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October 5, 2017

How Car Dealerships Are Using Technology to Transform Their Customer Experience

Contributors: Ashley Beale, Project Coordinator / Curt McCollum, Project Manager at SiteREADY

Many car dealerships are notoriously “old school,” or to put it bluntly, behind the times. They have not adopted the latest technology, and rely on outdated means of managing information. When you think of visiting a car dealership, you might envision a drab parking lot with pushy salespeople, endless paperwork, and maybe some balloons.

Meanwhile, top automakers and dealers are working to change the way consumers buy cars through transforming their dealerships into high-tech, high-touch showrooms. What might the car dealership of the future look like?

Ambiance

Technology is no longer a toy, but rather a tool to deliver an enhanced customer experience. It’s well known that car dealerships aren’t always the most enjoyable places to spend time, which is why we’re seeing an increased emphasis on ambiance.

One publication spotlights a Lexus dealership in development that will incorporate technology into virtually every inch of its 64,000-square-foot space, writing:

“When Lexus owners pull in, radio-frequency identification (RFID) will alert their customer service rep inside. An electronic tire reader will tell you if you need new tires before you even take a seat inside. WiFi in the poles in the parking lot will allow employees to better address customer needs via their tablets.”

That particular dealership is even building an on-site café and business center to allow customers to be more efficient during their time at the dealership. This symbolizes a technological shift toward the type of atmosphere people seek in the digital age. Put simply, the car dealership of the future will look more like a Starbucks or perhaps a modernized bank branch office than a sales lot. Furthermore, as cars themselves become more technologically advanced, so, too, must the venues and people who sell them.

Personalization

While traditional car dealers might not even have computers at their desks, forward-thinking OEMs are investing heavily in wireless audio visual (AV) components such as wall displays, tablets and other devices that enable them to better connect with their customers; increasing the probability of a sale while they are in a buying environment.

Customers want to feel catered to, especially when they’re making a large purchase. Instead of a plain handshake and verbal “congratulations,” an ahead-of-the-curve dealership can display a customer’s name on their screens with music and other visuals. Personalization can also aid the sales process by allowing customers to “build their own” customized car visually and move mentally closer to a purchase before they are taken to the lot.

Setting the New Standard

Car dealerships looking to enhance their technology are better served to step back and see the big picture before investing in any one area, as technology now permeates every aspect of the way people work, live and shop.

As a workplace technology solutions provider, SiteREADY consults with car dealers to reimagine their dealerships from a technology-first perspective. We then develop a complete roadmap for technology implementation, managing all IT vendors and related communication throughout the project. Contact us to learn more.

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