Tired of distant, unproductive relationships, today’s dealerships are beginning to demand more personal support and more human interaction from their technology providers.
Voice recognition is the latest craze in consumer technology. Between Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, people are now used to shouting questions and commands at their electronic devices. While voice-activated personal assistants are fairly new, there has always been a demand for technologies—or at least technology companies—that listen to their users. Unfortunately, within the automotive retail space, it seems that as technologies have become more capable, technology companies have become less responsive to users. Many dealerships are hoping to reverse this trend by demanding more listening, more support, and more person-to-person interaction from their technology partners.
Technology companies should offer more than a product.
When Sisbarro Auto Group, a six-store dealership in New Mexico, began looking for a new DMS platform, the company was determined to look beyond product features. In fact, the search team established “three P’s,” which it used to evaluate all potential providers: product, price, and people. “People was a huge thing with us,” explained Mike Tourtillott, General Manager of Sisbarro. “We had been dealing with [another provider] where there was no people interaction. We’d call, leave a message, and never get a call back. We preach as a dealer that it’s all about our people. It’s nice to be doing business with a company that has the same philosophy.”
Technologies should adjust to people, not the other way around.
Technology companies that focus on people understand that each dealership is unique and that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to products and processes. Too often, tech companies tell dealerships what they need to do and how they need to do it. Instead, true technology partners work around what each dealership needs and adapt to fit the effective processes already established within a dealership. “We needed a partner who would…give us a system that works around what we do, and not the way they think it should be done,” recalled Tourtillott.
Technology companies should listen and provide responsive support.
The most important characteristic of a true technology partner is its willingness to listen to its customers. Listening is a critical component of effective product development and technical support. Tourtillott now has a DMS provider so responsive to support requests that he almost feels like he has an on-demand, voice-activated DMS assistant. He can call anytime—even after hours—and someone always picks up the phone. Oftentimes, those support calls evolve into requests for new features or other product additions, which are almost always provided at no extra cost.
Today’s DMS platforms may not respond to voice-activated commands, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t listen to their dealership customers. The best technology vendors are offering high-tech products along with a high-touch commitment to listening and interacting in a very personable manner. Tired of distant, unproductive relationships, today’s dealerships are beginning to demand more personal support and more human interaction from their technology providers.