It happens on any given day at a dealership near you: customers come and go, some for service and others to buy new or used vehicles. For those looking to buy, they typically spend hours researching online, learning about features, comparing models, and working out the right deal. Indeed, by the time they arrive at the dealership, they often have a very good idea of what they want, and how much they can afford. From there, they take a test drive, talk with a salesperson – or two – and ultimately make the decision to purchase.
The point is that the process of buying a car takes time, effort and teamwork – the kind that involves virtually all areas of a retail operation – including registration and title. In fact, the business heroes in the “back office” have an important role to play at the conclusion of each and every sale. Ironically, when they handle registration and title correctly, almost no one notices – it seems like an automatic, seamless and transparent part of the experience. That’s exactly how it should be, because when it goes wrong – with delays or inaccuracies – this last step in the car buying journey can disrupt the customer’s life and create a very unhappy experience. Making sure that doesn’t happen requires a combination of expertise, advanced technology, experience and local knowledge. It’s a recipe that includes three important keys:
1. Speed: A good registration and titling solution ought to be able to process transactions quickly, and offer instant delivery of registration and license plates so the customer doesn’t have to visit the local department of motor vehicles or pull out his screw driver to install new plates. Even more important, a registration and titling solution should offer quick and convenient turnaround on paperwork audits, with error-free submission to the state.
2. Service: Software on its own can only ever handle part of the job. The rest is up to knowledgeable professionals who understand the laws and requirements of vehicle paperwork, and know how to avoid problems and delays that even the best software can’t detect. That takes local DMV knowhow and the opportunity for ongoing training and knowledge sharing.
3. Simplicity: Advanced registration and titling technology shouldn’t complicate or confuse anyone. It should be easy to use, with an interface designed for easy data entry and for the workflow of a clerk or controller. That ideal of simplicity should also include the process. Whether a typical in-state transaction – or one that spans state borders – the act of processing registration and title documents should be simple, quick and easy to accomplish.
In an automotive retail environment that’s complicated – and getting more complex virtually every day – being able to speed up and simplify the process of registration is a key part in ensuring happy customers. Long after the salesperson and the F&I manager have done their part in building a fair and satisfying experience, it’s the business office heroes who ensure that the experience stays positive and authentic, so that happy customers will come back for more business in the future.