implements technology to create efficiencies that make it difficult for other online retailers to keep pace. 

 

Amazon has figured out how to keep prices low while being more profitable today than they did when they first launched.  For dealerships to compete with independents in an environment where customers expect low prices, speed and efficiency, it only makes sense to search for innovative technology solutions.

 

It may take knocking down some old processes that serve as anchors to dealership service departments. But, if the focus is on the customer experience, then the effort will pay off with better profitability, improved CSI scores and customers who will happily pay more for quality technicians and parts. 

Views: 30

Comment

You need to be a member of DealerELITE.net to add comments!

Join DealerELITE.net

Latest Activity

Richard Keeney posted a blog post
13 hours ago
Dave Anderson posted a blog post

Develop a Handful of Healthy Obsessions

Are the things that you're continually thinking about - the things that regularly preoccupy or…See More
15 hours ago
Rob Gehring posted a blog post
15 hours ago
John Sternal posted a blog post

Despite consumer demand, auto dealers struggle to provide complete digital solutions

Continue to grapple with consumer time at dealership, unverifiable credit application data, and…See More
17 hours ago
Black Book posted a blog post

Car Segments Show High Depreciation

Welcome to this week's edition of Black Book Market Insights, with in-depth analysis of used car…See More
17 hours ago
Paul Moran posted a blog post
18 hours ago
Jim Flint posted a blog post
21 hours ago
Black Book posted a blog post

BLACK BOOK AND AUTODATA SOLUTIONS PARTNER TO OFFER INTEGRATED AS-BUILT VALUATION SERVICE

New Service Automates VIN-Specific Decoding and Vehicle Options AdjustmentsBlack Book, a division…See More
yesterday
Mike theCarGuy Correra posted videos
yesterday
Walter McNulty posted a status
"Heading up North for 8 days visiting clients, old friends and making future friend. We will be in Delmarva, NJ, NY and PA."
Saturday
Walter McNulty posted a video

Waltjune20

Heading up North for 8 days visiting clients, old friends and making future friend. We will be in Delmarva, NJ, NY and PA.
Saturday
Damian Boudreaux's blog post was featured

Carlos’ 2nd & 3rd Week

Last week in our video series, …See More
Saturday
Veronica Dunford posted a video

What About Women in the Automotive Industry?

EVP Business Development for DealerBuilt, Veronica Dunford, shares her thoughts about women in the auto Industry in this video blog. DealerBuilt’s mission is...
Saturday
Jim Flint posted a blog post

Dealer Name Bidding Amplification Strategy

Jim Flint, CEO and Founder of Local Search Group, discusses how to keep competitors from bidding on…See More
Friday
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

Freebie Friday: The Customer That Doesnt Like You

In this Freebie Friday, CDK Global VP of Sales Bill Wittenmyer gives advice on what to do when a customer doesn't like you.
Friday
Courtney Evans posted a blog post
Friday
Dave Anderson posted a video
Thursday
Veronica Dunford posted blog posts
Thursday
Stephen Coambes posted a blog post
Thursday
Asad Shoaib posted a blog post

The Long Haul: 7 Tips to Help Your Truck Run Well into Old Age

A truck also needs little care and maintenance just like other vehicles to deliver quality results…See More
Thursday

Get Newsletter

© 2019   Created by DealerELITE.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service