CDK Global

Our industry has come a long way toward offering different paths to purchase for vehicle buyers. Shoppers can buy online, visit the showroom, or take a hybrid approach where they complete some of the steps online and finish in the dealership.

The ideal path is simply the one that works best for each individual buyer and leaves them feeling confident in their purchase. And that should come as no surprise.

Most dealerships are hyperfocused on building a better buying experience for their customers. Contrary to popular belief, a better experience doesn’t mean shunning the showroom for an entirely online sales process. It means eliminating idle time and dealer rigmarole that stretches showroom visits into endless hours of haggling, paperwork and high-pressure pitches for insurance products.

If there’s one thing no one has enough of these days, it’s time. The more efficient the world becomes, the shorter peoples’ fuses are. That’s certainly true at the dealership where CDK Global data has shown a direct relation between the amount of time car buyers spend in your store and how happy they are with the overall experience.

In the new e-book “Time Is Ticking on Customer Satisfaction,” the data reveals that there are practical ways of making time work throughout the sales process to boost customer satisfaction.

Baby boomers have dominated car buying and leasing for decades. Now, the oldest members of this generation, typically classified as those born between 1946 and 1964, are in their 70s. What does the aging of this huge cohort mean for your dealership?

Well, times are a-changin’. Your dealership will have to adapt its sales process to appeal to a wider range of customers as boomers age and younger generations step up.

As the automotive industry moves to an all-electric future, the race is on to staff up and stack up EV-capable service operations to meet growing consumer needs and expectations. Service managers are and have been concerned about staffing shortages and retention for years. Today, training existing technicians to support the coming wave of EV maintenance and repairs is also top of mind for everyone in the service bays.

The verdict is in: Consumers enjoy shopping for cars on their smartphones and computers. So how can dealers embrace it?

Traditional approaches won’t work in this information age. One change that might be difficult to let go of is pushing consumers to show up at the dealership early in the buying process. Pressuring every lead to come into the store doesn’t cut it anymore. A better approach is to adapt the car buying journey to meet new consumer needs. This can be achieved with a two-point strategy.

Earlier this month, thousands of customers and industry insiders participated in CDK CONNECT where they were given a customized view of automotive retail from CDK Global leaders Brian MacDonald — President and CEO, Barb Edson — EVP and Chief Marketing Officer and Sanjay Almeida — EVP and Chief Product Officer. Now, the virtual event is available for anyone who couldn't attend live.

Replay CDK CONNECT 2023

The automotive industry is seeing a paradigm shift. While the power of brick-and-mortar showrooms remains undeniable, the convenience and efficiency of researching and shopping online is revolutionizing how cars are sold. According to our most recent Friction Points Study, 84% of dealers have integrated some form of online digital retailing, but surprisingly, only 30% actively include it in their showroom experience. It's time for a change.

In a world where consumers expect every purchase to be fast and easy, speeding up the car buying process is key to remaining competitive and earning customer loyalty. It’s a big plus that more dealers are moving steps of the purchase process online to cut down on time spent in-store. However, the F&I (Finance and Insurance) office remains a sticking point.