The Importance of being accessible
By Sam Flores
One of the most underappreciated components of running a dealership is the ease of access. Like going to a great restaurant and finding no place to park and therefore deciding to go elsewhere. When was the last time you assessed your parking requirements? Do you designate parking space for employees, customers, vendors, deliveries, and others? Do you have parking layouts during construction projects and remodels? Do you have enough spaces available for your customers at peak times?
Lack of parking can lead to lost opportunities because of customers unwilling to “fight for a spot” at your dealership. Customers know they can get the same vehicle from other franchised dealers in the region. Therefore, customer service, convenience, and ease of accessibility become even more critical. Especially at a dealership where the average person can spend several hours per visit.
One quick way to help ease the burden of finding a parking space is to consider offering valet service or shuttle service. One of our clients has greeters on the lot who are readily available to “capture” customers when they pull in to immediately address their needs and ensure they are catered to with ease. This helps establish a relationship with the customer and shows that you are willing to go the extra mile for their convenience. Another tip is to ensure that the areas closest to the dealership are made exclusively available to customers, especially during the peak times. Don’t let your vendors or other visitors park in prime customer parking spaces (we visit dealers all the time and don’t mind walking for the benefit of your customers.)
Remember — People likely will not buy your products if they cannot easily see your products.