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As the automotive industry moves into the fall of 2022, new and used car supply remains far below demand and used car prices are still high.¹ Chip shortages continue to cause problems,² and no one really knows how rapid increase in demand for EVs² will impact the market. The result is uncertainty, which can drain the confidence of those working in car dealerships. Fortunately, there are ways to instill confidence when the future is uncertain:
Flexibility is vital in times of uncertainty. Being adaptable creates success because it allows you to adapt to customers’ fluctuating needs and wants and to rapid changes in the auto industry.
Consumers want high value for the vehicles they trade-in, but they want to avoid paying top dollar for what they buy. Also, many buyers are waiting in hopes that used car prices will come down.³ Make suggestions to those shopping new to check out used options with more features, some which may no longer be available on new vehicles due to the chip shortage. Or nudge those shopping used to check out new options with more competitive pricing and interest rates.
Be flexible and patient as you explore options with a potential customer. You may not land a sale immediately, but a happy customer will come back to you when the time is right.
Your online presence needs to be flexible as well. Make sure your website gives customers a variety of communication options, such as online chat, text, and email. Offer video consultations and digital walk-arounds². Software such as Dealerpull’s CRM Lead Management can help you integrate many of these options and add even more, such as instant credit applications. An online presence with seamless flexibility will create loyal customers.
When faced with uncertainty, simplify. Focusing on what really matters leads to working smart instead of just working hard. Streamlining the buying process and making improvements to inventory management are good ways to simplify that bolster confidence in staff and customers.
Some dealerships are moving to a streamlined buying process that connects a buyer to one person who acts as sales person, sales manager, and finance agent. This model simplifies the process from start to finish, reducing stress⁵ and building confidence and trust. Customers are struggling with uncertainty too – make things simple and easy and they are more likely to walk in the door and more likely to make a purchase.
Inventory management may be more important when your inventory is low than when your lot is full. Simplifying your inventory management allows you to quickly connect each buyer with what you have or what you can get. Also, list vehicles as soon as they are in-transit so customers can shop your in-transit inventory online⁴.
Dealerpull’s inventory software is an excellent tool to manage your inventory and make the buying process obvious and easy. The software can sync inventory with third parties, such as Autotrader and Kijiji, and Dealerpull’s one of a kind digital garage register manages itself so you don’t have to. In uncertain times, software that simplifies the process and enables customers to do more from home builds confidence in both staff and customers².
Instilling confidence by making changes meant to increase flexibility and simplicity works only if it comes with training. Without training, changes can lead to a decrease in confidence because staff may be confused about how to adjust. Even worse, a confused dealership employee can turn customers away.
Take the time to train staff and let them test-drive new CRM and inventory management software from Dealerpull. Educate staff about EVs, about how they work and about predictions to do with how they will impact the automotive world². And if you make a bold move toward a streamlined buying process, it goes without saying that each employee will have a lot to learn. A well-trained team will feel confident⁶ about meeting the challenges of the present and the future, and that confidence will attract buyers, even in uncertain times.