The Impact on the Customer Experience
When people decide they want to buy something, they do it. They are in the process of “where should I take my money?” and your dealership should be the answer.
People get busy, things happen, calls get missed. That’s to be expected. What’s not expected is that you do nothing to follow up on those missed calls or track down those potential leads. Right now, many salespeople are leaving messages unchecked, texts unread, and emails unnoticed for as long as 72 hours. By then, your potential customer has likely found somewhere else to shop.
Use the CRM dashboard to follow up and keep salespeople accountable. Make them take the extra five minutes, make the extra call, and respond to the message before they even think about taking off for the weekend. Make sure that they respond in a timely fashion based on the communication method involved.
The problem, as mentioned above, is that most CRMs aren’t even really used as CRMs. They end up being contact collection areas. They aren’t helping the salesperson do their job. The CRM is just collecting data (but only the data recorded by the salesperson), hoping that the salesperson does something with it. You can’t run a business based on hope.
The process of the purchase of a vehicle (powersports or auto) is happening outside of your store now and that’s how people want it to be. The more that process moves outside of your dealership, the more important a top-notch CRM becomes for you. Because now it’s not about whether you shook the hand or if you got them sitting at the desk—it’s about how you are managing those relationships and buying journeys, and most importantly, your sales team needs to be able to use all the tools that your dealership relies on for communication. That includes:
- Phone calls
- Text messages
- In-person conversations
- Social media
If you have guys that have been in the industry for a while and they aren’t really “into technology,” they may not really be the best fit for the future of your dealership. It’s important to get every single person in your dealership on board with the CRM and other technology, and to hire those who are experienced and capable of doing the same.
Today, employees can no longer afford to be skeptical about technology or avoid certain avenues of communication. Your dealership cannot afford to have those people on the payroll. If you’re going to incorporate a CRM or other technology that’s dynamic enough to help your dealership grow, you need a team of people who are on board with the adoption and use of this new tool.
It's Not About You (It Never Was)
And most importantly, it’s not about you. It’s about the customer.
You’re trying to get their money by making a sale, future service and future sales whether that be to them or through referrals.
So, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you like or what you want. The dealerships and salespeople that fail are those who don’t realize this. It isn’t about you. It was never about you—it was about the product, the service, and the information that they need.
The more you push and try to make the customer come to you, the more you’ll start losing volume and retention. And once the pandemic volume dies down, you’ll be stuck trying to figure out what to do or forced to sell your store because you have nothing left after the rush ends.
Why wait? Some people say that it’s so good now, it doesn’t make sense to change. However, the best time to change is when things are good. The hardest time to change is when you’re in a pinch because if it doesn’t work, you’re in real trouble. On the other hand, when things are good, change can be allowed to take its course, be tweaked, and be integrated at a slower pace.
Stop Dropping Opportunities
The term “opportunity” is used as a broad term to refer to all the ways in which people can encounter your dealership. Whether its people coming in the front doors, coming in over the phone, coming in via email or website chat—these are opportunities that are coming in, and too many powersports dealers are dropping the ball on them, time and time again.
Why are you dropping opportunities? Why would you let even one phone call go unanswered or unreturned? Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of the features of a CRM to help you monitor all your opportunities and their progress and train your staff to do the same?
Although there are several ways dealerships can make sure that they’re not setting themselves up to fail, addressing the glaringly obvious missed opportunities that go by each day is a guaranteed way to improve sales, as well as to improve your reputation and brand image.
Speaking of which, 21 opportunities a day are abandoned by the average dealership. Most people know this, and yet they let it happen. The difference between dropping and abandoning is that dropped opportunities are just that—left untouched. When you take the time to input information in your CRM but then walk away and do nothing with it, you’re abandoning the opportunity, not just dropping it, and that’s even worse.
Dealerships that are open and willing to change, that are embracing all the best features of the CRM, and training everyone to use the platform for consistency throughout the team are the ones that will be set up for success.
And, for what it’s worth, upgrading to a platform like PSX Digital to integrate phone calls—some of your biggest opportunities—is definitely going to help further that success and make sure that those “missed” opportunities are no longer lost.