Dealerships should consider using tablet technology to free staff from their desks and make the buying process more interactive for customers, says motor dealer technology company iVendi.
iVendi director Richard Tavernor said: “In most dealerships, the standard sales procedure is that a test drive is followed by the customer sitting at one side of a desk and the sales person on the other to complete the deal, often for around an hour.
“I have sat on both sides of that desk, as have many people reading this, and it is a longwinded experience that is fatiguing for everyone involved while basic details, options, warranties and finance are finalised. It is often gruelling enough to puncture the feelgood balloon that the customer experiences when buying a car.
“The truth is that, in 2013, there is no need for the process to be so static. Much can be achieved using a tablet while you are sitting in the car with the customer, or you could perhaps take them through an options ‘wall’ or screen installed in the dealership. There are all kinds of fairly cost-effective possibilities.”
Richard added that there were signs that change was already underway, with many dealerships now having tablets such as iPads available within the dealership for customers to run through different car configurations.
He said: “This is very much a first step. Soon, we believe that dealers may start to recognise that they may not need a desktop PC on the sales floor at all, or at least far fewer than they have now.
“We expect the dealership of the near future to be a much more kinetic, interactive environment thanks to technology such as tablets, and that they will become much more interesting and stimulating places for customers as a result.”