First, this is not a "back to the basics". The basics are constantly changing so anyone telling you to get back to anything likely can't get to the "now" things. So ignore them. If you're online in the automotive world (which should be everyone) there are a lot of things to do, keep up with, pay attention to, understand, investigate and network about. With the ongoing approach of "buy this", "you need that" and other distractions, let's look a quick look at what you should already have done:
1. Brand: The way people identify with you. Not a slogan. Not a mission statement. A brand is something people can experience at your business and take with them.
2. Staff: The right people make all the difference. It's any business's greatest asset, even if your facility cost over $50 million. Educate, listen, compel, challenge, equip and support them.
3. DMS: Are you simply using it or are you getting the greatest value out of one of the most critical pieces of technology? Hopefully you have one that gets development support behind it, provides regular training and updates and allows you to run your business from anywhere.
4. Website: Simply put it should be on technology that is up-to-date, work on all platforms and browsers, have a mobile version, integrates fully with your inventory, has a sitemap, allows full CMS access, has been submitted to all the major search engines, built on real SEO (yes, you have to pay for that), receives real updates, allows for use of video, social media and other necessary technology integration and is not controlled by your OEM.
5. Google analytics: Track your website(s). Track everything about them. Stop flying blind. It even helps you do other things.
6. Phone tracking: Why would you believe you educate and support your staff (anyone who touches a customer) without using phone tracking? You can't identify issues you don't know about and you can't teach (especially role play) without the right tools. Like someone hearing themselves.
7. Google Places: Your location, claimed by you, with all relevant details and descriptions, using photos and videos, leveraging Boost, using all provided analytics.
8. Reviews: Ask for them, explain the benefits in consumer terms (stop saying "would you do me a favor", please), display them, take care of customers that don't feel appropriately taken care of, use photos, use video and promote throughout your facility.
9. Inventory management tools: If you actually sell cars, stop using your gut and start using a tool that assists your genius mind with tools that help market your inventory, shows your pricing in the area or beyond, pushes your cars to your website and other places on the web you choose, has reporting, lets you use technology real-time on the lot and allows you to track performance wherever you are.
10. CRM: Input everything. Track everything. Measure everything. Tie it all together. And remember: the store owns the customer. The salesperson owns the relationship. Not putting all the data you can into the records in your CRM? You might as well cut a hand or foot off. It's what you're doing to your and your store's revenue potential.
11. Social networks: Get the first 10 down. First. Then call someone (not a guru).
These aren't by any means new ideas, bold suggestions, compelling insights or amazing shortcuts to your impending success. At the same time, they are grossly missed. Every day. By most dealerships in the country. It's one thing to have someone hold you back. It's an entirely other thing when you are holding you back.
If your business is not set up right,how can it perform its best?
Best Practices: Professional Insights, Powerful Results