The simple answer to this is “no” — unless you want a unique customer experience that differentiates you from the other dealers. Touch-screen kiosks provide an interactive buying experience that increases sales, customer retention and advances dealer services. Interactive kiosks are an extremely useful and empowering tool for car shoppers.

Today’s car buyer is more educated than at any other time in history. They have spent countless hours online comparing makes, models, dealerships and financing options. They think they know what they want and it seems every dealership treats them the same.

Interactive kiosks allow your dealership to stand out.

The traditional sales process is confrontational from the minute a potential customer steps out of their car. Salespeople are referred to as vultures, waiting on prey. How does this sell more cars?

The customer wants to know the best price for the new car and receive the highest trade value as quickly as possible. The salesperson wants to slow them down and work through a road to the sale that requires the customer to jump
through many hoops before they are given prices. This process, or at least the perception of this process, hasn’t changed in 50 years.

Touch-screen kiosks can change the process.

Imagine if a customer walked into the showroom and, after being greeted by a concierge, is shown a kiosk that has a different way of providing information — market research, transparent trade value, interactive inventory, dealership program information and much more — at their fingertips. While interacting and providing self-service, the salesperson approaches the kiosk offering assistance and advice. Would this process help dealers to stand out in the market? Would this be a memorable experience?

Focus on the Appraisal Process
The appraisal process is confusing and cumbersome to most customers. In most dealerships, a customer waits while a dealer representative evaluates their car and provides a “magic” number.
If there is a print out, it’s an offer sheet with limited information. It starts with a expectation and no value proposition.

Kiosk solutions offer the customer a transparent process, showing them the market demand and details of other sold cars that are comparable to them. With the assistance of a salesperson or on their own, the customer is empowered and informed, changing the process, increasing good will and, eventually, closing more deals.

A Customized Interactive Solution
Kiosk placement, sizing and applications all play a role in selecting the best solution for the store. If the kiosk is part of the process, then it needs to be available and accessible — placing multiple systems on the showroom floor. If the kiosk is not part of the process, it can be off to the side — such as a lounge or parts wall.

The functionality of the kiosks can be universal and not location dependent. For instance, you can use a kiosk on the showroom floor to schedule a first service appointment, and you can use a service kiosk to request a brochure or research trade value. Other touch-screen kiosk applications can include vehicle comparisons, interactive inventory, registrations (works great in conjunction with mailers), finance videos, vehicle walk-arounds and much more.

Manufacturer Solutions Don’t Cut It
If your manufacturer supplies a kiosk to every store, how is it unique to your store and your process? Most manufacturer-provided kiosks are rarely used by customers or staff, and are there to aid the manufacturer’s message, with limited customization options for the store. If your goal is to stand out, consider how you integrate your processes and your location selection of the manufacturer solutions.

Keys to Kiosk Success
The key to successful use of kiosk requires customization of the applications specific to your dealership based on your process — not just a logo and your inventory. That should be obvious. From one store to another, the
application mix could be completely different depending on how the dealership is going to use the system.

Incorporating touch-screen kiosks into your sales and service process sells more cars, increases customer retention and helps your staff communicate with prospective customers. Incorporation of the interactive solutions and kiosk systems into weekly training helps keep staff up to date on the functionality and processes around the kiosk while allowing them to feel comfortable using “new” technology in front of their customers.

As the dealership changes, so should the kiosk. With programs and applications that allow for pivots in strategy to determine what works best for your store and your processes, that may be different than other dealers across the country.

The Difference is Fast and Clear
So you are convinced and ready to start looking for kiosks. What makes one better than another? First and foremost, you want a kiosk that will work well in your dealership and in your processes. One size does not fit all; customization is a must. Look for a partner that offers a variety of applications that are customized at every level of the software. Next, consider the interactive nature and usability of the system for your target market.

If kiosks are hard to understand, customers won’t use them. If kiosks are slow, customers won’t use them. If kiosks don’t have relevant information for your customers, your staff won’t use them. If kiosks distract from your processes, your staff won’t use them.

Use kiosks that offer a mix of data that runs locally and use Web-based data, where every time data is added to the kiosk, leads are sent directly to the CRM. Locally housed data, needs to be updated regularly — and can run
up to 10 times faster than even the fastest Internet connections.

Talk to your provider to determine the best solution for you. From pricing to compatibility to lead generation to dealership processes, all factors need to be considered when making the investment in interactive kiosk solutions.

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