In today’s customer-driven world, it’s crucial to differentiate your dealership by providing a 5-star customer experience. But if your salespeople aren’t happy, they’ll become unmotivated and their performance will suffer. In fact, the industry’s employee turnover rate is a sky-high 46 percent.
Disengaged employees lead to a poor customer experience, which results in negative online reviews. When you consider the fact that buyers spend six to eight hours researching cars online before visiting a dealership, it becomes clear how crucial online reviews are.
There are several factors that go into engaging employees and creating a positive customer experience, but one thing you might not have considered is your key management process.
How Effective Key Management Affects the Customer Experience
One of the most important aspects of selling a car is the test drive. If your salespeople are bogged down with a clunky key checkout process, your customers’ frustration will grow as they wait. Invest in tools that make employees’ jobs easier and show you value their success.
Think of it this way: If you were given the choice between the following two key checkout processes, which would you choose?
- Manual Process: 5-10 minutes. When retrieving a key for a test drive, the salesperson goes to a desk, cabinet or pegboard where keys are kept and rifles through them to find the correct one. If the key isn't there, the salesperson has to spend time tracking it down, not knowing who has the key, when it was last taken, or if it's even available anymore. This process could take well over 10 minutes, especially if the key was taken back to a sales person’s desk and not returned to the correct place.
- Electronic Process: 15-60 seconds. When retrieving a key for a test drive, the salesperson goes to an electronic cabinet or drawer system where keys are locked and enters a password or scans their fingerprint to gain access. The salesperson then removes the required key, and the system automatically records transaction details such as the salesperson’s name, the date and time, and which key was taken. This information helps salespeople quickly and easily track down a desired key even if it isn't physically in the system. It also gives management an overview of what keys are checked out and who took them.
It goes without saying that when it comes to getting a customer into a vehicle for a test drive, faster is better. Car buyers have spent approximately seven hours researching their intended purchase before stepping foot in your dealership, and they don’t want to prolong the buying process by waiting to get into the vehicle they want to test drive.
If your salespeople are forced to use inefficient processes to access keys, both they and your customers become frustrated. And when your customers are dissatisfied, they’ll go straight to your competitors.
On the flip side, when your salespeople are happy and can work more efficiently, they'll provide better service and leave your customers satisfied, impressed and, hopefully, ready to give that 5-star review!