During NADA 2018, Cars.com is hosting industry thought leaders as part of our Coffee and Conversations series. On March 23, entrepreneur and strategist Cory Mosley stopped by Booth 4515C to share with NADA attendees what he’s been seeing, hearing, and discussing at the event so far. During his visit, he took a moment to chat with Cars.com about the state of the automotive industry. Here are a few highlights from an interview he gave to Cars.com:

  • Competing through experience. “Dealers are concerned about how well they can compete on customer experience profitability,” he said. “The ability to both service and sell is a big topic during a time when there is so much marketplace discussion about transparency and disruptors.”
  • Technology needs to support the business. “After more than 20 years in this business, one thing I know for sure is that you just cannot apply technology for the sake of technology,” he said. “You have to look at technology from the standpoint of where it fits in your business. Don’t buy a bunch of iPads for your service lounge just because you have the budget. Ask first, ‘Is that what the customer wants? How will spending $10,000 on a bunch of iPads improve my CSI and business? Always ask, ‘What challenges do we have and how can technology help us solve these challenges?”
  • How to win against Amazon. When asked to discuss how dealers can best address the encroachment of Amazon on the industry, Cory’s answer was simple: “pay attention to your customer. Pay attention to how your customers like to buy. Pay attention to how your customers like to be serviced. Be customer-centric instead of dealer-centric. So often we define processes that make life easier for the dealer than the customer. Focus first on the customer.”
  • Change is the byword. “The industry will continue to change, and dealers need to guard against relying on what they know today to predict what will happen tomorrow. If you had asked people years ago whether they would have been comfortable sharing their homes with a stranger, they would have said ‘No,’ but then Airbnb came along. But I believe it’s safe to say that there will always be customer segments for every kind of buying experience, however digital or in-person they are.”
  • Impact of the digital generation. “An entire generation is coming along that doesn’t know what a typewriter is. They’re growing up on their mobile phones. This generation includes both consumers and dealership employees. The customer experience will change along with customers’ own preferences. Dealers will succeed by paying attention to the needs of their customer. Understand their preferences and create the best customer experience you can.”

Cory, thank you for visiting with Cars.com at NADA!