The automotive industry is changing faster than ever, and with that comes a rise in consumer expectations. To better meet consumer expectations, dealers and manufacturers must be on the same page and collaborate to provide consumers with the best experience possible during every interaction. Not just during the buying process, but throughout the life of their vehicle.
To provide the best experience possible for customers, manufacturers often provide their dealers with the ability to adopt OEM parts programs in the parts department. When dealers adopt OEM programs en masse, it can provide customers with a unified experience and help strengthen brand loyalty. It can also help standardize operations between dealerships.
For OEM parts programs to successfully create a better customer experience, manufacturers must first get their dealers to adopt their program and then effectively use it. Effective communication is vital to getting more dealers to adopt an OEM program.
Why Effective Communication Matters
RevolutionParts recently surveyed over 100 General Managers in new car dealerships throughout the US. When asked what manufacturers needed to work on, 50% of respondents said that communication around OEM programs was something they wanted.
When manufacturers effectively communicate the benefits and success of the programs they’ve created for their dealers, adoption rates rise. The more dealers use official programs, the better the experience for customers and the more profitable the program will be.
Here are some ways OEMs should be communicating with their dealers:
- Emails that convey basic information about the program (benefits, incentives, etc.) or supply more in-depth digital learning materials.
- Physical mailers, such as brochures and booklets.
- Webinars that can be attended by multiple dealers at once to discuss the program and allow dealers to ask questions.
What OEMs Should Be Communicating About Programs
Promote Program Benefits
In the previously mentioned survey, RevolutionParts found that 68% of dealers were unclear on how OEM programs could benefit their dealership. If the dealers don’t see the benefits of the parts program and what it could do for their dealership’s overall parts business, they have little incentive to adopt it.
To get dealers interested in adopting a program, you need to sell them on the benefits and solutions the program provides.
For dealers to really understand the benefits of a program, they must first understand that there is a problem that needs to be solved or an issue that can be improved. Illustrate what the problem is and how your program can solve it.
Communicate Dealer Incentives
Along with benefits, manufacturers should be communicating the incentives provided to dealers who use their parts program. How will the manufacturers help support the dealer to be successful? Will the OEM make it easier for the dealer to purchase the program? Will the OEM provide marketing support?
By providing factory-to-dealer incentives, such as rebates and promotional incentive programs, OEMs can help encourage dealer adoption of their programs by removing some of the barriers that may be preventing them from signing up.
Demonstrate Program Performance
Managers within a dealership can be hesitant to adopt a new program, especially if it means they will have to update operations to a more technical form. Allowing managers to see the program in action in a one-on-one demo with someone who has in-depth knowledge of the program will help them better understand how they would use it to turn more inventory or improve operations. This also allows managers to ask any operational questions about the program.
Alternatively, on-demand demonstrations can also provide dealers with more detailed information on how the program operates and its benefits at the dealer’s convenience. The more a dealer is able to view the program, see how it works, and how it can help them improve performance within the parts department, the more likely they will see the value in the program and feel confident adopting it.
The Success of the Parts Program
OEM programs are designed to make dealers and the brand as a whole more successful. The opportunity for success is a key factor that must be communicated to dealers. Showing the success of other dealers using the OEM parts program raises confidence in dealers that they too can be successful and paints a picture of what is possible through the program. It can also show what a dealer may be missing out on if the parts program is not adopted.
Demonstrating success is key in the messaging, as it reinforces the decision to adopt the program. One of the best ways to demonstrate success is to provide dealers with proof that the parts program is effective. Manufacturers can provide dealers with case studies showing what other dealers have done with the program.
Partner With a Dealer-Trusted Solution
Choosing to partner with a dealer-trusted parts solution rather than building a parts program in-house can help OEMs communicate better with their dealers. RevolutionParts is used by over 1,500 dealers in North America and is partnered with major OEM dealers. Because RevolutionParts works so closely with dealers, we have insights into the needs of dealers on a ground-floor level. This allows us to provide turn-key solutions to dealers that work for them and benefit the OEMs.
Plus, when OEMs partner with a solution provider like RevolutionParts, much of the communication and education around the program is supplied, which helps to alleviate the burden from the manufacturer.
To learn more about RevolutionParts’ parts program solutions for manufacturers, contact us to schedule a free consultation.