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Sales person giving car key to family in car dealership

What Does Your Key Control Say About Your Dealership?

If you were dining at a restaurant and wandered back into the kitchen, what would you hope to find? If you saw stacks of dirty plates in sinks, cooks tripping over one another in a hectic rush, and fresh ingredients left out on countertops to spoil, you might think twice before ordering.

It wouldn’t matter how courteous the waiters were, how pristine the decorations, or how expansive the wine selection. When a business is a mess behind the scenes, its value takes a nosedive.

So what does your dealership’s “kitchen” look like?

You might have a top-notch team of sales representatives and a lot full of shiny, new, reasonably priced vehicles, but a lack of organization of employee resources will undermine all of that.

One chief source of disarray that impedes dealerships from providing customers the best sales experience possible is poor key management. Let’s discuss some of the ways insufficient key control could be holding you back and – how to break through those barriers.


Poor Key Control Kills Confidence

When you consider the traits you seek most in sales representatives, confidence is certainly near the top of that list.

When it’s time to retrieve the keys for a test drive or a recently serviced vehicle, there shouldn’t be any doubt as to the keys’ location. If there is, your associates’ composure is bound to suffer.

Even your most charismatic sales rep will be a little flustered if they’re frantically searching for a key, and that lack of preparedness speaks volumes to customers.

Eliminate doubt and replace it with confidence. An electronic key management system locks down security assets and will even use lighted key tags to indicate a key’s exact location within a drawer, so retrieving one never takes more than a few seconds. If the key has been removed, an automatically updated digital record tells you who took the key, when, and why.

The bridge between preparedness and confidence is foundational to your sales success. Are you doing everything you can to help your associates feel prepared?


The Productivity Cost of Clutter

Many dealerships are content using a pegboard or a designated key drawer. However, as the demands of your business pile up, even the best attempts at key control can devolve into a scattered mess of keys.

Not only can this lead to the uncertainty and lack of confidence we previously discussed, but the clutter itself comes with a significant cost.

When people are surrounded by disorder, their working memory is reduced. Conversely, removing clutter allows us to better process information and stay on top of our most pressing responsibilities.

A sleek key management system stores hundreds of key tags, maximizing space without sacrificing organization.

Your sales reps need to be firing on all cylinders to juggle the different makes, models, parts, and customer credentials circling their brains. Don’t let something as basic as keys derail one of these crucial pieces of information from your associate’s train of thought.


Letting Dollars Slip Away by the Minute

Time is money, and that’s never truer than when your customers feel you’ve wasted theirs.

Once an associate has finally located the right key on the pegboard or chased it down because a coworker mistakenly took it, the damage is likely already done.

A 2020 study by Dimensional Research tells us nearly 60% of buyers will not revisit a business with poor customer service. Do you really want to play those odds of keeping a customer after sloppy key management ruins a sales experience?

Graphic: 60% of buyers will not revisit a business with poor customer service.

Between accessories, trade-ins, and regular maintenance, you rely on your most loyal customers for a great deal of your sales volume. Mismanaging your keys can slam the door on several sales opportunities in the long run.

Sooner or later, subpar key control will affect your day-to-day processes in the showroom, on the lot, or in the service drive. At that point, it may be too late to patch up your relationship with customers.

Start at the root of disorganization and streamline your key management. Your customers can always rely on your team of confident, clear-minded associates when they’re backed by a dependable, intuitive key control system.

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