Transitioning to a single-point-of-contact (SPOC) sales model is one of the rare times in business where adding efficiency does not come at the expense of customer or employee satisfaction. Quite the opposite, actually.
Customers and employees both benefit from single-point-of-contact selling. SPOC makes it increasingly attractive to dealerships that want to spend less and get more. Technology is the connective tissue between SPOC selling and increased dealer profitability.
Adoption of new tech makes sense when considering the only generations seeing year-over-year automotive industry growth are Millennials and Gen Z — two of the most tech-saturated groups in America. An Experian study revealed that Millennial new vehicle registrations increased from 26.4% in Q3 2019 to 28.6% in Q3 2020 — an 8.34% jump in just one year. Gen Z new vehicle registrations increased by 40% — from 3% to 4.2% — during the same period.
Offering vehicles that feature the latest connected technology isn’t the only way dealerships can appeal to these tech-savvy consumer segments. Leveraging technology, a single-point-of-contact sales model removes significant friction and frustration felt during the car-buying process.
What Is Single Point of Contact (SPOC)?
When making a large purchase, it’s natural for a person to want to work with the same person from start to finish. In nearly every industry, shoppers start, work through, and finalize important purchases with one main point of contact. At traditional car dealerships, the single-point-of-contact approach is uncommon.
The thought that a dealership can have one employee walk someone through each aspect of their new or used car purchase may seem impractical, if not impossible. Thanks to technology and the companies driving it forward — training one person to guide customers through vehicle selection, test drive, F&I, signature, and delivery is not just possible, but entirely practical (and preferred by most car buyers).
As a dealer, you might be asking yourself, “What’s in it for me and my store?” or “Why should I upend what’s working and make a change?”. There are many benefits to adopting the SPOC sales model; however, I’ve narrowed them down to the five most important ones:
1. Boosts profitability
SPOC helps streamline dealer operations while adding cost-saving efficiencies.
Since converting to a SPOC sales model and automating much of its sales process, this well-known Midwest dealership now ranks #1 in growth compared to the top ten Toyota stores in the region. The dealership’s parent group has also seen an overall positive impact, having added nearly 5% of market share, and automating its sales process over 24 months. Across three states, 23 out of 27 of its stores saw increased market share during the same period.
This is just one of many examples that demonstrate how transitioning to a SPOC sales model can help dealerships boost profitability.
2. Builds customer trust and loyalty
The majority of car buyers report being unhappy with their experience at a dealership.
As much as we hate the reminder, it’s vital to know there are options for dealers to overcome this statistic. While there are many ways to shift consumer perception, transitioning to a SPOC sales model makes the task of building trust easier.
Studies show that people are more likely to buy from someone they trust. When a customer has to engage with several people to purchase a new vehicle, trust can be hard to come by. Keeping a customer engaged with only one employee provides the space necessary to build rapport and establish a relationship.
Leaving a lasting impression with a customer can lead to long-term loyalty and future sales. The most effective way for dealerships to do this is to establish a SPOC sales process.
3. Enables faster, more seamless transactions
The car buying process can be long and frustrating for the customer and the dealership sales team. The biggest culprit? Transferring tasks from one person to another throughout the sales process.
The back-and-forth dance of traditional dealership sales takes an average of three to six hours to complete. Today’s savvy, well-informed car shopper already knows what they’d like to buy and what it should cost before stepping inside a dealership. Their ideal experience includes getting in and out with their new vehicle purchase as quickly as possible.
Consumers shopping at a SPOC dealership will spend less time waiting around: SPOC tech solutions like FUSE can reduce the average transaction time from four hours to one.
Car buyers also benefit from working with the same person from start to finish. Those who purchase from a traditional dealership will engage with three or more people (e.g., the salesperson, the F&I person, the manager, etc.) making the process feel disjointed and frustrating.
By eliminating the need to go back-and-forth between departments, single-point-of-contact dealerships can deliver a faster, more seamless buying experience preferred by modern-day car buyers.
4. Attracts and retains key talent
As the automotive industry continues to evolve, so does the sentiment of the people who work within it. Dealerships that successfully transition to a single-point-of-contact sales model will naturally attract a larger number of qualified candidates to their stores.
Aside from being on the cutting-edge of industry trends, strong talent is also attracted to SPOC dealerships for monetary reasons. The traditional selling model is based on sharing commissions and creating tension between team members. Salespeople who are able to own their client relationships without having to split their commissions tend to have higher job satisfaction. Additionally, a SPOC sales team is incentivized to deliver outstanding customer experiences while being in a better position to upsell F&I and protection packages, leading to happier shoppers and increased profits.
5. Creates superior customer experiences
Businesses spend an average of five to 25 times more to acquire new customers than they do to retain current ones. Dealerships that want to maximize profits should be vigilant about customer retention. This includes creating and fostering a superior car buying experience that customers want to talk about.
This is important as a recent study found that 59% of car buyers choose a dealership based on reputation alone. Delivering a superior customer experience means more than a positive online reputation — it translates to increased profits. The same study reported that a third of participants would be willing to spend more money for higher quality service at a dealership. At the same time, 47.6% said they go out of their way to shop at a dealership with “helpful and friendly” salespeople. In the end, it costs far less to keep a satisfied customer than to acquire a new one.
Dealerships that complement SPOC with automation tools further empower their teams to improve response times and deliver a consistently great customer experience.
Is SPOC Right for My Dealership?
Single-point-of-contact selling isn’t just a cost-cutting exercise or an easy way to improve operational efficiency — it’s a solid strategy for maintaining and increasing profitability.
Dealerships that want to differentiate their stores from the competition and create superior customer experiences will benefit significantly from the SPOC sales model.
Get in touch now to find out how FUSE’s single-point-of-contact technology and consulting solutions can help your dealership maximize profitability.
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