Your dealership’s customers are no longer just your neighbors. While many of your customers come from across the street or across town, many dealerships also have customers from across the country. Whether you’re located in a college town or near a military base, or you just have the exact vehicle an out-of-state customer is looking for, there are many opportunities to make the most of out-of-state sales. But many dealers are missing the mark with these customers — especially when it comes time for registration and title processing.
Many dealers aren’t prepared to handle out-of-state registration and title transactions, and many dealers believe that the process is too complex and time-consuming to make it worth their while. And I get it. We work with states across the country on registration and title solutions every day, and I understand from experience that there’s not much consistency from state to state.
But I’m here to tell you that providing a great experience to your all your customers, including those from out-of-state, is worth it — especially given the availability of software that can do all the heavy registration and title lifting for you.
Here are three things to keep in mind the next time you’re tempted to skimp on an out-of-state customer’s experience come registration and title time.
Every Step Counts
When faced with the task of trying to figure out the registration and title process for a new state, I’ve heard many dealers convince themselves that the customer can handle it on their own, that it’s not worth the effort required to take out-of-state customers all the way across the finish line. There are a couple of reasons that just isn’t true.
First, getting all the way across the car-buying finish line is what customers expect when they walk into a dealership. They expect every step of the car buying process to be completed when they walk out your doors, not to spend several more weeks wrapping up unfinished business.
Second, managing an out-of-state registration and title transaction doesn’t have to be an overwhelming ordeal. Technology has come a long way, and there are several software solutions on the market that can make sure every out-of-state registration and title transaction is complete and compliant — without requiring a ton of extra work from you.
Every Score Counts
You know CSI is important to your dealership’s bottom line. And it’s not just CSI that affects your dealership. Today’s consumers read and share online reviews and just one poor review can be devastating to your online reputation. Just one unhappy customer can wreck your scores, regardless of whether they want to register and title their car in-state or out-of-state.
Don’t let a poor system for managing out-of-state registration and title processing sabotage what could have otherwise been a great CSI score. Instead, take the same care and attention to your out-of-state customers as you would a customer that lives down the street.
Every Dollar Counts
At the end of the day, this all matters because, in today’s automotive retail market, every dollar counts. After years of industry growth, we’ve hit a plateau. Maybe in years past we could let ourselves slip up a little bit here and there, but those days are over. Every sale is important whether the car will end up in your neighbor’s driveway or in another state. In today’s business environment, every customer counts, so make sure you have the systems and solutions in place to give every customer a great experience.