We get it, purchasing any new technology – from a coffee maker to a Dealership Management Solution (DMS) – is a big change in your shop. From training to implementation, adopting any new technology doesn’t happen overnight and needs to be carefully considered to ensure you’re not wasting your time or money. So let’s rip off the band-aid and talk about tablets.
Over the past decade, many dealers have opted to implement tablets in their dealerships to streamline day-to-day operations. It makes sense – step outside and greet your customer and their unit – all while taking your dealership with you. Who wants to wait around for answers right?
Like everything, there are costs and benefits to joining the “tablet revolution” in dealerships. Does the upfront cost outweigh the time saved? Will tablets really help streamline the operations of your shop and improve customer experience? Will tablets signify the extra bump you need to keep up with the competition? Let’s dive into the good, the bad, and the ugly about tablets in dealerships.
1) How Do Tablets Improve the Customer Experience?
Overall, tablets not only speed up the sales process, but also enhance customer experience. During the sales process, you can use tablets to present information visually like inventory videos, dealership videos, and user testimonials. Furthermore, the sales team can use tablets to look up competitor pricing, scan VINs, perform dealership walkthrough video for customers off the lot, and scan the customers’ driver’s license and update information immediately to a CRM.
All of these capabilities make your dealership appear more sophisticated and provide your customers with a more thoughtful and efficient experience that will keep them coming back.
2) How Do Tablets Help My Team and Streamline Daily Operations?
Moving beyond the cost assessment, tablets can provide a lot of relief for growing dealerships. Using a cloud-based DMS from your tablet allows you to connect all of your departments seamlessly and automate various tasks – from selling a part to creating a service invoice. Furthermore, DMS helps to eliminate human error, like duplicate data entry.
DMS aside, tablets offer many other benefits, for instance, they increase transparency, reduce paper work, improves dealership efficiency, and increases customer satisfaction. Whether these benefits dictate a good ROI is dependent on you, your team, and your shop.
3) Do the Long-Term Benefits Outweigh The Upfront Costs?
The only way to properly answer this question is by reflecting on your dealership’s values and pain points. For instance, if you are a rapidly growing dealership that is finding it difficult to conduct day-to-day operations manually (either via pen-and-paper or Excel spreadsheets), tablets may be an effective way to connect all aspects of your dealership and the upfront cost (currently averaging at $365 US) will quickly pay for itself.
Alternatively, if you’re a very small shop that can conduct daily operations manually with little stress or struggle, tablets may not be worth the upfront investment and the additional costs overtime. For instance, wifi, cases, system upgrades, and maintenance, are all added costs that dealers should factor into their budget before jumping on board.
4) Will Tablets Help Me Keep Up with the Competition?
As time goes on and tech continues to evolve, tablets are starting to appear more like a necessity than an option when it comes to running your shop. That said, however, the upfront and ongoing costs of tablets for some dealers outweigh the benefits. If you are considering adding tablets to your shop, it is important to conduct an ROI analysis to the best of your ability before making the leap – or else tablets will actually put you behind the competition.
5) Is it Time to Go Mobile with Tablets?
Ultimately, the benefits and costs of adding tablets to your shop are very unique. The more tech driven your dealership is, the more value tablets can deliver- some shops will benefit from automated invoicing, others are more than happy to skip out on the extra cost and invoice manually. It is important to remember, however, that if you have a DMS or CRM system already in place, tablets may be the missing key to bring your entire system together. Depending on the size of your shop, your budget, and your pain points, tablets can either add value to your business or serve as an unnecessary expense.