Going to be in several stores working today on our checklist for At Home Delivery of Test drives, Sales, and Service. What those look like in each store. What challenges do we face at each store and how to overcome them. Defining new skill sets. Victory favors the prepared.
The time is here to put up dividers between sales and service. It is only a matter of time before our dealerships will have to function as in two halves. We need to figure the traffic flow now and not wait until we are forced to. It will cause an immediate jump in our social distancing.
Here is my operational notes I am working off of: ONLINE VISITOR EXPERIENCE Just like your showroom experience for a customer, the online experience needs to be a good one. You have 2 sites. Desktop and Mobile. Both are different experience and different context. -Easy Navigation -Easy Communication ( Chat/Text/Email/Call) -Clear Messaging ( 1st Slide ) -Clear Messaging ( SRP ) -Clear Messaging ( VDP ) -Vehicle Photos/Videos -OEM Promos included
What we do today impacts tomorrows sales
LET YOUR TEAM AND YOUR CUSTOMERS KNOW THE DOORS ARE OPEN
Confident Team Equals a Confident Customer
Share the measures you’re taking with the team and train everyone involved • Clearly discuss tone, phrasing, and messaging to customers that keep in mind the delicate nature of people’s concerns and worries of the future. Keep your team focused on the customer experience and the questions they might have. – What measures are you taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in both Sales and Service to protect your team? • Regular, more frequent deep-cleans to the facilities • Quarantining employees… • Who have traveled • Who have shown early symptoms • Other directives from local/community public health officials
COMMUNICATE PUT YOUR CUSTOMERS at ease We understand the problem • We are making enhancements to our already strict standards • We offer at-home solutions • Here’s how to take advantage of them • We care about your health and safety • We are committed to our community • We will get through this together
SALES CUSTOMER HANDLING QUALITY CUSTOMER SERVICE Establish frame of mind: Treat every lead like it’s the biggest close they’ll have all year. Show your customers your willingness to help during this difficult time. Educate on Options: Every team member who speaks with customers needs to be a master in three things: 1. What’s available to the customer from the Government, to the OEM to your dealership. 2. What steps you’re taking at your dealership to put them at ease 3. Customer service – now is the time to show customers HOW you can help For Internt Lead Handling: Arm your team with information and authority Don’t allow a customer to close that chat or stop replying because a lead handler has to go back and forth with management. If your team has multiple steps to get quotes, ensure the team has easily written steps and the tools they need to work those numbers quickly OR have access to the manager that can via chat. As instant as possible is the goal.
Find new ways to provide shopping experiences for your customers • Provide webcams and tools for F&I to try to be face to face with customers • Virtual appointments through FaceTime • Showroom precaution walkthroughs (how you’re protecting your customers and your team, how you’re sanitizing vehicles, etc.) • A fully thought out Modern Retail Experience VIDEO. VIDEO. VIDEO • Virtual vehicle walk-arounds and test drives • Illustrate what a home delivery is like • Walking through the steps to shop from the comfort of their home.
HAVE YOUR HOOKS READY Make sure we can easily communicate EXAMPLES: • No Payments for 3 or 6 months • The first 3 or 6 payments are on us! • 0% APR For 72 Months • We’ll take back your new car if you purchased it within the last 3 months • Extra $1,000 off if your job has been affected by COVID-19 • Low daily payment REMINDER THESE ARE EXAMPLES, define what is your stores hooks, role play until becomes easy for sales people to deliver.
Keeping customers informed has become some of the most important work I do. It’s not sexy nor is it cool. A change in our stores operational hours is one key bit of information to get in front of customers.
Getting it there can offer a challenge. And uncover weaknesses. Like keeping up with your passwords or access changes. I found that my Group level login to AutoTrader had either been changed or got caught up in Cox Automotive push to a unified login… which I had been avoiding … so shame on me. Being a hard head can get you hard results. Found that it is best to deal with it in the most kind way possible. I have said it before. There are going to be many many unforeseen roadblocks to overcome in the near future. Being a dick, does not help get things done.
I started with our website… although that was not what I thought was most important. The most important is the Google My Business page. But, I need to make sure I had the website update first so that when Google went about checking to verify, the info would be there. And our Google Maps presence would get it’s update from there. And then went about all the other places. Our CRM Eleads so that inbound leads could be timed properly. CarNow our chat provider to allow the reps that handled our after hours and overflow chat sessions would have the right info to share with customers. Yelp needs updating, although like a lot of automotive folks, I even hate just logging into the platform. #thehateisreal. But it must be done, Apple references Yelp, so you gotta do it. Apple Maps got it’s update to, ’cause lets face it, even if I do not, there are people who use apple maps. Updating Cargurus I found a happy surprise. Cargurus is the easiest place I found to update a dealerships hours. They give you a slider to move. Fast and easy. Thanks CarGurus ! Then there are the other online classifieds, CarsdotCom and Autotrader. Lord help me if I didn’t get feckin Facebook updated. Jeeze. Last ( for now) but not least getting the OEM to update there pages and references to the dealership to reflect the proper, correct hours.
What seems like a simple operation… of course works out not to be simple.
The search volume for automotive terms has seen a dramatic drop over the past week in Georgia. And that trend will continue. We are being replaced by searches for toilet paper and things for kids to do at home, crafts, and learning.
Fast approaching is that first positive in mid-ga when we will really feel like we are shut out.
That should occur in the next 8 days. So yes, we are taking it day by day. But I look at it week by week. We are ok this week. A bit slow… This time next week is when we will have to make some decisions on advertising.
By then our dealerships should have a way to sanitize cars. Before delivery, after test drives. We also will have with the stores good communication around our staff’s health and how they are dealing with school being out and possible sick family members.
Then the bottom will drop out on demand. How many days in a row can a store go with a vehicle sale? What is our tolerance level?
The time we are waiting on is what I call “Dealing with it mode”. When all of us are settled in and we are doing the day to day care of each other. We are watching the numbers climb. When we are looking at another set of metrics entirely. Infection rates, quarantine, lockdowns become very real to us. Up close and personal. We will be dealing with it.
It will be during this time that our websites will be crawled with casual visitors time and time again. On desktops from homes. I expect time on-site to increase. VDPs to go up. Shopping. Considering. Dreaming. Planning.
Because there will be a time when we have peaked and start to come down. And down, and down. When June finally comes… we will see people return to buying cars in small numbers. July will bring the lions share back into the market. Back into our showrooms.
We must maintain our websites. We must maintain our communication with the homebound.
When the bounce up happens we can reap the benefit.