Concerns over rising inflation continued supply chain disruptions, and ongoing hiring difficulties have proven to be persisting challenges that countless businesses still have to face. Yet, many business owners are optimistic about the future, and despite lingering threats, there are steps small automotive operations can take to protect their business this year. Business leaders can also count on the automotive marketing specialists at Safeguard for traffic-driving solutions that bring customers to your showroom or shop.
How can I protect my automotive business from rising costs?
Small automotive operations can protect their businesses from rising costs by implementing inflation-fighting strategies, focusing on employee retention, and delivering a customer-centered experience.
3 Small Automotive Operations Strategies
1: Implement Inflation-Fighting Strategies
Inflation and the corresponding rising interest rates are significant risks facing every business. Business owners have seen rising costs for everything from raw ingredients and labor to financing options. These rising interest rates can equal hefty financial costs for small automotive operations, where the company often needs to incur considerable upfront costs but doesn’t collect money from customers until the service is completed.
To remain competitive during inflation, business leaders should pay close attention to their productivity and efficiency, adjust expenses, strengthen their pricing power, and eliminate unnecessary work with these tips:
- Improve Productivity and Efficiency: Workflows, communication methods, and the work environment can all impact efficiency. Take time to evaluate your processes and look for areas where you can improve.
- Adjust Expenses: Seek to identify what costs you can eliminate and others you might be able to spend less on. Anything that’s not essential to your business can be considered unnecessary spending and is a potential area to cut expenses.
- Strengthen Your Pricing Power: Businesses can strengthen their pricing power in various ways, including identifying what differentiates their business from the competition and improving the uniqueness of their offering.
- Eliminate Unnecessary Work: Technology, automation, and outsourcing are the primary ways businesses eliminate unnecessary work, more effectively leverage resources, and bring costs down.
2: Focus on Employee Acquisition and Retention
Hiring qualified employees are already challenging, and many small businesses may be unable to keep up with increasing wages in a candidate-driven market. Auto dealers and repair shops, just like many industries, are feeling the effects of what some have called the great resignation as they struggle to recruit and retain service department staff.
Particularly for a small business, each new hire has the potential to make a significant impact. Hiring the right employees is one of the most important things you will do as a business leader to grow your business. Employee retention is a key contributor to a growing and thriving organization. Automotive companies can work to retain employees by focusing on providing the following:
- Growth Opportunities – Investing in employee education and career development is a powerful incentive for employees to stay at your company.
- Offering Competitive Benefits – Benefits can be monetary and non-monetary and may include salary, bonuses, paid time off, healthcare, and retirement benefits.
- Implementing Recognition and Rewards Systems – Employees want to feel recognized and appreciated for their work. This recognition can include highlighting professional achievements and personal traits that make an employee stand out.
Companies that can improve their employee retention have an opportunity to reap significant rewards that include reduced costs, improved morale, and greater productivity.
3: Deliver a Customer-Centered Experience
Car buyers reported the highest satisfaction levels when the overall car-shopping experience took less time and was more efficient. Customer experience is rapidly becoming a key differentiator among businesses, making it ever more important to deliver a customer-centered experience.
The automotive disruptions businesses have faced over the last few years, particularly with inventory and supply chain issues, can easily combine to create operational challenges that can lead to decreased customer satisfaction. It’s no surprise that customer service plays a crucial part in the car-buying experience, whether in person or online.
To meet and exceed customer expectations, you must listen closely to what your customers tell you. Three best practices for customer experience include:
- Help Customers Feel Empowered:
- Make interactions meaningful.
- Help customers save time.
- Focus on what your customer wants to achieve by using your product or service.
- Personalize the Customer Experience: Personalization, meeting a customer’s requirements, increases customer satisfaction, drives loyalty, and boosts repeat purchases.
- Focus on what your customer wants to achieve: A business will only know how to help customers achieve their goals through connecting and understanding.
Although the way people shop for cars is changing, every interaction between a customer and your dealership is an opportunity to provide excellent customer service.
With innovative marketing ideas for automotive dealerships, Safeguard’s marketing experts can help you with creative strategies to spark interest and drive sales. From digital marketing to daily business essentials, we specialize in engaging and effective solutions that bring customers to your showroom or shop.
Key Takeaways for Small Automotive Operations
- Small automotive operations can protect their businesses from rising costs by implementing inflation-fighting strategies, focusing on employee retention, and delivering a customer-centered experience.
- To remain competitive, business leaders should implement inflation-fighting strategies such as adjusting expenses and eliminating unnecessary work.
- Automotive businesses can work to retain employees by focusing on providing growth opportunities, offering competitive benefits, and implementing recognition and rewards systems.
- Customer experience is rapidly becoming a key differentiator among businesses, making it ever more important to deliver a customer-centered experience.