With 2022 in the rearview mirror, we now look ahead to 2023. The ups and downs of the automotive market in 2022 showed us that being unprepared can have damaging effects. Whether it’s with technology, customer tendencies, or supply and demand, dealers should predict what’s coming in order to handle those market fluctuations.
Check out these four automotive trends to watch for that could dictate your success in 2023 and beyond!
More customers are opting to purchase their vehicles online rather than coming to the dealership. Taking a page from Tesla's car buying experience, customers now want to be able to view inventory, watch complete vehicle walkthroughs, choose vehicle features, confirm payment options, and receive delivery of their newly purchased vehicles all right from the comfort of their own homes. Dealerships will be forced to have processes in place to accommodate these types of requests. Salespeople will, in turn, become more product specialists educating customers about the vehicles, rather than taking on the typical sales persona and duties.
Rather than speaking directly to the Service advisor or reading through a multi-page document outlining all the work done on their vehicles, customers prefer video walkthroughs where advisors provide an assessment of the vehicle's condition and the maintenance that was done. Customers appreciate this insight so there aren’t any surprises upon picking up their vehicle and reviewing the invoice. Dealers can go a step further by offering to pick up customer vehicles for their Service appointment and return them to their homes upon completion.
With the boom in online shopping, making sure dealerships have a significant marketing presence is critical. Creating a more user-friendly website, targeting specific customers with search engine optimization, and investing further in social media platforms and influencers, are some ways dealers can engage with customers online and make a bigger splash compared to their competitors.
Text messages can be quick, convenient, and responsive. With the busyness of the day-to-day, customers prefer a quick text message rather than trying to catch them on a quick phone call. Texting also allows dealer staff to free up time to complete other tasks. It’s critical to have a texting process in place for both Sales and Service. For example, in Sales, once a customer agrees to come into the dealership, provide that customer with details of their appointment such as date, time, dealership address, vehicle to test drive, and what items to bring. An example in Service would be to send text message reminders of the customer’s upcoming appointment that include date and time, what vehicle is going to be serviced, and estimated wait time. Texting creates a more streamlined process for customers that also keeps them aligned with what to expect when visiting the dealership.
2022 brought a lot of challenges in the automotive industry, but with a new year comes new opportunities. By keeping these trends in mind, dealers can look forward to a successful 2023 to bring in new customers, keep existing customers, retain employees, and provide best-in-class customer experiences.
To see how Car Wars is planning to help our dealer partners win 2023, visit carwars.com.