Capture deals, not just leads: how digital retail supercharges customer acquisition

More than lead capture webinar recap - speakers

How can you get the most value out of the leads captured via digital retail? In a webinar with Auto Dealer Today, Upstart Auto Retail’s Manager of Enterprise Dealer Success Erin Fallon joined Fitzgerald Auto Mall of Frederick’s Sales Manager Stephanie Bender to discuss the benefits of using the modern car-buying platform. 

Here’s a recap of the webinar that explores:

  • How to optimize customer experiences by understanding their online-to-showroom journey
  • How to boost employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention
  • How to create the right experience for every unique buyer

Activate a more evolved, user-friendly car-buying experience with digital retail

“It’s a major game-changing tool that helps your customers funnel down further,” explains Bender. 

With Upstart Auto Retail on her dealership’s websites, Bender’s customers enjoy an easy-to-use platform that allows them to decide how far into the deal they want to take themselves. This elevates them to more than a lead, like ”low-hanging fruit,” she says. 

This allows for a more specific understanding of the customer, which in turn creates a more customer-focused journey. 

“The challenge is not knowing what your customer knows,” Fallon adds. Digital retail progress details provide more customer information that empowers more tailored and efficient showroom visits.

Improve customer and employee satisfaction while saving time

For Fitzgerald Auto Mall, a lift in CSI scores due to a faster process—especially in F&I—came soon after implementing Upstart Auto Retail. 

“We’re able to get more repeat business, more brand loyalty, and the customers are spending less time at the dealership,” she says. They feel more in control and end up with less buyer’s remorse and even a reduction in negotiations, “because they can see everything as it’s happening.”

This improved experience also gives salespeople more confidence and increases employee retention.

“You can always save someone a couple hundred bucks,” Fallon points out, “but you can’t give them back 4 or 5 hours.”

Let customers focus on the fun stuff—their new car

Bender’s customers seem to most enjoy spending their time with only one point of contact in the dealership as well as a seamless transition “from couch to showroom.”

“About 80% of our customers are closing on a first proposal with a salesperson, not even needing a sales manager,” Bender explains. Sales people can focus on “what the customer loves most about the buying experience—it’s about the car, not the paperwork.”

Capture high-intent, partially completed through digital retail

Bender explains how digital retail shows them who’s serious. 

“Customers aren’t going to put in their driver’s license, insurance, or trade unless they’re really interested,” she says. She finds these leads are more likely to purchase and are much easier—and faster—to close.

Fallon adds, “if salespeople can save minutes or hours on every deal, that might give them time for 5-6 more customers a month—and more in their pocket.”

Bender also sees much higher-quality appointments. “They’re closing at a higher rate, and more of a one-visit deal as opposed to two or three times.”

These quality, detailed appointments also help Bender’s team head-off issues caused by inventory shortages. 

Reduce employee turnover with more streamlined processes

Onboarding and retention can be one of the hardest parts of a sales manager’s job, but digital retail reduces a lot of the stress by streamlining and organizing.

“We don’t have high turnover and I think Upstart [Auto Retail] is to thank for that,” Bender claims. 

They also discuss the importance of integrations in providing a one-stop-shop experience for sales and customers. These integrations also support accuracy of information across touchpoints to promote trust and transparency

Enhance brand awareness and consistency

Upstart Auto Retail supports Bender’s commitment to transparent pricing while allowing the customer to stay in control. Customers especially appreciate when salespeople send them a link to their deal, so they can revisit it on their own time. That builds a strong brand for Fitzgerald Auto Mall and drives more referrals. 

“Once customers buy a car online, they don’t want to go back to the old way,” Fallon says.

Partner with digital retail support teams that understand your business

Bender needed a vendor that could consistently represent and support 26 rooftops, multiple OEM websites, and numerous software integrations. 

“We needed flexibility as well as ongoing training for salespeople,” she explains. “You have to be able to understand the inner workings of each showroom—they all operate a little bit differently.”

Fallon adds, “our firm belief is providing the best support out there. Not just solving a problem, we also try to understand how you do things at your store and be flexible in our solution.”

Audience Q&A

  • What percentage are traditional buyers vs. digital buyers?
  • Are you working F&I into the front end of more deals?
  • How does the dealer update the numbers to the consumer in real time?
  • Do individuals’ roles change with the implementation of DR solutions?
  • Can a consumer see all the rebates they qualify for in real time?

Check out the on-demand webinar to find out the answers to these questions and get the complete story on how digital retail is more than just lead capture, it’s an evolution in the car-buying experience. 

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