Are employees in your dealership using mobile tablets in service, sales and/or F&I departments? Despite much interest and even hype surrounding usage of mobile tablets in the dealership, the reality is that fewer than 50% of dealerships currently use or plan to use them in the near future.
Why the disparity between usage and interest? Primary reasons why dealers haven’t yet adopted mobile tablets include:
Cost. The hardware and software costs associated with implementing mobile tablets is not prohibitive, but the costs associated with expanding the network infrastructure (such as WiFi) so tablets can be used effectively may be a factor.
Change. Mobile tablet usage requires a change in some processes, and as we know, many people are resistant to change.
ROI is undefined. Historically dealers don’t adopt new technologies until the return on investment is clear.
Despite the slow rates of mobile tablet adoption, dealers do recognize the potential benefits, including:
- Improves dealership efficiency/workflow/consistency in process
- Speeds up processes
- Makes dealership personnel jobs easier
- Increases transparency
- Increases customer satisfaction
- Reduces paperwork
- Increases revenue
Mobile Tablets in Service
In terms of revenue potential and increased customer satisfaction, the service department stands to benefit the most from mobile tablet adoption. With full DMS integration, mobile tablets can be used for the following processes:
- Greet the customer in the service lane
- Retrieve or create an appointment using the customer’s name, phone number or other criteria.
- Instantly scan the VIN
- View entire vehicle history, warranty and/or factory recall information
- Convert appointment information into a electronic Repair Order (RO) with one click of a button
- Perform a multi-point inspection
- Call up an archived multi-point inspection from customer’s last visit
- View recalls and recommended maintenances
- Send multi-point inspection form attached to an electronic RO to technicians, who can call it up on the electronic workbench to instantly follow up on items
- Parts inquiries
- Present findings to the customer on the tablet for customer approval, or e-mail the form to the customer for sign-off
Mobile Tablets in Sales
In the sales department, mobile tablets shine as a tool that can present visual information such as inventory videos, dealership videos, online reviews and other information that may be used in the decision-making process.
With full DMS integration, mobile tablets can be used for the following sales processes:
- Search for dealership inventory
- Search for competitors’ inventory pricing
- Scan VINs
- Demonstrate features for customers/virtual test drives
- View and offer online specials and incentives
- Share dealership videos and online reviews
- Scan the customers’ driver’s license and update information immediately within CRM and/or DMS
- Perform video walk around for customers off the lot
Mobile Tablets in F&I
During the turn over from sales to F&I, customers often have to wait until the F&I manager is available. Handing customers a mobile tablet with a display of the F&I menu during this wait time will increase their engagement and help to shorten the sales process.
A mobile tablet presentation of F&I products is perceived by customers as imposing less pressure upon them to make a purchasing decision, compared with when they are sitting in front of the F&I manager. This makes the customer feel more empowered, which in turn builds trust and ultimately increases product sales.
With full DMS integration, mobile tablets can be used for the following F&I processes:
- Educate customers on the products that interest them
- Allow customers to drag and drop their own product selections into customized packages
- Menu presentations
- Present pricing and payment options
- Sign and e-delivery of documents
Clearly, mobile tablets can be used for a variety of dealership processes, and I believe it’s just a matter of time before they become ubiquitous. The benefits are clear, even if the ROI is still difficult to define. For a free ebook with practical tips on how to adopt and use mobile tablets in your dealership, click on this link .
Where does your dealership stand on the usage of mobile tablets? If you have adopted them, what has your experience been? If you have not adopted them, what’s the biggest reason for holding back?
Author: Mike Esposito
Mike Esposito is President and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems, a leading dealership management system (DMS) provider. During his tenure at Auto/Mate, Esposito has grown the company’s auto dealer client base to more than 1,100 rooftops. Auto/Mate has the highest customer retention rate in the retail automotive industry and is the number one DMS in customer satisfaction. Its DMS was “Designed by Car People, for Car PeopleTM.” Find out how Auto/Mate does business differently at www.automate.com.