Watch John Woodman the Internet Director of the Cutter Automotive Group out of Hawaii talk the challenges of his market geographically, how Cutter’s 6 dealerships utilize Fixed Ops Digital and what to look for and prepare for in the next 2-3 years in the automotive industry. Plus how you too can stay ahead of a maybe recession, stagnate or slowing car sales and a slower rate of trade-ins with a strong preventative Fixed Operations strategy.
John has managed all of the digital and BDC Departments working leads that come through those channels for the 2 Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram stores, 2 Mazda’s, 1 Buick GMC, and the only Volvo dealer in the state for the last 8 years.
What makes it different being geographically in Hawaii there is a lot more captive audience and a large active duty military population and customer base. This can be challenging if they are getting new orders every 36 months to go somewhere else making it difficult to do any equity mining or long-term from a resale aspect.
“A couple great things about Fixed Ops Digital, 1 it is a fixed ops focus with a lot of military a lot of them are bringing their own vehicles with them so obviously those vehicles are still going to need service. Fixed Ops Digital is allowing us to be better found by those people doing searches on ‘hey where can I get my car fixed and repaired on these vehicles from the mainland?’ To be able to capture that audience and service them and potentially earn a new customer on the flip side of that too is the great digital aspect of the service coupons right, you can put them right on your service landing page your customer can look at the service coupon. Gone are the days when the customer has to print out bring the coupon in physically hand it to somebody. Now they can just click on it, download it onto their phone. And when they pull onto the lot they may have forgot about the coupon, but the coupon will pop-up with the geo-fence and remind them, hey don’t forget you have this coupon. So with cartain strategies that can be a huge benefit to the dealership as well.
Another great advantage with it converting to the Dealer Wallet product is that it doesn’t take up a lot of space on their phone. If the person doesn’t have a lot of room on their phone, one of the first things their going to delete is an app. Their not going to be looking into the ewallet to delete those, so it does stay on the phone a lot longer. So if there is any reason you need to make a change a coupon it is going to push out a notification to the customer’s phone with the new price or details. It’s not like you have to worry about a peice of paper from 3 months ago trying to demand that they get the old price. ”
The benefit of mobile technology!
Looking ahead the next 2-3 years…
“Everyone is talking about a potential recession and car sales stagnating or going down. Your fixed ops perspective is going to be even more relivant, more important when that ends up happening. I mean most dealer actually live and die on the fixed ops area. By switching some of your focus on that on the website can potentially help your dealership weather the storm if another recession comes in.”
How Should Dealers Start?
“Take a look at your website, most websites out of the box its a 97%+ focus on sales. And very little focus whatsoever on fixed ops and by starting to build out that fixed ops focus a little bit it is going to help you rank more SEO wise. What I’ve really seen for Fixed Ops Digital customers your increasing your rank on Google as an authority on fixing the car and then when Google sees you as the authority, as well as an authority in selling the car you become a more overall authority for that vehicle in your market.
I know for myself I wouldn’t want to go up against someone in my market without Fixed Ops Digital personally because your going to get dominated on both the service and sales side just because of that extra service focused authority with Google.
If a recession is coming people are going to be holding onto their cars longer, they’re not going to be trading them in. Fixed Ops again is going to become even more relevant to your future strategy in slower times.”