It’s human nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Change disrupts both. However, when the customer behaves differently and their needs change, NOT changing means inevitable extinction. The auto retail industry is beginning to recognize the importance of digital transformation, but technology has also accelerated at a breakneck speed, making it even more difficult for dealers to keep up with the curve, much less stay ahead of it.
Most dealers have not done enough to keep up with the digital revolution.
I still have hope that the auto retail industry can transform itself into something more than the stereotype.
I spoke at a conference recently and as I looked out into the audience, I saw a lot of exhausted, bewildered people who are wondering what the hell happened to their nice, comfortable retail operation. It sucks being in the middle of a transition and we’ve all been there before in some way – a job change, relationship ending or changing, the Recession.
It seems like doing business today takes so much more effort than it used to.
A decade ago, dealers were mainly focused on CSI and driving leads through data mining and search technology. Innovation, digital experiences and shifting consumer expectations were not even on the radar.
In 2007, dealers lacked a mobile strategy or even a mobile presence for engaging with their customers. They had not yet adopted strategies to leverage social platforms like Facebook to advance their business goals. Consumer technology and its potential went largely ignored in dealership operations.
Even the word “digital” now means something different. It used to be synonymous with the IT department. Today, a dealer’s digital strategy practically drives the roadmap and goals of many departments, from marketing to sales to service to HR.
So one would expect that today’s dealers have a much better “Digital IQ” than they did way back in 2007, right? The answer, unfortunately, is no.
The latest (10th Anniversary edition) Digital IQ Survey, found executives’ confidence in their organization’s digital abilities is actually at the lowest it has been since they started tracking. Just 52% of executives rated their Digital IQ as strong, down 15% from the year before.
In the auto retail industry, dealers who aren’t prioritizing digital must rethink that approach or be phased out. Certainly, there are enough disruptors coming after the retail dealership business model, so no one needs any more impediments to profit.
How can a dealership embrace the process of digital transformation?
Ironically, it’s by focusing on the human experience. Dealers must think critically about how every digital action will affect the experiences of customers and employees. Often, dealers focus on the tools and technology and this imbalance has far-reaching effects.
The survey found that attention to the human experience indicates superior strategy. Respondents that focused on creating better customer experiences today reported better digital strategies—and stronger financial performance.
Vehicle manufacturers are working hard to deliver innovative technologies that consumers want. As a retailer, embracing this approach will clearly guide you through digital transformation. It will keep your profits coming in too. Click >>here<< to learn more!