Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace. As the world becomes more connected each day, data is being exchanged in an evolving ecosystem of smart devices. For the decade ending 2025, the volume of this exchange is expected to increase 500%.
This is encouraging news for the auto industry.
This additional data enables auto dealers to better understand consumers and their pain points, needs and buying habits. With this improved understanding, dealerships can customize messaging and processes to more effectively engage consumers.
For those especially progressive dealerships, technological advancements like these continue to create new opportunities to provide consumers with a more convenient purchasing experience.
In fact, the research firm Gartner predicts that over the next several years, the greatest source of competitive advantage for organizations will come from their ability to creatively exploit emerging technologies.
What Do Auto Buyers Want?
Consumers are demanding the highest standards for the purchasing process when it comes to safety in 2020.
According to McKinsey & Company, “If part of the customer journey must exist in a physical channel, consider converting to contactless operations. The United States has seen a 20 percent increase in preference for contactless operations, with numerous industries adapting to this change.”
For automotive dealers, making masks available to consumers and talking with potential customers on the phone or on a conference call can only go so far. Innovative dealers looking to develop new relationships by giving consumers the safety that they want are going the extra mile with video conferencing.
Tapping into video conferencing enables businesses to maintain solid communication while providing the digital distancing that consumers want.
Are Video Interactions Effective for Auto Dealers?
The short answer is YES! Below are 6 reasons why.
1. Customers are more engaged on a video call.
When you and the customer can see one another, engagement increases. The tremendous connective power of nonverbal communication that takes place during a video call is lost on a voice-only call.
Trust forms when the client can see you.
Your facial expressions, hand gestures, and your overall body posture are critical when establishing rapport with a client. When clients can see these nonverbal cues, the interaction becomes more natural and comfortable.
- In fact, research proves that most communication is nonverbal and, as a result, virtual meetings that include video are 12.5 times more effective than audio-conferencing.
- Virtual eye contact significantly decreases the likelihood of customers becoming distracted and the tendency to multi-task like they would on a voice-only call.
2. The quality of your communication improves.
When you are able to gauge the reaction of the customer, it is easier to drive the conversation where it needs to go. This positions you for better results.
- 62% of executives say video conferencing improves the quality of communication.
- 50% of those executives believe video conferencing improves the degree of understanding.
When the quality of your conversation improves, decision making becomes easier and faster for the consumer.
3. Video interactions are convenient.
The convenience of the virtual meeting unlocks the door for those who prefer to shop from home.
Consumer buying habits are dramatically shifting and will continue to do so. Even the most digitally resistant customers have adopted the idea of digital distancing.
Businesses who use video conferencing are able to reach a larger audience and make them feel like the sales person is right there with them.
4. New revenue streams begin to materialize.
Better car sales numbers are not the only result of the strong rapport that video conferencing builds.
As virtual financing and insurance (VFI) offerings become a cornerstone of the all-digital vehicle sales process, VFI managers can take advantage of these convenient virtual and data-driven opportunities to upsell and lay the groundwork for future revenue streams.
This is a critical step in maximizing profit margins according to NADA industry reports, which indicate that service and parts sales increased from 11.9% of total dealer revenue in 2018 to 12.4% in 2019.
5. Customers expect a digitally distant option.
In addition to upsell opportunities, virtual meetings are often welcomed by customers who shy away from traditional in-person sales processes. In fact, a Deloitte study from 2019 found that 60% of people in the U.S. are interested in online car-buying.
Customer experience, across most retail segments, is heading toward a convenience-first model that focuses on speed and limited in-person transactions. Because auto retail technology has traditionally lagged behind, there is some white space that your dealership can fill by being the first to take advantage of the virtual-video trend.
Consider these statistics from a recent survey of U.S. business professionals:
- 51% view businesses that provide the option for video interactions as more innovative than those who don’t
- 31% perceive those businesses to be more successful
- 41% believe the employees of those companies are more engaged
With numbers like these, video interactions are clearly becoming an essential piece of the modern auto dealer framework.
Dealers looking to maintain competitive advantage are taking notice and taking action.
- Video interactions provide access to new customers and visibility that your competitors might not have.
- In a saturated market, video interactions can help you stay one step ahead of your competition.
6. The brightest sales people will be seeking organizations that provide access to the best technology.
The younger portion of the workforce grew up on technology. They are digital natives who expect that businesses will provide the right technology to enable collaboration.
Sales teams with access to the right technology feel empowered to be as productive and impactful as possible.
Making the Decision to Pivot
As virtual meetings become part of the modern approach to the automotive sales process, the good news is there are several platforms that provide video interactions in the market.
The bad news is that it can be challenging to find a platform that is aligned with and designed for the automotive industry.
By providing the car-buying consumer with a level of convenience that matches their expectations, your brand will begin creating recognition and loyalty.
A Case Study - Intellacall
Let’s take a look at a case study to see what the experience looks like for one popular option that seems to be resonating with the automotive industry – Intellacall.
When a customer is considering buying a car from your dealership and visits your site, Intellacall’s platform provides the option to put that customer into contact with your sales team with just one click directly from your webpage.
From any device, the customer can decide to interact with your dealership partially or entirely online. The sales team can chat with customers and leverage screen-sharing features to share documents, videos and photos.
Dealerships appreciate the ability to customize Intellacall’s platform to look like their existing websites and to tailor the platform to fit the particular size and needs that vary from dealership to dealership; anywhere form a small family owned dealership to a nationwide dealer group.
Intellacall also optimizes management insight into the entire sales process through additional features like CRM integration and management platform analytics.
By enabling call recording and forwarding, managers can even review video interaction to drive the effectiveness of training. A better trained sales team will further maximize profits for the enterprise.
Companies that listen to consumers and pivot toward innovative solutions will position themselves as industry leaders who are committed to redesigning the automotive purchasing journey.
Intellacall can help dealerships take the next step in redefining and enhancing their customer experience. Consider scheduling a live video meeting to discuss how this platform can begin enabling face-to-face online interactions between your teams and your customers directly from your webpage. Click here to learn more about Intellacall.
Originally posted on Agent Entrepreneur