As seen in the Dealer Magazine article with PSX’s own Larry Bruce, it’s not new that customers want to be taken care of and save time. None of this is new. Customers have always wanted transparency, customer service, and so forth. What happened with COVID-19 is that dealers now must give customers those things that they demand.
Don’t take shortcuts—do the things you know you’re supposed to do. Your sales team needs to be able to have a full conversation with customers instantly, and over various channels and mediums depending on where the customer chooses to engage. Transparent pricing and information are a must, along with other transparency in the buying process.
Independent dealers are struggling even more, it seems, than larger dealers and powersports brands. Stop letting your sales team drop opportunities and track sales calls, even if you don’t have an automated system for helping with that just yet.
Businesses need responsiveness, transparency, and convenience. These are the things that will set dealerships apart and help them improve even despite the pandemic.
It’s been easy for franchises to run fat, while independents have been running lean. The market and competition will return and the squeeze on the market will come back. Franchises need to run much leaner.
There was a temporary reprieve on margins and gross profit during the shortage of inventory, but that’s not the new normal. What dealers need to recognize is that all this leverage that’s been handed to them by the COVID-related situation that is ongoing, if not properly handled, might cause them to go a little overboard about it, which could affect their reputation.
Some of the changes we saw coming. Others we couldn’t have anticipated in a million years. The pandemic has created a shift in the industry that otherwise would have taken twice as long. Today, powersports and independent customers have access to digital resources that will enable them to have a better customer journey and get customers all the way through the transaction without even having them to step through the door first.
Dealers must be fast, and they must be prepared. This is a business of people and what the people want will be priority number one. Take stock in your dealership and your customers. You’ll likely see just how you can make improvements to step up your game and get your share of those increased conversions and digital interactions.
PSX Digital has been working hard to deliver a better experience and ensure that both customers and dealerships alike get the deal that they desire. These aren’t major changes in terms of scale, but they’re happening a lot more quickly than anticipated, thanks largely to the pandemic and it’s forcing of everyone’s digital hand.
When this does swing back around to less of a pinched situation, dealers are going to need to be prepared for what comes. There will be some new dynamics that come up in the next 18, 24, and 36 months, and it’s a very exciting time for many dealers. Are you going to be ready for this shift?
It should be interesting to see what happens, and perhaps even lucrative for those who are prepared.