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: 20


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

Join DealerELITE.net

Latest Activity

Jeff Cowan posted a blog post

Write Service Podcast: Episode 60- Can You Embrace Change?

This week's podcast is a LIVE snippet from a private workshop for an Automobile Dealer's…See More
16 hours ago
Andy Church posted a video

Profit By Action Quick Tip: Candidate Homework

In this Quick Tip, Andy Church shares a tip on an element that dealerships should include in their hiring process to improve productivity.
18 hours ago
Erik S. Nachbahr posted a video

Your Business Depends on a Reliable IT Infrastructure

Helion Founder & President Erik Nachbahr shares why a dealership's IT infrastructure is critical to its business in this video blog.
18 hours ago
Ujj Nath posted a blog post
18 hours ago
Samuel posted a blog post

Australia's Car Culture - A National Obsession, Observed

Australia is car-crazy. Always has been. For decades, the Holden-Ford argument has actually been a…See More
Tyler Newport posted a blog post

Is There Any Alternative for Wipers?

Windscreen wipers have played an important role in car design and safety for more than a century,…See More
Damian Boudreaux's blog post was featured
John Sternal posted a blog post

Auto Dealerships See Avg. 20% Rise in Profits Under DOWC

According to Protective Asset Protection, it is estimated that auto dealers leveraging a…See More
Black Book posted a blog post

Depreciation Rates Improve

Welcome to this week's edition of Black Book Market Insights, with in-depth analysis of used car…See More
Jim Flint posted a video

Website Taxes

Are you paying "tax" on your website to Google? CEO & Founder of Local Search Group Jim Flint explains in this video blog.
Damian Boudreaux posted a blog post
Simon Hopes posted a blog post

Getting Your Car Restored to Its Original Shine

Some of us may have had all good intentions of looking after our car when we first bought it. We…See More
Bobby posted a video

Bobby Compton ~ Motivational Listener

Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hund...
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

Witt's Wise Words: Super Workers vs Supervisors

Bill Wittenmyer shares the difference between super workers and supervisors in this week's episode of Witt's Wise Words. To read the full article, click here...
Scot Eisenfelder's blog post was featured
Daniel Ross posted a blog post

Males's Socks - Picking Design and Comfort

The most fundamental of all men's devices, and the one utilized for convenience as well as style is…See More
Samuel posted a blog post

Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is an impressive piece of software, but it comes with quite a high price. If you're an…See More
Tony Provost posted a video
Feb 15
Scot Eisenfelder posted a blog post
Feb 15
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

Freebie Friday: What's the Most Important or Overlooked Task Inside the Dealership

Bill Wittenmyer shares what the most important (or overlooked) task in a dealership is and why in this edition of Freebie Friday. Read the full blog article ...
Feb 15

Get Newsletter

© 2019   Created by DealerELITE.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service