By Steve Southin, Co-CEO, PAVE
The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the need for automation across most service and manufacturing industries and the automotive industry is no different. There are countless tedious repetitive, manual processes within automotive sales and service that greatly benefit from automation and its best application is to make business processes easier for humans involved, essentially making human employees more efficient. Here are 3 benefits of an automated workflow.
There can be a lot of factors that can get in the way of profitability in the many manual workflows in play at a dealership. Your best salesperson may not be the best email composer, so using a template (believe it or not) is a form of automation. It can free that salesperson from the task of writing an engaging email to a customer so they can focus on what they ARE good at. This is an example of how automation can eliminate sales obstacles. Naturally, if you reduce the number of tedious tasks one person is responsible for, you ultimately reduce opportunities for human error.
If your Used Car Manager is the only person able to evaluate trade vehicles they might as well have their personal mail delivered to the dealership because that is where they live now. They are locked into the building constantly shuffling papers and scrutinizing the used car market. Or, there are 2 days a week where the dealership is unable to evaluate trades which would severely limit their ability to make a sale. An automated workflow eliminates the margin of error associated with shuffling paper docs around or relying on one person for approval or finalization.
The main reason people automate a process is to increase efficiency. A CRM allows one person to manage hundreds of contacts from one hub. Imagine if a salesperson had to look up (on paper) and manually enter an email address every time they want to email a customer as opposed to simply being able to click on the customer’s name and find the words: “Email Customer”. The number of people they could communicate with would be drastically lower and so would their sales.
Customer and User Experience
Wasted time is high on consumers’ list of things they do not like about purchasing a vehicle. When a vehicle shopper uses a tool online to evaluate their trade, the language is disclaimed so much that one has to wonder what the point of it even is. If the value they are given is “an estimate”, “subject to change’ or “at the discretion of the dealership” why not just bring the vehicle to the dealership to begin with?
These types of evaluation systems slow down the sale as the dealer has to back track and argue against a phantom value. How can you blame someone for not taking the word of a questionnaire style analog form over what they see with their own eyes when the vehicle is in front of them? Vehicle shoppers do exactly that. A discrepancy in a perceived value and an actual value falls on the dealer, not the application.
Automation provides solutions for eliminating obstacles that arise from the tedium of analog process management. It boosts productivity by freeing people from repetitive tasks allowing them to exercise their natural and professional expertise and can make a sale timelier which in turn improves customer satisfaction with a brand. Offering a consistent and seamless digital to in person experience is automation’s best application in the new normal.
About the Author
Steve and his 25+ years of automotive retail and wholesale experience deliver in-depth domain knowledge that was essential in his focus as PAVE’s creator and product architect. Steve also has 15+ years of technical and startup expertise that he gained as an Autotech entrepreneur, with his second recent successful exit being the Bumper App, which he brought to market in 2012 and successfully exited through an acquisition by Vicimus Inc. in 2017.