Make more customers happy: 3 easy ways mobile tech can boost CSI

There are few absolutes when it comes to the business of selling cars which is a little amazing, right?

Most dealerships work hard to define an optimized path to success, one that starts the moment a car buyer sets an appointment or walks into the showroom. Yet even though there’s this clear and organized process, each and every deal takes on a life of its own, with hidden rabbit holes, unexpected wins, and more.  

You may be familiar with the unrealistic credit-challenged customer wanting too much car? The customer who can’t afford a bigger down payment?  Or perhaps the upside-down trade?

The fact is, with today’s information and technology-empowered consumer, automotive retail is more unpredictable than ever.

Dealerships today must take the following 3 proven behaviors into account when designing the most profitable route from shopper to buyer:

  • Car buyers will spend most of their research time online
  • Most still want a test drive and a knowledgeable, but not aggressive, product advisor
  • They potential customers expect a seamless, faster-moving dealership sales and finance experience

There are a plethora of stats and surveys showing how customer satisfaction is directly connected to the time it takes to get a deal done.

It’s not about how long it takes to reach a deal. Or how long it takes to go on a test drive.  Just simply to get the deal done.

From the customer’s perspective, getting the deal done involves overly sweetened vending machine coffee, endless and anxious waiting for financing approvals, a confusing tangle of strange-sounding insurance products like GAP Insurance and then that old school contract approach that includes a dot matrix printer, black pens, and yellow highlighter.

And, you get the picture … your CSI probably went down just thinking about it!

Let’s face it, even it goes well, it’s still not a customer experience most are used to having. And have a breakdown in any of these areas and you know exactly what that happens: Unhappy buyers eager to deliver a body blow to your CSI, criticize you on Facebook or Yelp, and call forth all the trolls and goblins that love to run your business down.

You can solve this by doing the same thing your buyer is doing: leveraging mobile technology. In doing this, you reduce the time it takes to wrap up the deal and make your car buyers happy through the entire process.

We recently asked dealers who use mobile tablets what the top realized benefit was for using this tech and the number one response was ‘speeding up the sales process’ (44%), followed by improved CSI (39%).

We all know what this stat reveals: a fast sales experience makes for happy customers, who then provide improved CSI scores, which makes dealers and managers VERY happy.

And if that sounds like more perceived value than real, actual, and tangible, here are three quick, concrete ways mobile tech can improve your CSI:

  1. Use it as a part of the sales dialogue, to connect the dealership experience to the work they’ve already done online.
  2. Leverage tablets during the handoff between sales and F&I, and directly tie it to F&I products.
  3. Go mobile (and electronic) with the contracting process. Yes, the buyer still needs to sign in all the same places, but doing so on a tablet is far more convenient and easier than those long awkward contracts. Plus, electronic contracting itself provides key cost-saving and efficiency benefits.

Sure, customer happiness is partially about the perception of efficiency; about how your team leverages mobile tech to create an experience that feels right and keeps the buyer (happily) occupied. But it also offers actual and real benefits that speed the process, and in doing so, improve profitability and customer satisfaction.

In a sales market as competitive as this one, that’s a clear happiness advantage.

Author: Pete Maclnnis

Author Bio: Pete brings over 40 years of experience in automotive finance and technology as Founder and CEO of eLEND Solutions™. Founded in 2003 as DealerCentric, Pete is leading the company’s evolution to an automotive FinTech company that specializes in digital credit and finance solutions designed to create a more efficient vehicle purchase process for the retail automotive industry.

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