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The Millennials Are Coming! Is Your Car Dealership Ready?

man talking on phone in dealership

As of 2015, Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers 83.1 million to 75.4 million, and it’s predicted that Millennials will account for 75% of all auto purchases by 2025. That’s a big demographic shift, and big potential to make money too!

So how can you, as a dealership manager, appeal to this coming generation of consumers? What’s the average Millennial consumer looking for in a dealership?

Autotrader’s 2015 Car Buyer of the Future study found that only 17 of 4,002 respondents enjoy the current car buying process, with the rest desiring “significant changes” — particularly in the deal structuring and financial paperwork phases. Many consumers are more tech‑savvy now, and prefer to handle most of the deal‑building and financial paperwork online, before they ever step inside your dealership.

In the study, 56% of respondents said they would prefer to start the negotiation process online, and 72% said that they’d prefer completing the credit application and financing paperwork online as well if it meant reducing time spent inside the dealership on the day of purchase.

According to Autotrader’s 2016 Car Buyer Journey study, creating a smooth finance and insurance process has a huge impact on your customers’ overall levels of satisfaction with their car‑buying experience. Of the car buyers surveyed, 81% gave the test‑driving process an 8‑10 satisfaction rang. But as soon as the F&I process was factored in, the satisfaction rang dropped to 67%, then plummeted to 56% when the negotiation and paperwork of the F&I process came in.

That’s a 25% decrease in satisfaction, just because of slow negotiation and paperwork processes.

Seventy‑two percent of consumers say they would visit dealerships more often if the buying process were improved, and 66% of consumers say they would be much more likely to buy from a dealership that offers their preferred experience.

The data is clear: Failing to streamline your dealership’s processes and systems means you’re leaving money on the table, and you’ll be unable to match the preferences of the coming Millennial consumer.

How to Prepare Your Dealership for Millennials?

  • Improve your dealership’s bandwidth. Millennials expect your F&I department to process paperwork quickly. Consider the number of employees on the network, the number of customers using WiFi, and what all of those users want out of the network. The cheapest option isn’t always the best option.
  • Have at least two separate network connections to fail between. You’ve migrated all negotiation and financing paperwork online, yet your team can’t access a customer’s files the day the customer is ready to close because your network is down. They storm out and go to your competitor instead. What a nightmare scenario! Redundancy via 4G failover solutions greatly reduces network downtime and avoids this catastrophe.
  • Choose a phone solution that helps prevent the loss of leads due to a broken process. Also consider the mobility of the modern workforce, and make sure your voice solution allows your team to stay responsive to Millennials’ expectations for rapid answers, and productive wherever their workday might take them.

Meeting the expectations of the Millennial generation can seem daunting at first, but with the right equipment and systems in place, you’ll have an advantage over your competitors. Contact EnableIP today to learn how we can help make your dealership future-proof.

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