Dealerships: Make your buying experience as good as Amazon

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 13-Feb-2019 10:50:00

The buyer’s journey and experience has changed thanks to the digital revolution. Customers are spoilt for choice and let’s be honest, they can have the majority of things with a click of a button. It’s all about convenience. So, to keep the customer happy you need to make the searching and purchasing as simple and straightforward as possible. Amazon have nailed this.

This, however, is something we fail to offer in the automotive world, especially when it comes to the car buying experience. Cars.com reported that having limited finance options or giving a poor customer service experience affects 1 in 4 walk-in shoppers. So, consumers want the same experience they have when they shop with Amazon in dealerships, they want a speedy and efficient process so they can drive away in their shiny new toy.

Auto Trader reported that 80% of consumers find the process of buying and selling cars stressful, with more than half claiming to have been put off altogether.

So, where do you start?

When it comes to dealerships the experience starts as soon as your customer walks through the door. Every member of staff needs to be on the same page, by this I mean they all need to be focused on giving the customer a consistent experience throughout their buyer journey. This means delighting them pre, during and post sales. Reception, finance, sales reps and service crew, everyone in essence becomes a salesperson. To implement this, dealerships need to empower the entire team to complement the role of salespeople.

Next, remove any ‘headache’ the customer may have. You want to make the process and experience pain free, so your team need to do their homework. The modern buyer is now armed with so much information they will no doubt have a list of questions and as the ‘expert’ they expect you to answer and solve any queries. This is the ideal opportunity for you to build trust and resolve any issues, so the process truly is headache free.

A 360-degree approach is needed.

Above, I’ve mentioned the face-to-face interactions but what about the other forms of communication? They too need to sync and offer the same level of customer service. A bad online experience might put a potential customer off so they go to your competitor. A generic marketing touch offering them an invitation to a VIP event on new and used cars will go down like a lead balloon if they have just been in recently and put a deposit down on a new one. Remember, every touchpoint counts, so make sure you have the correct procedures and process in place to avoid the examples given.

Time.

Change takes time and so will the above suggestions. Staff will need time and dealers will need to encourage the behaviour. Dealerships need to be more customer focused and embrace the concept of making the car-buying process simple and easy.

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Topics: dealerships, buying, dealer software, car buying, sales, customer journey, convenience

Strong aftersales is what develops a dealership's brand

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 16-Jan-2019 11:05:00

With literally hundreds of franchise car dealerships in the UK only, it is difficult for dealers to differentiate themselves from one another. This also means that differentiation is key to stand out, especially with the changing definitions of loyalty. I’ve mentioned this stat before but it’s recent and it well worth considering- AutoLoop carried out a study called “Life After Loyalty – Learning to Embrace Customer Engagement” and found that 60% of millennial customers said they were loyal to a brand, even though they shop elsewhere. This says a lot to dealerships about their retention and means that there is a need to differentiate that is stronger than ever.

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Topics: Aftersales, dealerships, dms

"Car buyers likely to ditch dealers that get their details wrong"

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 08-Jan-2019 10:21:00

I recently read an article that talked about a recent study by Marketing Delivery. It found that 57% of UK motorists said they would be less likely to purchase a new vehicle from a dealership that made an error such as their name or details of their current vehicle.

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Topics: buying, car purchase, digital, dealerships

Millennials will buy cars if you sell to them on their terms

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 03-Jan-2019 10:48:00

Millennials. If you google the term you will get a number of different descriptions but Millennials are people who are born from 2001 onwards. As I’m classed as a generation Y it’s safe to say I feel old! But jokes aside, there is common misconception of Millennials- they are tight! Well Ally Bank reported that millennials are not buying cars less often than baby boomers or members of Generation X. They are saving money for longer periods before purchasing.

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Topics: selling, buying, car purchase, dealerships, millenials, technology, car buying, finance

Customer retention tips for 2019

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 13-Dec-2018 11:19:00

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.”

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Topics: customer satisfaction, dealerships, loyalty, technology, retention, customer loyalty, millenials, car buying

Dealership Opportunities and threats

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 14-Nov-2018 13:39:00

I recently wrote about how the UK sales of new cars has declined. But, it’s not all doom and gloom as Close Brothers has reported that 92% of car dealers are feeling confident about 2018. So, what’s the deal? Well, let’s consider the table below:

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Topics: dealerships, process, digital, IT, security, car sales, brexit, dealer, outlook, 2018, consumers

Your DMS Should Make You Feel Like A King

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 08-Nov-2018 11:22:00

Feel like a king

Your dealership management system is the heart and soul of your dealership, this is something that every member of staff will be using every day. This is the communication and transparency you rely on. Your DMS should make you and your dealership feel like a King. It should give you power, control and ensure you are fully informed on the goings-on of your roost.

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Topics: dms, dealer software, digital, IT, profit, dealer management, software, integration, dealerships, process

As UK new car sales drop dealers need to focus on existing customers

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 30-Oct-2018 10:19:00

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.

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Topics: loyalty, customer satisfaction, customer experience, lifetime value, retention, finance, car sales, dealerships

By ignoring the digital customer, you’re ignoring revenue.

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 18-Sep-2018 13:24:00

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.

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Topics: communication, integration, customer satisfaction, technology, customer experience, car purchase, dealerships, buyer Journey, personalisation, Customerlounge

Do you upgrade your DMS or switch?

Posted by Nathan Elliott on 10-Jul-2018 09:35:00

I know that your Dealer Management System is at the heart of your dealership so when it comes to thinking about switching your provider it’s no easy task. Your entire dealership will be comfortable with your current system and know it like the back of their hands, so the idea of new technology and change can often be met with some resistance and no doubt a bombardment of questions. Then you also have the anxiety of the whole process itself, will the data transfer correctly? What will the down time be? These are just a few common questions that will naturally spring to mind.

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Topics: dealerships, dms, dealer software, digital, technology