Mastering the Digital Delivery – Hit it out of the ballpark with an exceptional tech experience

Every dealer knows the ins and outs of delivering a vehicle – but what about the digital aspect of that delivery? And that can apply to new and used!

Simply put, the consumer is likely well aware of the technology within the vehicle itself. But what do they know about the technology at your store that can enhance their overall vehicle experience? Has this been discussed during the vehicle’s delivery? How is this being reinforced?

That includes booking service appointments online, or being added to your database so the customer can receive your newsletter and reminders about their vehicle’s service intervals. These days, the dealer’s CRM is able to calculate a driver’s service intervals – then, as it was programmed to do, send that customer a correspondence with that notice in their desired communication preference.  That’s taking a proactive approach.

Then there’s video, which is one of the most user-friendly ways to communicate with consumers. A dealer can use a multitude of different ways to help utilize this communication method to relay a message.  Within the dealer’s website, a section can be designed for the aftersales experience. It can house videos, downloadable instructions and relevant links to external sources with information that can be useful to those customers.

Dealers have also taken the route to upload this information within a USB and provide this during delivery OR going further by uploading this within the car’s multimedia hard drive for easy access. These precious digital assets can increase the customer experience, such as videos being placed correctly and within mobile reach of your customers – and potential future customers! It all puts your business a step ahead in the aftersales strategy.

 

In-store digital displays

Your website should feature what exciting technology is included on various new vehicles. In fact, make it easier for car shoppers to access by making it a downloadable PDF, with photos and videos. You can take it to the next level by customizing it for each model – after all, the technology available on an SUV will vary compared to a compact car from the same brand.

And when the car shopper comes into your store, after being impressed with your digital presence, their experience should continue in-store. Set up a digital display, showing the available vehicle technology in a video format, that can also be accessed by the customer through a unique URL or scannable QR code.  It could highlight equipment like HID lights, safety sensors, nitrogen in the tires, perhaps also in a schematic form, showing how all the systems work together.

You might want to emphasize the importance of the technology, that it’s not just for entertainment, but also for safety.  Manufacturers invest significant resources and money into these systems, and dealers should remind consumers how it can help.

Subhead:     A better user experience

When the vehicle is delivered, product associates or delivery co-ordinators should be reviewing these systems with the customer. They should help the customer integrate their phones, input destinations into the GPS, demonstrate how to use various apps like CarPlay, understand the fuel efficiency systems, and as well, how the technology at the dealership can help with their user experience of the vehicle.

For example, people often find out too late in their lease that they’ve exceeded their allocated kilometres. At 50 cents per kilometre, if they’re 3,000 kilometres over, that can be expensive! But if the dealer is monitoring this and lets the customer know well in advance, that cost can be mitigated, also providing the customer an added advantage of servicing their vehicle with you, perhaps positioning it as their “Vehicle Specialists.”

Finally, there’s service. You want the customer to feel comfortable, that they’re in the right place, and their needs are being looked after. That means reminding them every time they step into the dealership. So when a customer brings in their vehicle for service, the service advisor should ask if they have any questions about the technology in their vehicle. Is there anything they want explained? Anything that could be better utilized? At that point, the PA or delivery co-ordinator could do a re-introduction.

 

Technology clinics

Some dealers are really hitting it out of the ballpark by holding technology clinics. They bring in customers and spend a couple of hours going over how to use the technology in the vehicles. You’re providing a valuable service and building on your relationship with those customers by showing them, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, not only what their vehicle technology can do for them – but also what you can do for them! Your PAs should be more than willing to participate in these clinics. It allows them to get more acquainted with their customers.

The post-sales experience can be continued on your website, as well. You can set up an area providing information to help people if they have an accident. Do they know where to call for a tow truck? That information may have been somewhere in the literature that came with their car, but it could have been misplaced. This may be their first car, or they may be new to the area, or new to Canada, and not realize how the system works.

If you can build value by providing a robust digital delivery, then your customers will be in your store, your bodyshop, your detailing bay, because you’ve proven that you’re a trusted vehicle provider. You’ve not only sold them a car – you’ve earned their trust, respect and admiration for providing them with the digital tools they need to get the most out of their vehicle experience.

Article originally published in Canadian AutoJournal, December 2017.

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