Glenn Pasch: Carvana - Love Them Or Hate Them? You Should Thank Them!

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Glenn Pasch is the CEO of PCG Digital, author, speaker, and one of the most reputable voices in the retail automotive industry when it comes to marketing management, leadership, and growth. In light of the recent Carvana announcements, there have been two narratives throughout the industry. Either you love them or you hate them.

In this episode of the Dealer Playbook, Michael and Glenn focus more on the expectations of customers that Carvana aimed to fix. Regardless of your feelings toward them as a company, there is much to observe and learn that can be directly applied to your dealership operations.

Noteworthy topics from this episode:

01:59 - Over the last 2 years (through the pandemic), we've had to make a lot of changes in the automotive industry in how we interacted with car shoppers/buyers. A lot of it did depend on where you were located in the United States. I'm in New Jersey and we were totally on lockdown. So you could not go into a dealership. Parts of California, Florida, and parts of Georgia. It didn't matter. You could still go into the dealership and somewhat transact in the same manner that you had previously.

02:52 - The transaction sped up, and dealers were willing to do more over the phone, by email, and via digital retailing tools. While it's easy to throw stones at companies like Carvana, the reality is that they helped facilitate the direction that car buyers were moving already. They just paid attention and tried to provide an experience to match. Regardless of feelings toward them, their actions created urgency for many dealerships to look deeply at their existing customer experience process and make tweaks.

06:24 - The question is whether we are willing to constantly move forward by examining what we want our businesses to be? We have a tendency to make changes based on external factors. For example, what is the dealer down the street doing? What is Bob at my 20 groups doing? The magic happens when we decide what we want the customer to feel when working with us and work backward internally from there.

07:42 - You can't knock Carvana for trying to market to customer pain points. Sure they are struggling right now, but their whole premise was going out and marketing that they provide a different, updated experience. The only reason to knock that is if you're so set in your ways that you're unwilling to make changes for yourself.

09:11 - Dealers have everything they need to succeed at the game right now. Michael shares about UBER and how they re-processed existing tools and resources to provide a fresh, updated customer experience. The same option is available to dealers who are willing to think outside the box.

11:45 - It's important to make a process that is scalable and repeatable.

13:54 - Nothing is more scaleable than having no process at all. It just scales to nothing. But doing nothing is very repeatable.

14:09 - the problem is that there are some in the retail auto industry who are focused on the short term when in reality, we need to be playing more of the long game.

16:46 - Google's most recent customer data explains that car shoppers today (Gen Z/Millenial) are more likely to be loyal to the experience they receive over the product sold.

Listen to the full episode for even more insights and context about providing a killer customer car shopping/buying experience.

Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your LinkedIn or Instagram handle so we can thank you personally!

Thanks, Glenn Pasch

If you enjoyed this conversation with Kevin Frye, please let them know by clicking on the links below and sending him a message.

  1. Click here to thank Glenn Pasch on LinkedIn
  2. Click here to let Michael know about your number one takeaway from this conversation

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