Customer experience plays a huge role in the success and reputation of your dealership. 99 percent of automotive shoppers expect their car buying experience at the dealership to be a hassle. Dealerships are recognizing the need to step up their game to keep customers happy and satisfied, because a happy customer is a valuable customer. Customer perception is transforming the automotive industry in a few key ways:
Online reputation is more important than ever in the digital age. The car buying process is expensive and stressful, and customers trust online reviews to help them choose the best dealership. Location-based review sites like Yelp, Cars.com, Edmunds, and even Facebook continue to rise in popularity. 70 percent of car buyers say that online dealership reviews influence where they choose to go. 24 percent consider online reviews to be the “most helpful” factor when choosing where to purchase. The more positive reviews about your dealership, the more new customers will come in already trusting you.
The customer and dealer relationship should not end after the sale. Gross profit margins in the service and parts department are much higher than the new car sales department. If a customer experiences a stressful buying experience, they likely won’t return for service, which becomes a wasted opportunity for your dealership. On the other hand, a customer who has a positive experience buying a car from you is very likely to come back. Plus, they’ll recommend your store to their family and friends.
Automobile quality has improved drastically in the last 15 years, making it harder for different brands to compete in reliability, comfort, and features. Customers have more options to choose from when it comes to finding a quality vehicle. When shopping for a car, they are also shopping for an experience. If they don’t receive the treatment they expect from you, they know they can take their business elsewhere to find what they are looking for.
It’s no surprise that dealerships are under a lot of pressure to improve their customer experience. Dealerships have had notoriously bad reputations for customer service in the past, and 56 percent of shoppers say they would buy more often if the dealership process was not so difficult. A little bit of positive customer service goes a long way. What are you doing to set your dealership above the rest and make sure your customers walk away feeling satisfied?