Auto dealers are taking the time, energy and money traditionally spent in their stores out of the showroom and redirecting it online. This isn’t to take away from the amazing experiences customers get when they walk into a dealership – it is to better the experience before they even step foot in it. In today’s day and age, the customer experience online must be a priority because that is where prospective buyers spend most of their time before considering a car to buy. Think about it… how many times has a consumer walked into your dealership ready to test drive an exact make, model and year of a car that just came on the lot knowing the exact price the car is worth?
Customer Experience 101
Creating a great customer experience is incredibly simple yet difficult and many dealerships fall short. Check out some of these tips to ensure you create an experience that leaves your customers happy and your sales up.
1) Put yourself in their shoes
While it sounds simple enough, some people miss this critical step when developing marketing and sales strategies and plans. You MUST put yourself in the customer’s shoes but the important angle in today’s day in age is that you have to think about the experience they have before they get to the dealership. Walk yourself through the ENTIRE car buying experience from all phases of the sales cycle – awareness, interest, decision, and customer. As you go through the buyer’s journey, take notes of what you thought worked and what didn’t.
- Could your prospective buyers easily find what they need?
- Were there any issues on your site?
- Were there clear instructions or directions for contacting the dealership?
Going through this exercise will help you improve the customer experience and increase the possibility of a sale.
2) Hear your customers out
Sometimes criticism can be harsh, but with the right mindset, it can be constructive and revolutionary for your entire dealership. Talking to people about the experience they had before, during and after they came to your dealership and made a purchase can help you understand the in’s and out’s of the experience your dealership gives at a deeper and more qualitative level. While a website gives you hard data for clicks and engagement, feedback from a happy or disappointed customer can be equally as valuable and insightful. If the opportunity for feedback happens with in person, actively listen and pay attention to all verbal and nonverbal cues.
3) Keep them pleasantly surprised
Coffee, water, mints, candy, donuts – you name it – are essentially standard practice at dealerships. If you want to improve your customer experience you have to think outside the box and go the extra mile to ‘wow’ a prospective buyer. From an outstanding greeting, the second someone walks through the door; to loyalty programs for services such as free oil changes or tire rotations. No matter what you decide, the more you think outside the box, the further you will set yourself apart from your competition.
If you’re ready to make a difference in your customer experience online, contact SpinCar today to learn about our Lead Intelligence Reporting, the 360 WalkAround, and our Mobile Capture App.