Throw Out All the Technology!
Everyone has a junk drawer with a couple old cell phones kicking around.
There’s a TV in the basement corner that’s still in an oak cabinet and hasn’t worked in a decade. Or you can look at the computer or smartphone you’re on right now. I’ll bet there’s a newer version on the market, and that makes yours outdated.
Technology has a usable life. According to the Consumer Technology Association, customers expect their electronics to last around five years. A laptop is outdated after less than two years. Smartphones are expected to operate less than five years!
You’re Asking, “What Does It Matter?”
Electronics won’t last as long as you’d hoped. That goes for the workplace as much as it does at home – probably even more so. Using technology is important in the automotive sector, and the truth is that virtually everything operates on some form of technology or computerization. But as much as you must invest in electronics or tech, it WILL eventually fail on you.
You can equip service advisors with tablets or the latest computer equipment, and there’s a strong argument as to why you should. But technology will never be the most important concern in the auto industry, the dealership model, or the service drive.
Old-Fashioned Customer Service is Key
No matter which operating system, DMS, or hardware you use, there’s no replacement for customer service. There will always be something newer, better, shinier, or more automated that’s coming down the line. But regardless of the tech you equip your store with, your customers demand a great experience.
What to Do About It
Remembering that the customer experience is more important than the fancy tech that’s available, it’s truly about doing the basics perfectly.
• Whether you’re showing a car or checking a vehicle in for a service appointment, the walkaround must be on point.
• While entering customer information with whatever media you have, keep engaged with the customer through eye contact, summation, and appropriate touch.
• Don’t blame the tech! If there’s a hitch in the computer, use the time to build rapport with the customer instead of saying, “stupid computer!” It also keeps the conversation on a positive note.
Don’t actually toss your technology in the scrap heap. Just remember that long after your computer packs it in, awesome customer service will still be modern.