Over the last decade, the world has shifted dramatically from a manual mindset, where paper workflows and physical tasks were the norm, to a digital-first mindset, where processes are effortlessly done at the click of a button. Nearly every industry has felt the digital shift, and dealerships are no exception.
Today, dealers need to adopt a digital-first mindset to keep up with their shoppers and ultimately survive.
What Does the Term “Digital First” Even Mean?
According to Wilson Fletcher—The Human Layer, “digital first” is a term that involves “approaching any new opportunity, or problem, with the assumption that the solution should be as digital as possible.” Essentially, having a digital mindset both encourages and challenges businesses to adapt to change, integrate the latest technologies, and develop teams that are technologically savvy.
So digital first does not mean changing the fundamental principles of running a dealership; rather, it is changing the way you execute those principles.
So how do you develop a digital-first mindset? Here are three rules to follow.
1) There Are No Sacred Cows
Every aspect of running your dealership needs to be open for discussion. This idea that “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” needs to stop. Too often, innovation is hindered by an individual that is not willing to talk through a problem or listen to a viable solution. If you’re focused on becoming a digital-first dealer, this is the one rule to always remember.
2) There Are No Stupid Questions
Technology is hard. Don’t let your lack of experience limit your curiosity. There’s some amazing new tech available to dealerships from cloud management platforms to CRMs and integrated texting solutions. The trick to maximizing the investment in technology for your dealership is to ask all the questions you can think of. The more you ask, the more you’ll know and the better off you’ll be when setting up a new solution for your team.
3) There Will Be Some Mistakes
Regardless of if you’re switching new technologies, processes, or people, mistakes are going to happen. The key is to not panic but rather to understand what caused the mistake and find a solution going forward. Don’t let a little mistake derail an entire project or stop you from launching the next one. Acknowledging there will be mistakes will let you be prepared and allow you to recover quicker.
Ask What a Digital-First Dealer Would Do
As you and your team continue to explore new ways to improve your dealership from technologies to strategies, remember to be open to suggestions, ask as many questions as possible, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep these concepts in mind, and they will help you innovate and continue to become a digital-first dealership.