Protect your brand with better appraisals


Reputation is important for any automotive dealer, but absolutely critical so for those selling premier marquees. The transparency and efficiency of your vehicle appraisals process is one key to protecting your dealership’s hard earned brand.

Traditionally appraisals have been managed with paper-based processes and systems. This involves filling books up with appraisals and then throwing them to the bottom of a desk or cupboard, never to be seen again. This can lead to incorrect or inaccurate appraisals that cost the dealerships dollars and countless hours in rechecking vehicle descriptions.

This method of collection also leaves the appraisal process open for misinterpretation and errors. For example, if a valuation is completed for one make and model, and the vehicle turns out to be something else, it is time consuming to go back and find the original document to see what was originally recorded. It also has the potential to damage your relationship with a customer if there is significant disagreement about the type of quality of vehicle being traded.

Using some technology can help improve the efficiency of the appraisals process, and ensure it is managed in a fair and transparent way with customers.

Many different apps and systems are available. Here’s the main aspects to consider when evaluating a system to manage your appraisals.

1.     A rich database

The ability to electronically enter the vehicle information from the appraisal into a database ensures that information is not lost in an office or a desk and a full history is available whenever it is required. It also creates a database that can be used for marketing in understanding customer demographics, to track vehicle data and report to management and other key stakeholders on the performance of the dealership in relation to appraisals.

In addition to this, the system should be able to seamlessly integrate with your CRM and central databases to ensure a consistency and common accessibility of data. That integration will assist in streamlining processes and systems which in turn help provide greater transparency over everything.

2.     Mobility

While electronic data is important, it is largely useless in a dealership situation if you can use it on mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. Using paper-based methods of collecting the data to then be entered into a database at a later date still poses many of the problems of a wholly paper-based system of documents going missing.

By providing a platform for appraisals to be entered directly into the database as they are being undertaken ensures that all information makes it to its destination. It also improves the accuracy of the data that is being entered as it is entered first-hand, not second or even third-hand.

A simple and visually appealing user interface can also provide benefits to a dealership through customer satisfaction measures. Being able to show, on a mobile device, the appraisal details to a customer in a slick and coherent way, helps the customer to feel informed of the process.

3.     Capturing photo and video vehicle images

A great feature that can assist in saving dealerships a lot of money is photo and video capability. This is the ability to not only take photos and videos on site, but also to store this alongside other corresponding vehicle information.

Photos and videos are valuable for a couple of reasons. They help to clarify points and reduce misinterpretation through showing people what you are talking about, rather than leaving it up to assumptions.

The other reason is the provision of evidence of data and subsequent decisions being made. If something is ever disputed, it is easy to go back, find the corresponding photo or video and show the source of truth in the matter. This can save time in a sale and also secure customer satisfaction, again, through that transparency in processes and decisions.

Technology can protect your reputation

While these are the key, must-have features of appraisals software, there are many other features that will be important for individual companies as needs will differ from one to the next. To figure out what is important for your organisation in terms of a software solution, undertake a thorough scoping process and talk to a range of solution providers to understand how they can help your individual needs.

Paper-based processes are a thing of the past, and increasingly pose a risk to your hard won reputation as premium automotive dealership. To keep up with competition while improving efficiencies and cost-savings within your dealership, you need to be considering a move to a software solution that works for your company, while displaying some of the critical features such as electronic data, mobility and photo and video capability.

To find out more about Netresult and the features of their appraisals solution, visit the website here.