Dealers: The iPhone 5 is here, but is a smartphone in your future?

smartphones

By the experts at Cars.com

After sell­ing over 5 mil­lion units within the first week of its launch, the hype sur­round­ing Apple’s new iPhone 5 has finally died down, leav­ing time to eval­u­ate whether or not Apple’s lat­est smart­phone (or any smart­phone, for that mat­ter) can ben­e­fit you and your dealership.

“I use my smart­phone every day at the deal­er­ship,” said Emily Lorencz of Draper Auto. “It’s espe­cially use­ful when I’m out on the lot work­ing with customers.”

Shop­pers expect an instant response when they reach out to your store. If you’re think­ing about drop­ping your fea­ture phone in exchange for a smart­phone, con­sider these points on Deal­er­AD­van­tage before mak­ing your decision.

• Avail­abil­ity

Being avail­able to cus­tomers is a chal­lenge. With an increase in mobile and tablet usage, shop­pers expect an instant response when they reach out to your store. Hav­ing a smart­phone allows you to respond to incom­ing phone calls, emails, texts and chat mes­sages on the fly, and in an orga­nized manner.

“We have a mobile web­site, so if a cus­tomer has a ques­tion, I’m able to pull up our inven­tory and give them what they’re look­ing for on the spot,” said Emily. “Our sales peo­ple do this all the time.”

• Pho­tos and Video

The iPhone 5 boasts one of the best smart­phone cam­eras on the mar­ket, but nearly every smart­phone out there allows you to take pho­tos and video. This can be a great tool when com­mu­ni­cat­ing with prospects and fol­low­ing up on appointments.

“If you get a call from a cus­tomer want­ing more pic­tures or pic­tures of some­thing spe­cific on a used vehi­cle, you can go out and snap a photo and text or email to the cus­tomer right from your phone with­out hav­ing to go back to your com­puter,” con­tin­ued Emily.

• Social Integration

Do you man­age your dealership’s Face­book page or Twit­ter han­dle? If so, you should know that smart­phones pro­vide a great plat­form to share con­tent and man­age fan engage­ment on-the-go. Free apps like Hoot­suite Face­book Page Man­ager make it pos­si­ble to post pho­tos, video and sta­tus updates, con­nect­ing you with your com­mu­nity in real-time.

• Dealer Apps

Though it’s smart to do the bulk of your inven­tory and cus­tomer man­age­ment from a desk­top com­puter, many ven­dors pro­vide free smart­phone apps to com­ple­ment their web-based tools.

As Emily con­firmed, “Our CRM has an app that we can log into remotely, so if a cus­tomer con­tacts us while we’re away from our desk, we can stop the clock and respond.”

If you’re in a jam and need to update the price or fea­tures of a vehi­cle right away, an app may poten­tially save the day. Cars.com-related apps like Con­tac­tA­tOnce! And Deal­Saver also allow for access on-the-go.

Increased pro­duc­tiv­ity, con­ve­nience and greater expo­sure to cus­tomers sug­gests that upgrad­ing to a smart­phone may have last­ing ben­e­fits for you and your dealership.

Con­tact the experts at Cars.com for more infor­ma­tion and advise.

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