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Dealership best practise ideas from the US

US dealer best practise provider NADA 20 meets with dealers to discuss the most effective measures dealers have implemented in their dealership. These ideas were shared at the recent NADA convention and collated by BDO.

The best ideas are detailed here.

• Create a social media policy for staff – We are aware of the damage disgruntled customers can do to our reputation. It’s possible an employee could create even more harm online.

• Customer retention after sale – Create a preferred customer programme that provides value and encourages return visits. This could include company specific credit cards pre-loaded to a spendable limit at the point of origin and branded for the dealer group or preferred customer eligible discounts.

• Encourage customer reviews with a landing page. Make it as easy and as accessible as possible for the customer.

• Brand your dealership in the community – Pull together staff to brainstorm ideas that put your name and logo on people’s hands at community events.

• Flat screens with your own TV programming. They provide continually changing messages that printed materials and posters cannot.

• Google. Tomorrow’s rules may not be today’s. Can you afford to miss the latest changes to your page listing and ranking. Someone at the dealership should monitor the position and ranking daily.

• Fix a fixed cost: Implement utility cost controls. Implement climate and energy controls in the dealership.

• Increase the use of videos. Use this medium for personalising messages to your customers. Sales consultants should learn the art of video-chat and even provide a walk-around of a potential car for a customer.

• Cross train for key positions.

• Teach customers about fuel economy when they buy a car. This will create value for the customer, will help save them money and lead to increased retention rate.

• Call to action - a website must. What are you doing to get the customer to click and come into your site. Use the heat map functionality on your website to see what is working and not working.

• Scan away your old documents. Use technology to clean up your back room. Everything should be scanned and stored electronically until you need it.

• Dedicated online service portal. This to be available 24hrs a day and requires no human interaction. Allows appointment bookings, customers can select from a service menu, allows accessibility to progress of the vehicle whilst being serviced and a review of final billing plus provides a link to pay online.

• Benefits of service contracts. Make sure the customer knows how much they saved as a result of the plan.

• Used vehicle ageing. The ageing starts from the day it starts in service for reconditioning. Aim for a three day turnaround to getting the vehicle on the forecourt.

> BDO's NADA 2014 Review (pdf)


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