Have you considered that the pursuit of a quick dollar has reinforced confrontational roles in the dealership? Yeah, it never occurred to us when we were selling cars either. It was just the way of the world. But lets start with the three foremost customer relationship-touching technologies at our disposal:
The Desking Tool pits a salesperson against a sales manager and then the salesperson against the customer.
Although this tool is meant to help both parties come to terms on the financials of a car deal; it is a bit of an oxymoronic system to date. Has a salesperson ever said “I’m working hard for you here” to a customer? He means it! He is literally working for the customer against his manager to try to make a deal. It is how he gets paid.
The CRM Tool pits a salesperson against management first.
Secondly it then creates an adversarial environment in the customer/salesperson relationship. Sales managers have to hound a salesperson to perform his follow-up tasks that are mostly irrelevant to the point the customer is at because the follow-up tasks are following a linear process plan that cannot sway. The technological workaround is to let the salesperson “take over” the process plans by letting him state when the next follow-up should be. This works okay when a CRM system is fresh and the salesperson hasn’t been wronged over and over again by the linear process plans, but fails in time as the salesperson marks all future follow-up to the furthest time option the system will allow. And if the salesperson were to follow that linear process plan, as management desired, the customer would be so turned-off by too much follow-up that they would shop elsewhere. It is an odd web being weaved by something that was originally intended to create better rapport.
The dealer’s Website pits the customer against the whims of the dealership process (A.K.A. management).
The overwhelming subject of phone calls into the dealership are to ask whether a car is in stock and then follow that question through with “how much will it cost me to buy it?” This means the customer has not found their online shopping trustable enough to believe the words on their screens. It doesn’t help that payment calculators on the OEM sites are projecting payments that are, on average, $100 per month higher than reality. And the dealer’s own website are only $25 better; showing customers a payment that is $75 per month higher than reality. These averages fluctuate depending on the price of the vehicle, but the key point is the Internet is not delivering accuracy. Accuracy = Trust. The main job of a dealership website is to get a customer to come into the dealership, but who is going to physically visit a business that doesn’t accurately describe things on their website?
We believe the quick pursuit of getting a dollar out of a dealer has taken technology providers down the path of least resistance. There are ZERO options that work toward the cohesive achievement of buying a car. All parties win when a car is sold, but the tools to get to that commonality push for a battle to get there: friction technology.