RV PRO

July '20

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126 • RV PRO • July 2020 rv-pro.com with respect to how your company or deal- ership is using this technology. Will you need as many in-person meetings now? Do you have to fly all over the country to get your work done? How about the document imaging sys- tems I wrote about 24 years ago? Do you still have rows of file cabinets holding paper documents right outside your office? Do you live and die by a card stock file folder filled with an array of paperwork for every deal you write or every business transaction your company or dealership makes? I think it's fair to say times have changed. Doing Business Electronically is a Must Today, every dealership should be doing business electronically given that most of the documents companies deal with have been created in a computer, transferred electronically via email, apps, your dealer management software and many other software applications. But what about the corporate intelli- gence that is buried in those file cabinets and accessible by only one person at a time and filed with only one indexing criteria. We have technology to automatically scan these documents, read every character (in 26 different languages), classify every type of document and enable you to find any word or phrase you want to search on and present it electronically in seconds right on your computer screen and integrated with any software package you are using right now. You can't afford the luxury of waiting another 24 years to adopt new technologies that are available today. I might add, tech- nologies that are easy to use because people are a lot more comfortable with computers today than they were two decades ago. Most dealers have incorporated video into the sales and marketing departments of their business. However, a static video with no customer interaction is already "old school" thinking – and if you are doing video, you have to step up your game. If you are not using video, don't let the train leave the station without you this time. Every smartphone has improved video capabilities and there are many online tutorials from application developers and experienced users that can be found on YouTube or other online resources. Instead of posting a video of somebody walking through an RV and talking about what they think is important – without any feedback from a prospect – why not conduct a "live" video interaction with a prospect and answer their questions while discussing the things that are important to them? There also are software programs that allow users to communicate with video messaging – far more effective than just a phone call, and you have the ability to "read" the prospect or business partner in real time situations. Meanwhile, there are some incredible texting programs that are dramatically changing how you deal with people "in the moment." Look at your smartphone right now. How many unanswered text messages do you have that are waiting for a response? If you are like most attendees at one of our industry's most successful vendor's semi- nars at RVDA, the answer will be zero – as it is for all attendees sitting in the audience. Why is that? Well, if you have kids or grandkids, you already know the answer: People don't wait to answer a text. Businesses are using it to effectively change the way they com- municate in real time with prospects and customers. Many dealers are now showing a "text me" icon on the pages that used to include only telephone numbers and email addresses. The urgent need to have immediate recognition has now clearly become an essential tool in today's busi- ness environment. If a prospect sends you a text inquiring about an RV, product or service that you offer, you can bet they expect an imme- diate answer – not later today, and cer- tainly not tomorrow. They will do busi- ness with companies and dealerships that respond on their time schedule – not yours. Technology Improvements Benefit All Aspects of Dealerships These technologies go far beyond sales and marketing departments. What if your F&I manager needs a piece of information to complete a deal package? Is she still sending an email to the prospect and then sitting back and waiting for a response? Is she leaving a telephone message because most people only pick up the calls they want to answer? What if you send the prospect a quick text and ask them to call you for needed information, or text them a question stating that they need a piece of infor- mation that is holding up your ability to process their paperwork and get them on the road in a new RV? What if your service technician is under an RV and notices some much-needed work that was not identified on the work order? How would you handle that now? How much billable time would you lose using your current methods to get in touch with the customer, or even worse, pulling the unit out of the bay until you could resolve the issue? A much faster, and more productive alternative, would be for the technician or service writer to text the prospect, identify the problem and ask permission to proceed with repairs. All of these communications become a legal record and documentation to add revenue to the service order and do it in a matter of minutes – not hours or days. These are just a few of the technologies we should be incorporating into our busi- ness processes today. You don't have the luxury of not adopting the new business practices – it's just a matter of when you adopt them. Although many companies still have not implemented document imaging solu- tions, they will now give them a second look because companies are highly focused on technology solutions, which was not the case back in 1996. The speed of technology improvements and the benefits derived from them are accelerating exponentially, so at the very least you should be looking at these, and other technologies, that can deliver on their claims of significantly improving business processes, increasing revenue opportunities, accelerating consumer buying decisions and most importantly, increasing your bottom line profits.

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