Successful dealerships are innovative dealerships.
Technology is an essential part of innovating, but adding new technology isn’t just about keeping up with the times. It’s about providing the best experience to keep customers coming back.
So how do you decide which technology to use?
Asking yourself these questions can help your dealership know if a piece of technology is worth investing in for your service department.
Does it create a personalized experience?
Personalized experiences create repeat customers. Consumers continue to look for more personal relationships with the brands and companies they interact with. By investing in technology that allows you to offer a personal touch for vehicle owners who come to your dealership, you’re able to set yourself apart from other service providers.
This can take a variety of forms. One way technology can help is by providing a personalized marketing experience. Even something as simple as including a customer’s name and vehicle model in their emails when it’s time for service can be an important touchpoint.
Another example is technology that tracks details after a service visit so you can offer a personalized experience at their next visit, recommending services or repairs that had been referenced (many medical professionals like dentists do this).
Personalization puts the customer first, and technology that supports that mentality can be a worthwhile investment for your dealership.
Does it make our service more convenient?
Convenience continues to be a top factor for vehicle owners when they consider service providers, right up there with value and quality. How can technology make service more convenient at your dealership?
Use technology to give vehicle owners quick access to the information they need about your service department. This might simply mean updating your website to include pricing, services, and hours so customers have quick access. Or it could mean ensuring the ability to make appointments online or a live chat feature so customers can schedule service without any additional hassle. Make your service convenient by using technology to give vehicle owners the information about your dealership when and where they want it.
People are constantly on their smartphones and using them to communicate is quick and convenient for most vehicle owners. Take advantage of this with the help of technology to message customers about upcoming visits or provide a mobile experience for your website that is easy to use.
Having an internal service team that communicates clearly and efficiently with technology makes the entire experience better for the customer. Customers might not always notice or rave about the basics of their experience online, but they tend to be vocal when their experience is more time consuming or difficult than they anticipated.
Does it create an outstanding experience?
Some dealerships invest in technology that goes above and beyond to create an outstanding customer experience. While this may not be realistic for all dealerships, it does show how technology can benefit your customers and help a dealership accomplish the value that so many vehicle owners want from their service provider.
A Lexus dealership in Wesley Chapel, Florida uses technology to create a high-tech customer experience. They have everything from radio-frequency identification (RFID) that alerts their service advisors when a vehicle owner pulls up to an electronic tire reader that tells you when you’re due for new tires before you even start your appointment.
Technology like RFID creates an environment where customer experience is front and center. When customers agree to have a radio frequency identification pad installed in their cars, they also sign up for a more personalized and efficient service experience that increases customer retention.
Does it make our customers want to come back?
Ultimately all technology you deploy should allow you to answer with a resounding YES to this question. Even when you make technology decisions that don’t directly impact the customer, it’s important to make sure it ties back to their experience in some way. Does it make the billing process easier? Does it ensure you have the parts you need for repairs?
By tracking the link between technology investments and customer experience, it’s easier to see what makes an impact on your service department as a whole and keeps customers coming back.
Innovation is an important part of dealership growth, but innovation itself isn’t the end goal. Customer satisfaction is. By asking focused questions and basing your technology decisions on the customer experience, your dealership’s investment will show in your ability to create returning customers. If it streamlines the process and gives them a satisfying experience, it’s a good investment—and you’ll see the return in the long run.
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