To recap on last weeks blog while at NADA we asked dealers what their top 3 goals that they hoped to accomplish at NADA were. Here were the top 3 things that dealers said:

1) Social media: They wanted to learn more about it and figure out the best way to implement it at their dealership

2) Service efficiency: From the sounds of it dealers have lots of service business but they are struggling on being efficient and getting the cars in and out.

3) Consolidate/Streamline services: Dealers want to streamline and consolidate their processes and if possible cut back on having multiple vendors and find one vendor that can provide all the services they need.

Today I want to go into more detail on these top 3 items. So here goes:

1) Social media: Now even though Social Media was the “buzz word” per say at the show this year according to one dealer we spoke with after all of the hype and the sessions she had been to that discussed social media she wasn’t too impressed with what she saw on the floor. She thought that she would be blown away with some cutting edge social media technology and she didn’t see that at all. Bottom line is if you are want to get into social media then do it right and maybe start slow. Designate one person at the dealership to handle it and update your page, send out tweets etc. That way someone is held accountable. I spoke with another woman that wasn’t sold at all on social media and had no plans of getting her dealership involved. I’m not saying that every dealership has to be involved in social media, it might not be for everyone, but to think that it’s something temporary and that it’s going to eventually go away is NOT happening. People thought that the Internet was a fad and look what happened there!

2) Service efficiency: Almost every dealer I spoke with mentioned needing help with their service department. Most said they needed help getting cars out the door cause they had too much business…that’s a nice problem to have! Having worked with service departments for years I know that this can be an issue but I also know that it’s manageable. There are tools out there now like online schedulers that allow a customer to actually schedule their service appointment online through your I’m not talking about a customer filling out a service request and then having a service advisor follow up to schedule the appointment..i’m talking about a true online scheduler that talks to your DMS. The customer puts in what day and time and the type of service they need performed and what service advisor they prefer to work with, if they want to, and the scheduler pings the DMS to see if the date and time is available to the type of service the person needs performed. If its available great but if not it will give the customer another time that is available. At that point they can confirm their appointment and they will receive a confirmation email and sometimes a reminder a day before their appointment. How great would that be! Now if you have something like this in place then you need to encourage people to use it…offer a dollar off amount on their service when they use the online scheduler…also have the service advisor explain the benefits of why making an appointment will save them time in the long run. If they know in advance how long the service will take then they can plan ahead or maybe you offer a service loaner depending on the service? I also had many dealers that only accepted “light” maintenance on Saturdays so things like oil changes and tires rotations that take a lot less time were only accepted on Saturday to keep the shop moving. Many service departments pay structure also depended on how efficient they were. Money talks people!

3) Consolidate/Streamline services: This one is pretty self explanatory. There are a lot of vendors out there today. A lot of great vendors at that but dealers are looking to eliminate the 20 different vendors they currently have and maybe only have 3 or maybe even less then that. Dealers want to call the least amount of people as possible when they have an issue and get it fixed without jumping through a million different hoops! I know that we at Liquid Motors have almost every product out there but many dealers might not know that. We have custom websites and pricing analysis to mobile data services and window stickers and everything else in between…did you all know that?? If you didn’t start asking your current vendors what other services they provide you will be surprised!

I hope that all of the dealers I spoke with at NADA found the answers and solutions they were looking for. I would love to follow up with them later on in the year and see how they are doing. Hopefully I will get the chance to go to NADA again next year and ask the same questions. Can’t wait to see what the goals are next year!