Vital statistics: wireless access points can cost $400 to $1,000 per, switches up to $3,500
Car dealerships are finding new ways to connect with potential buyers using wireless technology to educate customers on cars’ features. But this expanded use of tools requires dealerships to support them with proper network infrastructure, like increased wireless access points and expanded bandwidth.
A recent article—published by Automotive News—explored this trend and the steps dealers are taking to back up their expanded use of these technologies. One dealership, for example, uses tablets to “educate the customer through video.”
“When customers have to wait too long to be written up, it reflects on your [customer service index] numbers and the customers’ general demeanor,” Len Stoler Automotive Group corporate operations manager Wayne Kronstadt told Automotive News. “That doesn’t set the stage to satisfy them or upsell something they may need.”
“I want them to see a video right there [on the tablet] to show the customer what it means for them,” Dawn Newsome, the fixed operations director at Vaden Automotive in Savannah, GA, told Automotive News.
Newsome estimates that the use of this tablet technology has provided a 23 percent increase in revenue per customer at the dealership’s ten locations in the past two years. These tools have prompted dealers to beef up their network infrastructures to ensure these new tools run smoothly. This may require switching from broadband to fiber-optic connections, increasing the number of local WiFi access points or opting for products designed for enterprise use (rather than home use).
These tools cost more upfront for dealers, but ideally pay off in the long run due to increased speed and expanded use of wireless tools to meet customers’ demands. Enterprise-grade switches, for example, typically cost between $1,800 and $3,500 for dealers, while wireless access points can run anywhere from $400 to $1,000 apiece.
But beefed up infrastructure pays off in the long run, says Kronstadt. The group expanded bandwidth and network speed at its locations in 2015.
April 19, 2017