Dealership happy customers

3 Areas In Your Dealership That Could Use Immediate Improvement

No matter how well your dealership is doing in sales and against the competition, there is always room for growth. There’s no such thing as a dealership that is doing everything right all day, every day. If you think your dealership is good to go and doesn’t have any areas for improvement, then it’s only a matter of time before the overall dealership performance dips. 

Finding ways to improve does not mean failure. If anything, it’s a way to enhance your business by taking it to the next level and maintain a competitive edge. It’s as simple as asking yourself a few questions that explore how your dealership performance can improve. 

Three of the most significant areas in your dealership that will always require improvement revolve around your customers and your staff. Top-performing dealerships know that working on these areas is honing their competitive edge. The advice offered below isn’t revolutionary and probably isn’t something you haven’t already heard. But it is frequently overlooked or deferred, so we pulled together the following ways you can immediately improve three areas in your dealership. Check them out below: 

Dealership happy customers
  • Customer retention: Currently, are there any customer retention strategies in place at your dealership? Popular methods at dealerships include reward programs, loyalty incentives, and extra perks that can be used at the service department. These can consist of free car washes, oil changes, and even manicures or other personal services for the vehicle owner. The best part is, the free incentives will bring even more sales and service revenue to your dealership, and maintain your brand awareness.
  • Staff retention: When you manage a large dealership staff, it can be difficult to keep everybody motivated in the workplace. Employee engagement at dealerships is lower than most other industries, and that engagement is even lower amongst Sales and Customer Service workers – the face of your dealership! Are you currently doing anything to show support for your staff? There are several different ways you can show your appreciation for your employees if you aren’t already. Learn about their interests, congratulate them on a job well done or meeting a sales goal, and celebrating job anniversaries are just a few ways to show employee appreciation. If they feel valued in the workplace, they’ll work harder, and as a result, your entire dealership will benefit. 
  • Customer care: What kind of atmosphere does your customer waiting room currently have? When a customer comes in for their scheduled service, they should enter a welcoming environment and not a room full of uncomfortable chairs with cold coffee. Small additions to your waiting area can be those necessary touches that create a welcoming environment for your customers. Healthy snacks, free Wi-Fi, a variety of beverages, and a comfortable seating area go a long way in making your customers feel valued. When that happens, you create customer loyalty. You might need to spend some money to add these improvements, but can you ever put a price on earning a customer’s loyalty? You never know what can come from it or who they’ll refer to your dealership. 

No matter where you discover your dealership can improve, it’s important to remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. Small changes can add up to significant results, and before you know it, your dealership will have a reputation as the best in town. 

Amazon fleet van

Common Problems and Solutions Facing Amazon DSP Fleet Managers

  • Fuel Costs
  • Vehicle Condition
  • Driver Breaks
  • Driver Location

Every day, fleet management handles all sorts of responsibilities to improve overall productivity in the business. Their functions can be anything from vehicle maintenance, telematics, driver management, speed and fuel management, and of course, satisfied customers and clients. Not to mention, it’s no easy task being responsible for every driver across a large area. That’s why companies must implement various fleet management systems and technologies such as telematics. Telematics technology can accurately monitor vehicle health, optimize the best routes based on your driver’s location, among other things such as driver safety. 

However, even the most influential companies, like Amazon, face different problems that no  independent fleet manager wants to deal with. Below are the common problems seen in fleet management that can easily be solved through management systems, such as telematics:

Fuel Costs: Without monitoring driving behaviors and where your vehicles are, the cost of fuel might be significantly more than it needs to be. Amazon may be a global franchise, but fuel is still an incurred expense. Speeding, driving in traffic, and going off the route for longer breaks are all contributing factors for increased fuel costs. Thankfully, telematics technology has made it possible for fleet management to monitor any contributing factors to excess fuel usage. Downsizing to smaller vehicles, such as sprinter vans, are also much more fuel-efficient than driving a 16-wheeler semi. Using sprinters are especially popular during the winter months, as they are much safer and can get to locations faster while keeping fuel costs down. 

Poor Vehicle Condition: Your drivers might be putting additional wear and tear on the vehicles that are unnecessary to accomplish the job. Steps get ripped off, bulkhead doors get knocked off their track. Excess braking and speeding, idling for long periods, and neglecting necessary vehicle maintenance like oil changes, can cause your vehicles to suffer more than they need to. Telematics allows you to monitor the health of your cars based on how your drivers are treating the vehicles. It can also serve as a teaching tool to help educate drivers where they can improve their driving that will also extend the life of the fleet. Amazon DSP fleet owners know just how vital the vehicle’s health is to the business, which is why they encourage their drivers to get any necessary maintenance as part of their job requirements. 

Longer breaks: When your drivers take longer breaks than they should, especially when en route for a delivery, it can cause significant disruption in the business. Companies like Amazon rely on their drivers, making customer deliveries within a specific window of time. Taking unscheduled or longer breaks can create new problems that weren’t there in the first place. Since Amazon is a powerhouse company, their drivers must be dependable, especially when it comes to not taking advantage of breaks. The most reliable and highest performing drivers know that even taking a longer break can jeopardize the business in more ways than an unhappy customer. 

Unknown driver location: Any driver can tell you they are traveling southbound on the freeway or stopped at a red light 10 minutes from the delivery site. But if you notice your drivers aren’t arriving at a location when they should, or they ignore the schedule, then it’s time to implement a fleet management system that gives you the exact location of your drivers in real-time. It’ll eliminate any guessing game and also will allow you to see who your trustworthy drivers are. 

If you haven’t already, do what the big companies are doing and implement telematics technology to improve your fleet management system. There may be a solution to every problem, but telematics also allows you to take your business to the next level and give you that desired competitive edge.

ReconPro Back Office 2.11.5.0

Link multiple locations to one team in the settings of the TSD and Thermeon integrations to handle situations when one team works in different areas

Improvements

  • Assign the same team to multiple areas in TSD/Thermeon Integration Settings

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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ReconMonitor Back Office 3.5.5

Automate the process of parts ordering from generic providers: generating and sending quote requests, getting quotes and submitting orders

New Features

  • Order parts from generic providers
  • Repair order task tracking

Improvements

  • Punchout parts ordering from multiple providers
  • Auto-updating the counters in the pinned searches on the Repair Orders page

Fixed Issues

  • In some cases, only one of the multiple pictures was shown for image questions
  • Zero value was displayed in the ‘Core Price’ and ‘Labor Credit’ fields of part services after entering a negative value

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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Sword oops

4 Big Management Mistakes For Used Car Sales Managers To Avoid

Being a sales manager at a used car dealership is no easy task. It can be even more of a demanding role than a new car sales manager because you have to deal with acquiring the best vehicles from the auction and oversee the reconditioning process. Although management training exists, seldom do we see people beginning their careers as managers. Those who start on the front lines and are management material may discover they quickly move up the ranks into management roles (and management problems). Even seasoned managers can make mistakes. Some are simply out of your control, while others can be more easily avoided.

Here are four management problem areas to avoid at your dealership along with simple solutions: 

Problem 1: You want people to like you instead of respect you. Many used car managers who are just beginning want everyone to be on their side, so they’ll be overly friendly instead of realizing boundaries that are there for a reason. 

Solution: There is a fine line between being friendly and being friends with everyone. As the manager, you help create a balance between departments, team members, and yourself. It’s important to remember what you have to do, to ensure that the dealership generates revenue. That can be easier with a bit of professional distance between you and those you manage.


Problem 2: You have a sense of entitlement. Just as much as some used car managers make the mistake of being overly friendly, some can be aloof and condescending to their sales team. 

Solution: Every part of a dealership, new or used, relies on one another for success. If you interact with them with a know-it-all attitude instead of one of collaborative problem-solving, they aren’t going to want to work hard to be part of the dealership’s goals, including speeding up the reconditioning process, selling your used inventory, acquiring the best cars from auction, etc.


Problem 3: You avoid conflict. Nobody likes conflict, but part of your job description as a sales manager is the ability to resolve disputes, not hide from them. 

Solution: The solution here is to identify what may be causing the conflict and how it can be resolved. Also, don’t fix the conflict without coaching your team members on how it can be avoided next time there’s a conflict. Let any conflict be an opportunity to grow as an organization, not for you to clean up the mess and slide it under the carpet.

 

Problem 4: Poor asset management bottlenecks the reconditioning process. vAuto found that some of the best-performing dealers can recondition their vehicles in 24 hours or less, whereas other dealerships take a week or longer. These high-performance dealerships can typically sell a car within 21 days of being on the lot. Anything more, and your lot gets full of depreciating assets, among other problems. 

Solution: Use readily available and easy to deploy software solutions to manage the recon workflow, vehicles, communication, and record-keeping better. Good software, such as ReconMonitor, is designed to optimize your reconditioning process to save you time and money.


Mistakes are normal in any business, no matter what role a person may have. It’s how you find the solutions and work together as a team that will determine the success of your dealership.

Hiring handshake

4 Hiring Practices That Can Hurt Your Dealership’s Success

  • Job Descriptions
  • One-sided Interviews
  • Desperation
  • Fact-Checking

Your dealership employees are a reflection of your brand. They are who your customer interacts with, purchases from, and need to build trust with before they make their vehicle purchase. Each new hire costs a dealership an average of $10,000, which can add up if you have a high turnover rate.

According to a 2019 Cox Automotive Dealership Staffing Study, the average annualized turnover rate at a dealership is roughly 80% for sales consultants and 46% for dealership employees overall. You probably have a team consisting of entry-level salespeople eager to help people find their dream car. You may also have non-sales staff such as service writers who pull long hours but feel they don’t make enough money and should be compensated for overtime. 

Rather than discussing the specifics you should look for in the hiring process (every company has its own cultural and skill requirements), we’ve pulled together some hiring practices you may not realize can hurt your dealership’s success. Check them out: 

  • Minimal job descriptions: If you want to attract the best, you have to write a job description that has a bit more information than just the minimum requirements. Be clear with who and what you want out of that position, their required job experience, and what their job requirements would be. A short blurb will come off vague and will get a lot of applications from people who don’t have the necessary qualifications. 
  • One-sided interviews: Job interviews are not just one-sided. You want to present a workplace that would make someone want to work at your dealership. An interview is not just about you checking out candidates for a position. It’s also a first impression of what it would be like working at your dealership. If you instill a desire to work for you right from the interview process, they’ll be more enthusiastic about coming to work. 
  • Making an offer on the spot: When you make an offer on the spot, it comes off as desperate. You need to establish a comprehensive hiring process that includes different interviews, checking out references, and perhaps a trial project at the dealership to show them what a typical day would be. Something freely given has little value, so even if you are desperate to hire, don’t appear to be in a rush.
  • Not doing a background or reference check: Just as bad as it is to offer a job right on the spot, so is not performing a background or reference check. You may feel the pressure to hire someone right away and that verifying someone is who they say they are is a waste of time. In actuality, it keeps your dealership team and customers safe. Not to mention, it’ll save you money by hiring a quality, truthful employee instead of someone who lied about their work experience. After all, a survey conducted by CareerBuilder discovered that over half of hiring managers report they’ve caught prospects lying in their resumes. A simple reference or background check will save you that stress.

There you have it, four different hiring practices that can actually hurt your dealership’s success. Simply rearranging a few areas in the hiring process will not only save you time and future aggravation, but it’ll also save money from hiring people that aren’t in it for the long run. Make your hiring process a priority at your dealership by developing a system that guarantees any new hires you bring on will be the right hires. 

ReconPro mobile app 2.19.9 for iOS devices

Assign technicians to the whole work order or some specific services, use improved conventional repair service, and select additional price matrix services easily

Improvements

  • Assigning technicians to work orders made easier
  • Conventional repair improvements
  • Additional price matrix services improvements

Fixed Issues

  • An issue with closing the inspection approval screen after drawing the signature
  • Multiple team inspections could be approved several times
  • The invoice ‘Details’ action didn’t work as expected
  • Read-only price matrix services could be selected and saved to invoices
  • The amount of paid invoices was not updated.

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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