There was quite a bit of innovation and investments throughout the pandemic to improve the consumer-facing retail transaction process and technology workflows in dealerships. Transactions have now become more digitalized, or at least somewhat digitalized when it comes to the consumer facing touchpoints. But while the ecosystem focused on technology-driven innovation to fuel the improved consumer experience, there are several parts of the car buying process that are largely paper-based. Even those systems that are using a more digitalized process suffer from a fragmented system using disparate technologies and platforms. It hampers the overall experience for everyone involved.
The process of buying and selling cars is a process that relies heavily on paperwork. Starting from test drive documentation to deal files, job cards, trade forms, and invoices, along with marketing materials, an average car dealership can plow through loads of paper every year. But digitalize the dealership could mean significant savings. It reduces the amount of ink, toner, paper, document storage, and secure document disposal needed to sustain efficient day-to-day operations. Apart from these hard costs, a paperless car dealership has several advantages, such as optimized productivity to reduced staff and customer frustration.
The next phase of automotive transaction is here! What is about to surface is an awareness of more improvement required throughout the journey, particularly around paper involved in the transaction. In today’s fast-paced world, usage of paper in automotive dealerships is inefficient and a liability.
Consumers want to do everything online such as calculating monthly payments, apply for financing, select F&I products, and review and sign the final contract. Most are willing to conduct the entire buying process online. It is time for dealers to convert from paper to digital throughout the process to improve experience and get ahead of risks too.
Time to leave the paper world
The use of paper is wasteful, and carries considerable compliance risk as well. For instance, photocopies of customers’ drivers’ licenses sit on the copier or a salesperson’s desk. Deal jackets remain on an F&I manager’s desk with the door open to the office, or paperwork is taken to the driveways of unverified customers for wet inked signatures, which results in customers with envelopes and throwing them in the glove box.
The automotive industry is still quite paper-driven, which is wrought with liability and risk for everyone involved. digitalization must be implemented as a solution in the transaction around use of paper and management of original documents. It is imperative to find end-to-end solutions that eliminate the need for paper.
Digitalize the whole process will solve several pain points for the industry – take a look:
- Significantly improve risk and liability of exposed PII (personally identifiable information) in a paper-based environment.
- Minimizing inefficiencies and added costs to manage paper, keeping up with revisions, etc.
- Reduced possibilities of outdated contracts being used, which usually leads to lender rejections, and paper returned to the dealer which further increases the risk of exposure.
How can dealerships evolve?
The above mentioned issues are only some of the problems faced by dealerships. Unnecessary paperwork not only makes everything tedious, but takes up storage space too. So if have to look up the copy of a document, your staff has to dig through boxes and filing cabinets for hours. Here are some ways to eliminate or reduce paperwork while digitalizing the dealership:
1. Store digitally
As mentioned, paper has to be stored in a dealership, which requires space. Some dealerships have been forced to build additions onto their dealership just for paper storage. Rather than spending loads of money to increase storage space, invest in scanning software, so you can scan the documents after a deal, and store in one secure location. So when you need to look up something, it can be retrieved in a jiffy!
2. Book service appointments or test drives online
Have your customers schedule online, eliminating the need for a physical calendar or schedule, which often results in accidental double bookings. A paper schedule can also be problem if you have customer PII listed on appointments. So if customers book service appointments or test drives online, this issue can be prevented. They would just need to provide a brief description of the problem with their vehicle or specify a time slot, respectively.
3. Email paperwork
From processing a deal with the bank to customer requests, paperwork can travel digitally to its destination. Your accounting team can process deals quicker by emailing documentation to banks, instead of sorting, packaging, and mailing. Customers requesting documentation can also be emailed copies of their paperwork instead of making them come back to the dealership for a physical printed copy.
4. Opt for a CRM
With changing technology and tighter profit margins, the current market is an aggressive one, so you have to be a step ahead. Wasting time to tackle mountains of paperwork is certainly something you need to do away with. Minimizing paperwork is a great way to help your dealership push ahead of the competition and win the trust and loyalty of your customers. An automotive CRM like Modera Salesfront can help to achieve this purpose in digitalize dealership. It efficiently collates, stores, processes, and manages customer information, which includes paperwork in a centralized and secure format. It is easy to access the data whenever you wish to. It helps dealerships function in a more streamlined manner.
Don’t be dependant on paper anymore. Modera Salesfront helps to drive efficiency and profits, while eliminating the need for paperwork and refining customer experience – it is time to go digital!