10 Tips to Beat the Winter Slump

General, Industry

We all know that automotive sales tend to slump in December and stay chilly through the winter. So, how do you beat the winter slowdown and keep revenue up? Here are 10 tips to help you out.

1. Treat Your Customers Like Gold

When sales slump, it puts more pressure on closing the opportunities that do present themselves and makes the customer experience you deliver more critical. Customers want to know the features up front and they respond best to fair pricing, fast transactions, and, of course, friendliness.

Autosoft’s logical workflows and seamless integrations reduce errors and speed up transaction times, making your busy customers happier.

2. Improve Your Website

Beat Winter SlumpMake sure you include pictures and up-to-date pricing information on all vehicles in your online inventory. Also, give customers the opportunity to complete as many steps of the buying process as possible before ever stepping into your store. Be sure to make it easy for customers to schedule service online as well.

Use Autosoft’s DMS to upload photos and apply content-rich descriptions that get you maximum page views. Add Autosoft’s Vehicle Inventory Management and get even better digital merchandising that you can manage from just one screen directly within your DMS.

3. Make Sure the Price Is Right

Use market-based pricing information to price competitively while retaining margin. Then, measure the success of your pricing strategy against inventory aging. Customers appreciate a fair price right off the bat, and if you meet pricing expectations from the start, you’ll be in a much better position to sell add-ons.

You can set and update prices based on the most up-to-date book values, competitor listings, accounting costs, and days in stock with Autosoft’s Inventory Management and Bookout products.

4. Know the Scoop on Trades and Acquisitions

Give your dealership’s appraisers and buyers easy access to the data they need to recognize average reconditioning costs for the make, model, and mileage of the vehicles they’re buying. You want to be sure you’re making deals that won’t squeeze your profits further.

Autosoft’s Sales and F&I product gives you instant access to current and regional wholesale, auction, trade-in, and loan values and integrates with the vehicle history reports of your choice.

5. Combine Sales and Service Forces

Train your sales team to ensure a smooth sales-to-service customer turnover to capture a higher first-service-appointment rate. In service, prepare your team to initiate sales in service. Target customers who are in a positive equity position or nearing the end of a contract or lease term. Make an offer on the vehicle and put the customer behind the wheel of a new one before they leave the appointment.

Autosoft’s DMS makes it easy to compare the service appointment and customer profile to determine which customers are ripe for a new vehicle.

6. Brand Your Service Marketing

Dealer-branded service marketing strengthens a customer’s connection to your dealership. Resist couponing, which usually results in a one-off appointment, and try offering something like convenient prepaid maintenance packages, which can increase service volume and lift long-term customer retention.

Use “lost” and “declined service” capture tools in Autosoft’s DMS to market to these opportunities and re-engage your relationship.

7. Improve Service Scheduling

Use a service scheduling tool to ensure workloads are distributed evenly and technicians are busy in their bays, increasing productivity and billable hours.

Autosoft gives you the power to completely customize your service schedule and manage your shop the way you want. Create separate schedules for service, body, and quick service, customize your shop hours and capacity, select appointment display preferences, and more.

8. Make Upselling EasyBeat the Winter Slump

Complete a complimentary multi-point inspection and do a vehicle walk-around with the customer on every vehicle. Give customers the opportunity to say, “Yes, please!” to any additional opportunities for service.

Choose from over 200 integration partners to customize Autosoft’s DMS and add features like integrated service lane tablets and multi-point inspection tools, like AutoLoop MPI that sells up to 45% more recommended work.

9. Streamline Parts

According to NADA, your first-time fill rate should be 90% and your same-day fill rate should be 95%. Conflicts between DMS inventory and what’s actually in stock seem to trouble many parts departments. The issue is commonly due to stocking the wrong mix of parts, which can occur for many reasons, including incorrect or outdated DMS parts inventory phase-in parameters, incorrect high- and low-days’ supply, unidentified or misidentified lost sales, unsold emergency purchases or special order parts placed in stock, or improper stocking processes.

Establish control with Autosoft’s Parts product. Query parts quickly, improve inventory cycling, set minimum and maximum stocking levels, capture special order and lost sales opportunities, and more.

10. Choose the Right DMS

Autosoft is the partner you need to get the most out of these business-boosting tips and maximize your success. Your DMS should make your dealership run as smoothly as possible while making it easier for you to tackle slumps and expand your business. Autosoft’s DMS meets those needs with an innovative, powerful, and affordable platform backed by award-winning customer support.

Discover all the tools you can use to boost business this winter with Autosoft’s DMS. Let’s Talk!

 

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