What happens when the most vital systems in your overall technology ecosystem also garner the lowest satisfaction and loyalty rates? For a sample profile of franchise dealers, which included 229 respondents with varying titles, locations, and dealership sizes, this question proved to be all too real.

Partnering with an independent market research firm, Dealertrack recently conducted a comprehensive study about dealers’ most-used technology systems and their role in the dealership. While nearly all dealers surveyed said that the Dealer Management System (DMS) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are the most important systems to have, they also expressed some of the lowest satisfaction and loyalty rates for these two systems. According to the study, dealers cited staff buy-in and use, training, integration across functional areas, and cost control as their key challenges with their current DMS and CRM systems.

It has often been said that the DMS is the heartbeat of the dealership. It is the pulse that keeps the shop alive and performing effectively. It delivers a swath of data that goes unmatched and is inextricably linked to how successful, efficient, and competitive a dealership is. Yet, when it comes to satisfaction and loyalty, it is consistently falling short for dealers regardless of size, location, and number of rooftops.

Delivering technology that increases efficiency is key. When the technology is enabling a dealership’s staff to be more productive, it leads to improvement in all other elements of performance, including customer retention, revenue, and competitive edge. As a result, it’s critical for technology providers to adapt their systems to meet this clear need of dealers. This is particularly vital, as dealers expressed that if they could find DMS and CRM systems that are a better fit for their dealership, they are likely to make the switch. Additional areas dealers want to see improvements in when it comes to their overall technology ecosystem include integration, ease of use, support, reporting, and flexibility/customization. Overall, there is a clear desire for the entire ecosystem to work together to provide one integrated digital experience.

As providing car buyers with a seamless, technology-enhanced experience continues to be pivotal for profitability, dealers are hard pressed to deliver on all fronts, from the sales floor to the service department. Without the right technology in place, however, these efforts can only go so far. That’s why it’s important for dealers to find a DMS provider that is willing to partner with them to implement and maintain the most effective and efficient system that works seamlessly with the rest of their technology ecosystem.

With DMS and CRM systems irrefutably proving to be the center of the technology ecosystem, it is critical for providers to do more to create a seamless experience that offers the ease, openness, and flexibility that dealers desire. Just like car buyers, dealers have expressed a need for increased efficiency and more modern technology with mobile capabilities. These are necessities to keep up with today’s consumers, and it all starts with your technology provider.


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