Car Dealers Expand “Open” Hours with QR Codes

carsIt’s a Sunday afternoon. You’ve spent the morning perusing the car dealership ads in the morning paper and have pinpointed a couple of places to check out. One is closed on Sunday, suggesting you call for an appointment later in the week. The other, also closed on Sunday, notes in their ad that their cars for sale are outfitted with AutoTag™, a QR code (Quick Response bar code) that can provide nearly as much data about the car as a car dealer’s sales staff could give you. Guess which one gets your business?

The QR code involved, ClickMotive Fusion Tag, also known as AutoTag, was invented and marketed by ClickMotive. It’s a weatherproof sticker on the outside of the car’s window that goes beyond listing the car’s standard features. The QR code can be scanned with any smart phone to provide photos, videos, rebates and car dealer incentives – even CarFAX™ reports. And it is easily removed once the car is ready to leave the car dealer’s lot.

Want to see the engine? No problem. Want to compare makes and models? A piece of cake. Want to send photos to friends and family members for their input? Just a couple of snaps and clicks away. All of that technology is available by scanning the QR code with almost any smart phone. You can even email the car dealership to let their sales staff know you are interested and to schedule a test drive, text them for more information, or ask them to hold the car for a later purchase.

One of the most unique features of this QR code application is that it allows car dealers to “open” their lots to shoppers who prefer to look around at their leisure, without undue pressure. While it will never take the place of human interaction to close a deal, the QR code offer car dealers another avenue toward customer service and satisfaction.

According to Ray Myers, CTO of ClickMotive, “When a car dealer uses this QR code, or AutoTag, it only takes a few seconds per car to make it 100 percent digitally interactive. As our website explains, QR codes cannot transfer any personal information about the consumer. They are simply shortcuts to websites.”

The benefits of using QR codes are also great for the car dealership. Instead of customers being redirected to the manufacturer, they can get the scoop straight from the car dealer’s website, which can include inventory, contact information and other web-based data. Every QR code is VIN-specific, and when new inventory arrives, it only takes seconds to print and install the Autotags. Analysts within the car dealership can see the QR code scans, track the calls and leads, and control the consumer experience. Obviously this works well when the dealership is closed, but even when open, there’s yet another opportunity to improve customer service.

This video illustrates implementation of the QR code stickers (a quick peel and stick application), a potential buyer scanning the QR code and viewing the car’s data, and also the results and reporting opportunities for the car dealership’s back-end operations.

AutoTag is one more example of using QR code technology to blend the physical and digital, improving the experience of consumers and car dealers alike. So go shopping – on Sunday or any time – test drive this new technology and see if it doesn't help you find your dream car.

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