Why Used Car Dealer Software Is Essential For An Independent Dealership
The used car industry looks noticeably different today than it did in the past. Operating an independent used car dealership used to involve a great deal of manual record-keeping, research, analysis, and face-to-face time with consumers to ensure smooth operations, profitability, and high customer satisfaction.
Nowadays, independent dealerships can utilize powerful software and other digital platforms to automate various parts of the business, streamline operations, and ensure everything runs smoothly, efficiently, and in a cost-effective manner. Today’s used car buyers expect an exceptional experience, and used car dealer software can help your dealership – no matter the size – deliver.
Independent used car dealerships looking to generate more sales in faster sales cycles are leveraging various software solutions to stay competitive and even beat out the competition.
Used Car Dealer Software Improves The Buying Experience
Dealerships that use software to manage the used car buying experience see improved customer satisfaction. Customers report being more valued and empowered since they feel like they are in control of the buying process.
Providing a better and more empowering experience will only strengthen your dealership’s reputation. Customers will be more likely to repeat, recommend you to family & friends, and even leave positive public reviews for others to read.
Investing in the right technology improves customer service and will have long-lasting benefits. It ensures your customers are getting the best service possible and will improve your bottom line.
How to Select the Right Used Car Dealership Software
To keep up in a highly competitive industry driven by constant technological advancements and more demanding customers, it’s essential for used car dealerships to utilize different software.
Car dealer software will help your dealership stay on top of customer engagement, lead generation and lead flow, marketing, administrative operations, inventory, finances, and much more. If there’s a need, there’s likely a software solution for your dealership – all you have to do is use the right software to address your needs, and this Used Car Dealer Software Guide will help you select the right options.
The Used Car Dealer Software Guide
Choosing the right used car dealer software is crucial and it should be based on the unique needs of your dealership and customers. The best place to begin is by identifying the different categories of software that can help your dealership – this guide does that. Once you know the essential software categories, the next step is to dig into the various types of software available within each category, learn more about them, and most importantly, evaluate them.
To make sure you get the right software, it’s necessary to educate yourself on the different types of software and what advantages they each offer. Remember, when considering the variety of used car dealer software options, it will be helpful to narrow your options down to those that exactly meet your dealership’s needs.
Let’s get started by learning more about the different types of software available to used car dealerships.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software for Dealerships
Automotive CRM software is an essential tool for any used car dealership – it helps build and maintain relationships with customers, both old and new. A CRM specifically designed for independent car dealers will help you optimize various processes like scheduling, general workflows, and even marketing initiatives.
One of the best things about CRM software is that it increases the availability and accessibility of information about customers, sales, and schedules – whatever the information may be, a robust CRM platform can allow your small and independent dealership to operate with greater efficiency and communication, which in turn, results in a better customer experience.
A used car dealer CRM makes it easier to track customer interactions, view your sales pipeline, and provide a better overall experience for your customers and your sales team.
The Essential Features to look for in a used car dealership CRM are:
- Lead Management – The ability to track leads that are generated online, over the phone, via affiliates, or as walk-ins.
- Lead Searching, Sorting, and Filtering – Be able to search, sort, and filter all leads in one screen, with notifications on progress for reps and complete activity records for managers.
- Lead Nurturing and Automation – The ability to respond automatically and immediately to new leads leveraging automated emails and texts for consistency, thus freeing the sales team to focus on high-probability leads.
- Improved Communication – The capacity to track all customer communications via phone, text, and email.
- Accountability – With every task and activity logged in one place, managers can monitor the sales team at a glance and always know which activities are producing the best results.
- Transparency and Reporting – Following every deal of the sales process from beginning to end and providing meaningful reports that summarize operational performance.
- Mobile App – Sales reps are rarely at their desk, so they need a CRM on the go that allows them to quickly access their leads on their cell phone to send texts and emails, update notes, schedule appointments, and log sales.
- Integration – CRM is powerful software, but it can not do everything, nor should it. That is why it’s important for a used car dealership CRM to be able to integrate with other third-party systems like Dealer Management Systems, Inventory Management, Consumer Credit Apps, and Vehicle History systems.
AutoRaptor’s CRM for Used Car Dealerships
The best Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software for used car dealerships is AutoRaptor. It meets all the benefits listed above, has a proven history in the industry, and has unparalleled customer satisfaction. If your used and independent car dealership is looking for a comprehensive CRM solution, we encourage you to try a free demo of AutoRaptor. You will not be disappointed.
Closing Thoughts on a CRM for Your Used Car Dealership
Customers are the lifeblood of any organization, but this is especially true in the used car industry, so providing excellent customer service is one of the best ways to ensure customer loyalty and expand your customer base.
Used car CRM software provides a wide array of benefits not just for customers but for sales teams and management as well. By employing the right used car CRM, your dealership is investing in customers and operations.
Dealer Management System (DMS)
A Dealer Management System (DMS) helps manage vehicle inventory, process sales, run credit reports, tally accounting records, print paperwork, and integrate with other dealership software like a CRM. Dealer management systems enable a used car dealership to perform all the day-to-day functions your dealership encounters. A good DMS should easily integrate with other software to allow for a streamlined, easy-to-use exchange of information between all the operational areas of your dealership.
A dealer management system helps you achieve goals by creating effective and cooperative systems for departments to communicate, interact, and stay informed with each other. A good DMS will save you money, improve operations efficiency, and also improve the customer experience at your independent dealership.
Dealer Management Systems Features
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Integration
- Inventory Management
- Integrated Accounting with Tax Software
- POS & Retail Management
- Reporting Tools & Analytics
- Service Scheduling & Productivity Tracker
- Repair Order & Billing Estimates
- Deal Structuring, Forms & Contracting
- Lead Management Quoting
- Multi-platform Access (laptop/desktop, mobile)
Used car dealer management software can also be utilized to help streamline the numerous administrative tasks involved in running an independent dealership. DMS systems can help dealerships harness the wealth of data at their disposal so that they can to make more informed decisions and improve administrative operations.
When small, used car dealership personnel can spend more time working with customers and converting leads into sales and less time worrying about menial tasks that DMS handles – that can boost your bottom line significantly.
Inventory Management Software
Inventory Management Software is typically built into most DMS systems, but it can also be purchased as standalone small used car dealer software. Inventory management software is a powerful tool for most independent dealerships that helps you automate the inventory tracking process.
You can efficiently monitor the current cars on the lot and identify vehicles that are in need of replacement. Inventory management software ensures you have accurate counts on the cars you have for sale and track which cars you may be in need of. Lastly, inventory management software can help you syndicate inventory to your website, your DMS, and even your CRM by matching cars with lead interest.
A Website Built for Used Car Dealership
A website is usually the first place leads/customers will interact with you. A website that is modern, responsive, and easy to use is a must for any small independent dealership. The website should easily integrate with your CRM so that inquiries can quickly turn into leads and seamlessly flow through your sales pipeline. The website should also integrate with your DMS and/or inventory management system so that customers can view what vehicles you have available.
Most buyers begin looking for a car online. According to CDK Global, “90% of car shoppers prefer a dealership where they can start the buying process online.” Even more astounding, an ACERTUS study shows that “80 percent of potential car buyers may consider buying a car sight-unseen if certain conditions are met.”
Needless to say, consumers expect an easy-to-use online experience at independent car dealerships, and that all starts with your website.
Why Used Car Dealer Software Is Important
Operating a used car dealership can be rather challenging, even in the best of circumstances. Add in a bit of supply chain issues, a pinch of inflation, and soaring gas prices, and suddenly challenging takes on a whole new meaning. There are ways to help streamline the process, though, and keep things better organized by implementing the right used car dealership software.
There are so many potential benefits to implementing the right used car dealer software. While the cars on your lot may be older, that doesn’t mean the software helping you run operations needs to be dated. Independent car dealers that can adapt and find software solutions that work for them will continue to thrive as long as they make the most of the technology that’s available.
The Right Used Car Dealer Sofware Will Help Your Independent Dealership Thrive
At the end of the day, when a small independent used car dealership has all the tools it needs to run smoothly and efficiently because of car dealer computer software, it’s more likely that sales and morale will increase. Greater efficiency and greater attitudes can only lead to more sales and more customers for your independent used car dealership.