As technology advances and retail experiences increase in simplicity and convenience, 94% of auto dealerships are evaluating their sales process with recognition that it requires further enhancements to keep pace, according to a study by CDK Global. In fact, nearly a third of consumers surveyed said one of the most important aspects of their purchase is that it is low effort.
“As consumer demand for more modern retail experiences grows, so does the desire of dealerships to evolve beyond traditional, outdated sales processes,” said Andy Moss, senior vice president of Modern Retail, CDK Global. “If there is anything we learned over the past two years, it’s that if we want to make a vehicle easy to buy, we must make it easier to sell. Dealership employees are tired of using multiple systems that don’t talk to one another and often require paperwork to be printed and physically moved from one department to the next.
While most dealers report having a digital retailing solution to simplify the online buying experience (85%), they still see process bottlenecks once the deal enters their physical dealership.
Dealers use multiple applications to take a deal from start to finish—many of which do not seamlessly transfer data across systems. The lack of integration requires staff to rekey information to keep a deal moving and, at times, to ask consumers for redundant information at various points in the process. This creates longer, more complicated transactions and feeds into the largest pain point reported by consumers, which is waiting at the dealership (41%)—whether it is waiting on a salesperson, waiting to speak with the finance and insurance manager, or just waiting alone.
To reduce wait times, dealers are looking to minimize administrative tasks and inefficiencies, while focusing their staff on the high-value work of connecting with customers and moving deals forward. Dealers in the study identified three areas where they see opportunities for improvement:
- Sales—The top frustrations in the sales department are the need to rekey information (41%), lack of system integrations (39%), and lack of time available to coach their sales teams (38%).
- Internet and Business Development Centers—Here, time is wasted on working duplicate leads (47%), lack of empowerment (39%), and waiting on desk managers (25%).
- F&I—Document retrieval is the biggest area for improvement within F&I (53%), followed by important documents not being available for electronic signatures (34%).
“With integrated digital selling, desking and F&I workflows, dealerships can become more efficient—enabling them to deliver the low-effort transaction that car-buyers are coming to expect with less waiting,” said Moss.