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Camera, action: Improving efficiency with video

Efficiency has always been an important part of a successful business. As organisations in the automotive industry look towards a post-pandemic recovery, maximising agility and flexibility is absolutely critical.


Achieving this may seem easier said than done – at least when taken at face value. In the months to come, dealerships are likely to be operating with a reduced headcount. That poses a challenge in itself – with the task likely to be made even harder as demand held back by the lockdown has lead to a positive surge in enquiries: figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found new car registrations in July 2020 were up 11.3% on July 2019. And on top of all that, dealerships still face the added complexity of working under social distancing restrictions.

Facing a large influx of enquiries and activity is an indication of the industry’s buoyancy through the pandemic to date. There are many ways you can improve efficiency to manage this challenge, with video being one of them. Video can help to maximise efficiency within your business in four key areas:

Efficient enquiry management

With increased demand and reduced headcounts, many sales teams may find themselves rushed off their feet dealing with day-to-day enquiries. That’s a nice problem to have, especially during the current economic turbulence, but it is still a challenge that needs to be overcome effectively. It’s imperative that dealerships work through as many of these enquiries and keep up with new enquiries as quickly as possible – there are only so many hours in the day and only so much a team can do.

Video can play a key part in this process. Rather than put in multiple phone calls to a prospective customer and wait to try to catch them or have a call returned, sales executives can quickly create a comprehensive walk-around video of the vehicle of interest and send it to the customer. This can be completed in minutes, and the executive can receive a notification as soon as the video is watched, so that a follow-up call can be timed to perfection.

Uplift your listings

In the current climate, every sale is crucial for dealers, and competition for customers will be high. It is vital to act quickly and speed up operations in order to beat the retailer of choice for the customer.

This works in two ways. The first is to use a tool like CitNOW Web to drastically streamline the process of compiling car ad information and getting vehicles online. No more waiting for days for a photographer to visit: anyone in the dealership can take photos, videos, and interior and exterior 360 degree shots themselves and load everything onto the right online platforms in minutes. With wireframe guides for every asset, which are also pre-programmed to meet brand guidelines, technology such as Web provides a really quick and easy way to get your vehicles listed as soon as possible, in a consistent manner.

The second way is to enhance the customer experience with little effort from yourselves. If using CitNOW Web and Sales, when you make a personalised video presentation in your Sales app all the assets collected in your Web app will also show on the video presentation page, giving the customer a much more enriched experience.

Speed up approvals

Video can significantly decrease approval times. Take the workshop for instance, where time on the ramp is precious. Using video to explain work required and which can be sent alongside the eVHC, results in quicker customer approvals and an increase in work approved. The watched notification works in the same way with our Workshop app, so a well timed follow up call can be made when the video has been watched. This results in a quicker approval of work required, and less time the vehicle is spending in your workshop.

Not only that, with live video technology, a two-way conversation can take place just as easily and effectively as a face to face appointment. Imagine the customer being able to show you around their part-exchange vehicle and you being able to make an immediate valuation estimate.

No-go for the no-shows

The last thing anyone needs right now is a high rate of no-shows. Executives have to make sure every minute of every working hour is utilised to its fullest, and not be wasted on leads who don’t turn up. And this is just as important for the workshop too, where no-shows can result in lost productivity and gaps in the booking schedule.

Using video in your sales and workshop processes is proven to increase show rates for appointments and test drives. By using video to confirm appointments, visually demonstrate test-drive vehicles and give customers all of the information they need before the day, you’re greatly increasing the chance of the customer turning up.

The potential of video to transform how your dealership operates is huge. Learn more about how you can apply leading technology to your sales process with our free series of CitNOW Academy Webinars. Our Customer Support team is also available on 01189 977740 or via email at help@citnow.com from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday (UK time).