Lori Wittman: Making Customer Engagement Count
Lori Wittman, general manager of VinSolutions and senior vice president of retail dealer solutions at Cox Automotive, recently shared her perspective on digital disruption, going mobile and the importance of the human element in car buying with Auto Remarketing, a leading news media outlet for the pre-owned automobile industry.
Q: What are some ways VinSolutions and Cox Automotive are trying to connect dealers and shoppers, and foster the “human element” of the transaction?
As a leading provider of dealership customer relationship management (CRM) software, our vision at VinSolutions is to give dealers the data and tools to make every customer engagement count — and that means humanizing and personalizing as many exchanges as possible. We’ve designed our products to accommodate the unique characteristics of each dealership and its customer base with processes that are fully customizable and easy for dealers to adjust.
Q: Wearing your retail dealer solutions hat for a moment, what are some projects your team is working on this year that you’re particularly proud of?
VinSolutions recently unveiled Enterprise Customer for Connect CRM and the Connect Mobile app. Both solutions speak to our commitment to meeting dealers’ needs and addressing shifts in our industry. As consolidation in our industry continues, more dealerships are part of a dealer group. Enterprise Customer enables dealer groups to see a single customer profile in one place.
Another important trend is dealership personnel’s desire to get out from behind their desktop computer and work from their mobile device. Our new VinSolutions Connect Mobile app streamlines the dealer’s process for collecting and storing customer information, which allows dealers to deliver a better customer experience.
Q: Even as the auto industry becomes more digitized and disrupted — be that in online sales, new ownership models like subscriptions and other innovations like connectivity — it seems dealers are still an essential piece of the equation. Why do you think that is?
Absolutely. From consumers’ desire to purchase cars online to ridesharing services to the deployment of modern technology such as autonomous vehicles, the automotive industry is clearly changing. VinSolutions is at the center of this change, and we’re committed to helping our partners — dealers nationwide — win. Dealers bring excellent value to customers as true experts, whether you’re buying or maintaining a vehicle. Despite all this digital disruption, the human element is still vital.
A vehicle is second only to a home in terms of the biggest purchase a consumer makes in their lifetime. People still want to talk to another person when making a purchase decision that valuable. In fact, more than 60 percent of consumers want help from dealership staff, even if online buying is available, according to the recent Car Buyer’s Journey study conducted by our Cox Automotive research team. Dealers are the ones at the end of the day who make those connections count.
Read the full article on Auto Remarketing here.
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