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Designing Software for the Automotive Retail Industry

An Interview with the EASI’R Product team!

Ensuring an outstanding user experience and optimal usability is essential for us at EASI’R. Our philosophy: An automotive lead-management solution needs to be designed in such a way, that salespeople in dealerships experience a significant ease on their daily work flow and a strong increase in efficiency. It needs to be designed in such a way that they understand how the software works immediately and enjoy using it each and every day.

In order to ensure all this, we have a special Product team at EASI’R, consisting of User Experience Designers, User Interface Designers and Graphic Designers, who work on ensuring an optimal usability and user experience of EASI’R lead-management SaaS every day. In close cooperation with our 2,600+ customers and 16,000+ users, the Product team works on providing features that really make a difference and help our customers to improve their retail processes.

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Get an insight into the work of our EASI’R Product team in this interview with our great
Product Designer Jonas Techen – and get to know how the team is working on designing a software for the automotive industry!

 

Jonas, the Automotive industry is a very heterogenous industry, currently changing rapidly by digitalization. What is your most challenging design process?

Jonas: One of the greatest challenges is designing a tool that provides value across different positions in automotive retail organizations, while preserving a coherent and unified experience for all of our users. Thus, we do not only consider the needs of car salespeople, but at the same time we also consider the needs of Sales managers in a dealership, of regional managers, and of administrators. They all have different workflows, purposes and expectations when interacting with EASI’R. Embracing this difference, and its interconnected nature, is always the end goal of our design efforts.

Another closely connected challenge is to understand the specific context in which a lead-management software like EASI’R is used, in order to evaluate if a certain feature is deemed to be valuable in the complex automotive retail process. Take the car salesperson’s use of EASI’R as an example. What step of the car salesperson’s workflow are we trying to empower? Is the car salesperson trying to overcome multiple tasks simultaneously? Is the collaboration with a colleague necessary? Is the car salesperson situated in a busy showroom, or quiet office? What type of device is appropriate in a given situation? A smartphone? A desktop computer? A smartwatch? All these questions, amongst many others, need to be answered in order to turn numerous digital features into one useful and appropriate experience.

Jonas: “We believe that the first 10 minutes of  using a lead-management solution is paramount to the decision-making of deeming it worthwile.

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What are the key aspects you work on to maximize the usability?

Jonas: As Product designers, we always go to great lengths to keep our understanding of the automotive retail process aligned with reality. These efforts dictate how the platform is shaped, both in terms of usability and experience. As an example: When we release new functionalities for the automatic reports that users can create in EASI’R, we need to make sure that this matches with the  performance indicators of automotive salespeople – namely their sales targets. This feature is also a great example of how different positions in the same automotive retail process are expecting different outcomes, when interacting with EASI’R: A Sales manager expects a tool to lead the Sales team towards a common sales target by problem solving, and the car salesperson expects a tool to motivate and embrace the competitive aspect of sales – while both are seeking improvement in sales. It is the Product team’s responsibility to meet these expectations across the many different use cases and scenarios.

A common challenge for many lead-management solutions is to convince the users to indeed use the software on a daily basis. How do you cope with that challenge?

Jonas: We believe that the first 10 minutes of using a product is paramount to the decision-making of deeming it worthwhile. Our approach is to show the purpose of using EASI’R as fast as possible – why should you, as a car salesperson for example, invest time in yet another tool? The answer lies in showing the value gained, by using EASI’R in your workflow, and show how that value can be obtained. A car salesperson wants to know how EASI’R can be used to acquire new customers or stay up-to-date with an existing customer journey. A Sales manager wants to know how EASI’R can provide an overview of the team’s obstacles, and ensure that different common targets are met. We show these values to the different users, by setting up automated processes that guide them through the EASI’R interface, while at the same time, working with it themselves – turning a novice user into an experienced user, by empowering them. We also put a lot of effort into designing the onboarding experience of new users, and as a end goal encourage self-exploration of the EASI’R interface.

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How do you validate your design – what is the exact process to get customer feedback and check if your concept works?

Jonas: Validating a design solution is continuously done throughout the entire design process, hence there is no final step of the design process where we validate in isolation. We strive towards embracing a mentality where our users, such as car salespeople and Sales managers, are seen as participants of the design process. Typically, this is done by inviting users to interact with the unfinished proposed design solution, through a prototype with an appropriate amount of details. Afterwards, we discuss and brainstorm on the proposed solution with the users and adjust it accordingly. This process is conducted several times until the result meets the expectations of our users. Validation also happens indirectly through qualitative interviews, where we focus on how the individual user perceives the automotive retail process, instead of interacting with a prototype. Knowing what method to use, and when, is very important to make the design process successful.

Interested in getting to know EASI’R? Learn more about the system at www.easir.com or directly request your personal demo by getting in touch with us at demo@easir.com We are looking forward to hearing from you!