5 key areas car dealers can optimize to create superior customer journeys

customer journeys

Car shoppers today don’t evaluate parts of the journey, they evaluate the sum of the journey, and how frictionless their path to the transaction is. On this edition of Inside Automotive, we further discuss how to create exceptional customer journeys with Brian Benstock, Partner GM and Vice President of Paragon Honda and Acura. We’re also joined by David Boice, Co-Founder and CEO at Team Velocity.

From Benstock’s perspective, too many vendors in the industry focus on their little part of the ecosystem, and their solutions tend to be stacked on top of one another. This means that car dealers don’t have eyes on the entire customer journey. To combat this, Benstock wanted a single source of customer data that could be managed on one platform for maximum efficiency. Just because car dealers are experiencing record profitability, does not mean that they always will. There are nuances to selling, adds Boice.

“One of the things that we work on very hard with the Apollo platform and, and at Paragon is making sure that we’re selling cars to people that are going to generate the highest gross profit,” says Boice. “Not on the first transaction, but on multiple.”

In order for car dealers to achieve building positive customer journeys, they should turn their attentions to the five following areas:

  1. Wake up from the profitability coma: The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining, says Benstock. Some car dealers are getting very comfortable with their high profitability. You might even be thinking to yourself— My dealership is already performing at a high level, do I really have to make changes now? The answer is yes. Both Benstock and Boice agree that now is the time to invest in what the future looks like. Customers are moving towards end-to-end online transactions.
  2. Seamless transactions both online and in-store: Today’s customer wants options. Between Omicron concerns and low new vehicle inventory, car dealers need to meet consumers wherever they pick up (or leave off) in the car buying process.
  3. Customized scalability: Personalize your content marketing strategy at scale. Car dealers shouldn’t rely on generic content that fits everybody. More customers with diverse backgrounds are searching for inventory now than ever before. While you can’t scale individual content or messaging, you can segment your audiences and customize your advertising on a tier-based system.
  4. Re-tool your advertising strategy and budget: Huge car dealers like CarMax have doubled down on their advertising budgets because they see an opportunity in the market which is almost entirely online. Evaluate your messaging to promote online car buying and private-party acquisitions.
  5. Service pickup and delivery: Service is an $800 billion industry and yet, car dealers only have 20% of the market share. Make it easier for customers to do business with you. Demonstrate the convenience of service pickup and delivery. Over the past four years, Paragon has completed 150,000 pick and deliveries for service alone, which has yielded $53 million in gross profit and fostered customer loyalty.

To learn more about Team Velocity and its customer experience platform, Apollo, click here.

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