Dealers have long recognised that it is the customer experience which ensures a business stands out and customer satisfaction levels have been a key business metric for decades.
A study by DMEautomotive noted customers who develop a habit of maintaining their vehicle at a dealership are 86 times more likely to purchase their next vehicle from you.
Customer retention is the end game- it’s what all dealerships are looking to nail and this is becoming increasingly hard. Doug Van Sach, AutoLoop’s Vice President, put it perfectly when he said, “the hard truth for dealers is most consumers have redefined what it means to be loyal in the digital age.”
The digitalisation of the buying process has particularly effected the automotive industry. Customers are carrying out most of the buying journey online and, in most cases, only come into the dealership when they have almost made their purchase decision. Everything is quick, easy and optimised and this is what has become the norm. Anything that doesn’t hit the mark with those points sticks out like an underperforming sore thumb.
According to the SMMT 2.5 million cars were registered in 2017. This is a 5.7% drop from 2016. This may come as a surprise to many as the market has been growing year on year since 2012.
There are a lot of stages to the modern car-buyer journey. The majority of the process is now online, with customers coming into dealerships only when they have a clear idea of what they’re buying, at the end of their buying journey.
I’ve got some questions…
Your DMS is there to measure, report, input jobs and provide clarity and transparency when it comes to your internal processes and communications, right? But, what about the customer?
I know that enhancing the ownership experience for your customers is a key priority but the modern customer has higher expectations. They now require and expect immediate information, personalised services and offers and consistency, which is imperative to the customer-dealer relationship.
There’s endless content and conversation on customer retention in the automotive industry. This is why it’s so surprising that there’s still core issues here. As we all know, retention depends on customer experience as the experience determines customer satisfaction.