You’ve probably heard the adage about building a better mousetrap to win customers, but that’s a bit hard at a dealership. Ryan Mays, the BDC manager for Cadillac of Mahwah, Buick GMC of Mahwah and Hawthorne Chevrolet, puts it this way: “The mousetrap works just fine if you use better cheese.”
The “cheese” Ryan focuses on is the role communication plays in the customer experience, giving shoppers the information they want, how and when they want it. Here are three things he’s done to encourage more sales and service opportunities:
“A salesperson on the floor can be a cheetah, focused on one thing directly in his line of sight. With the Internet, though, we need to be gazelles. We’ve got to keep a 360° view, be flexible and move quickly where we’re needed,” Ryan explains.
It’s one reason he’s so passionate about his dealerships’ communication options, with Contact At Once! dealer chat in all three locations and mobile text now in two. “People want information yesterday,” he says. “Email is the new snail mail; cellphones are the new laptops.”
Question: Have you looked at your dealership’s processes and technologies lately? Is your “cheese” too stale for the latest crop of shoppers?
Studies show it’s vital for dealers to respond within five minutes to questions and requests. Dealer chat and text have helped Ryan’s team be there to influence decisions at almost every moment, including…
Question: At what points could shoppers and service customers use advice? Are you there to give it?
Of course, no technology is an automatic fix. “Chat and text are only as effective as the people you train to use them,” says Ryan.
For instance, his people are good at gathering customer information, but that’s not their first focus. “You have to earn their information first,” Ryan stresses. “Sure, some chatters may just shop you against other dealerships, but I believe you gain more than you lose. Look at it this way: If you don’t get their info, they could come in and you wouldn’t know it. But if you don’t help them, it’s almost a 100% guarantee they won’t come in.”
That helpful, convenient approach has been paying off. Ryan’s BDC is responsible for about 38-40% of the dealerships’ overall business with at least 10-15% of that directly from chat. And a lot of those conversations (and ultimate wins)—like the showroomer who texted—may not have happened any other way.
Written by: Aaron Hassen on July 18 2014