David Long and the All Things Used Cars community were joined by special guests Brian Kramer, the EVP of Cars.com and GM of AccuTrade, and the Head of Marketplace at Cars.com, Joe Pistell. The group discussed technology - is it meeting the dealer's needs? Is it making the customer experience better? How do we determine the facts and improve?
The possibilities are limitless (some limitations apply).
Currently, no technology makes knowledgeable and helpful humans obsolete. The best technology should be supported by a collaborative buying experience. The internet alone does not equip consumers to make confident decisions. They want a partner to work with in the buying experience.
No two customers are the same. They will always have unique wants, needs, and questions. How do we leverage our technology to improve every customer's experience?
Some tips. The Clubhouse room was alive with people willing to share their thoughts on the topic. Here are some of the resulting thoughts summarized.
Simplify. Digital retail should be easy to use the first time a customer visits a website. Many dealers have unclear websites with overstimulating pages that customers cannot navigate. The first question is; do dealerships already have too much tech?
When was the last time you personally experienced your technology? Do you know without any doubt that your technology is serving you well?
Helpful. If a customer cannot find the answer to a simple question on the dealership website. In that case, they will be less likely to return to that site for information or an eventual purchase. All the technology should be equally helpful for the customer or it needs reevaluation.
Questions like these can help determine a technology's value.
Digital retail is one of a dealership's many points of first contact. Big online retailers like Carvana are, in reality, an army of connected dealerships using a well-curated digital front door to get consumers in the funnel. Conversations sharing and comparing techniques and results are essential to effectively serving customers no matter their level of technological fluency.