What do Millennials and technology mean for the future of your auto dealership? The truth of the matter is that you’re going to need both if you want to remain competitive in today’s industry.
The Impact of Technology on Auto Dealerships
One of the biggest changes that is forcing dealerships to shift the way they sell cars is customer behavior. According to an article from Fortune magazine, customers now make fewer than two visits (1.9 to be exact) to a dealership before making a purchase.
Online shopping is the main culprit. Because of the free flow of information on the Web, car buyers are more inclined to research their auto purchases at home or on the go using their computers and mobile devices. They’re no longer so dependent on salespeople for information about specific cars. As a result, some auto dealerships are equipping their sales team with greater technology, like tablets, to facilitate customer interactions and close deals in the showroom.
Unfortunately, you can’t just arm your sales team with tablets and expect them to be effective at selling in a new way. This is a significant shift, and your employee base has to be comfortable with approaching the customer and engaging them with a piece of technology. Most Dealers are targeting Millennials to work on the sales floor for this reason alone.
There are many benefits to having technology on the floor accompanied by tech-savvy employees:
•It gives the sales team instant access to information when customers have questions to which they may not know the immediate answer
•It initiates the sale on the floor instead of having to wait until customers are in the back office
•It helps build early credibility and trust if your customer sees the employee as a reliable source
•It will improve the level of professionalism and drive positive impressions of the store
Providing a mix of access to this type of technology and tech-savvy employees is one way that auto dealerships can remain competitive.
Millennials are a Perfect Fit for Technology Enabled Dealerships
While the common stereotype you see of Millennials is a group of people who constantly have their smartphones at the ready or are scrolling through their preferred social media feeds, this generation is exceptionally adept at technology. They were born into an era of innovation that made digital technology one of the primary ways people experience the world.
As a result, the generation has been groomed to reach for technology—mobile devices in particular—when searching for the answers to questions. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, Millennials are highly collaborative and make research-driven decisions.
What’s more, according to a recent study from PricewaterhouseCoopers, 78 percent of Millennials believe that access to technology makes them more effective in their roles at work (Link to the study; pdf warning.) Thus, the technology your auto dealership implements is a major contributing factor when Millennials are considering employers. In fact, 6 in 10 Millennials say the quality of technology a business has was important during recruitment.
However, it’s increasingly likely that Millennials will utilize their personal technology if the tools they have in the workplace limit them. Meanwhile, employers are also creating or updating their IT policies to adapt to Millennials’ technology needs—for instance, providing smartphones as an employee benefit.
Technology and Millennials go hand in hand, especially at your dealership. Whether it’s informed consumers arriving at your dealership with buying research saved on their smart devices or tech-savvy employees who understand your customers, technology surrounds this generation and is paramount to delivering a positive buying experience.
What steps have you taken to attract Millennials to your dealership? Have they worked?
Special thanks to our partners at Hireology for their insights on recruiting Millennials for the automotive workplace.