In a time of tightening dealership profits, retaining the customers you already have through excellent service and a focus on convenience is a must. Everywhere you look, dealers are overhauling their processes to maximize customer convenience.
Maybe you’ve added a free car wash after service or loaner cars for extended service customers. But one process that’s often overlooked is the payment process when the customer’s car is ready.
Common sense says it’s a simple process and ought to be basically the same everywhere, right? Wrong.
Every process within the four walls can be improved, and the payment process is no exception. Think of the last time you waited in line at the grocery store. Did it strike you as an enjoyable process, the height of efficiency with a focus on your convenience? I doubt it.
In the same way, if your dealership payment process requires your customers to wait in line to pick up their cars, you’re wasting their time.
So, how do you improve the process, the experience, and ultimately your retention rates? By giving your customers options.
Doing business online seems so simple, and yet it represents a significant payment opportunity that many dealerships ignore.
Think about how you pay your own bills. Do you go to the water department and hand over cash? Do you write a check, address an envelope, and then realize you’re out of stamps? Probably not. Like the majority of bill-paying adults, you probably pay online.
Near-Field Communication (NFC)
Near-field communication (NFC) is a complex-sounding term for technology you’re probably familiar with already, even if you don’t realize it.
Think Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay – technology that works by using a smartphone near a payment terminal.
This is an increasingly popular payment method because it’s so fast. Starting next year, people in New York City will be able to wave their phones at turnstiles in the subway or fareboxes on buses to pay for transportation.
Its value as a payment option is obvious when you consider that upwards of 77 percent of adults now own a smartphone.
It’s also worthwhile to re-examine your processes regarding technology you’ve already adopted. Sure, you accept credit cards, but how quick and secure is the process? Do you have multiple terminals? Are your advisors accepting payments? How do you keep customer payment information secure?
With different security threats popping up every week, it can be a challenge to make sure you’re keeping your customers’ information as safe as possible while still creating a positive experience.
By applying the ethics of convenience and process improvement to every area of your dealership, you give yourself the best possible chance of customer retention.
Consider a solution that provides all the options listed here while integrating seamlessly with your existing processes. Then, start reaping the rewards of a great customer experience, payment security, and efficiency.
Author: Jeremy Fleck
Jeremy started at Reynolds and Reynolds in 2011 in the Technical Assistance Center, working with the business office. He became the Product Manager for eDealership and GAS in 2014 and now is the Product Planning Manager for ReyPAY®. Jeremy coaches bowling at Wright State University and a local high school in addition to being a board member for Dayton Special Olympics.