Retail car and truck sales for November 2018 show a decline of 3.8 percent compared to last year. However, car dealership tech trends show more dealers are using data in powerful ways to reverse stagnant sales.
Dealerships have been gathering data on customers for a long time. But as more vehicles become connected and the Internet of Things continues to explode, more relevant and valuable data has become more widely available. When this information is connected to the right communications systems and properly analyzed, new sales opportunities abound.
Let’s look at how this data-driven car dealership tech trend is leaving sluggish sales in the rearview mirror.
Analytics drives this car dealership tech trend
Half of car buyers don’t contact a dealership before they visit, but more shoppers are going back to the place they’d previously purchased or leased from, according to a recent Autotrader report. Although dealerships aren’t getting the information they need from customers to create a targeted buyer profile, they’re using data they already have to accomplish this task.
As their sales continue to rise, connected cars’ information allows dealers to better predict when a current customer is likely to be in the market for a new one. Sales agents leverage this data, sent to them via an automated email or push notification on a smartphone, to create a profile that includes the buyer’s preferences, the car’s main purpose and an estimated budget. Then, they can pinpoint the right car at the optimal price point. This helps sales teams separate customers who are window shopping from those who are ready to buy.
Predictive analytics uses this information gathered from communications-enabled IoT technology to create a customized sales profile that tells reps which vehicles will be of the most interest to a particular customer. Sales teams then determine the lowest price they can offer while still making a profit. As a result, agents make informed decisions without the need to ask permission from the mysterious manager in the back room.
Data analytics also simplifies inventory management and allows sales reps to quickly find the exact location of a specific vehicle on the lot. Tracking sensors can send information on which vehicles go on the most test drives and which sit the longest to an app on managers’ smartphones so they can optimize which products they keep in stock.
Fuel up your customer call center with the right data
The customer call center is a pivotal point of contact with the dealership. Short wait times and call agents who have the right information readily accessible are essential for keeping customers happy.
A real-world example is Circle BMW. The dealership had a small staff answering the phones each day. But after deploying a new contact center solution, Circle now records incoming calls and uses the data to train staffers on how to better handle issues when they arise.
Another dealership, Hedin Bil, was struggling to juggle employees in two different countries. Seamless communications and call handling were critical to success, so Hedin Bil installed a communications solution that provides data on when calls are coming in and the number of calls that were missed. When regular staff aren’t able to handle the call volume, a responsive service makes sure calls are always connected.
How to drive it home with a VIP customer experience
One of the easiest ways to increase sales is to improve the customer experience. Connected cars can send generate automated calls about necessary predictive maintenance and enable remote service through over-the-air software updates, saving customers time and money. Dealerships can also have this data sent to their managers’ emails so they can compile the information into spreadsheets on their computers and predict the volume and type of upcoming service appointments. Thus, adequate staff and parts are always on hand to keep appointments moving quickly.
How to stay ahead of this car dealership tech trend
A powerful car starts with the engine. Similarly, your data is only valuable if you have a strong and reliable communications solution in place.
Contact center reps and sales agents need a powerful phone system and real-time access to CRM and inventory systems. If your communications solution goes down (engine failure), your sales and call center agents won’t have the data they need to perform.
Be sure the solution you select meets your dealership’s daily demands. The right tools will keep the data flowing to the right systems and people, providing the necessary tools to rev up sales.