When customers come into your dealership to buy a car, they expect to have a certain kind of experience. Today’s shoppers are especially aware of the environment and overall tone that’s set in your dealership, and this begins from the moment they set foot on your lot. For your sales staff to sell more cars, providing the best customer experience involves preparation, knowledge, efficiency, and much more.
With a majority of shoppers leaning on mobile to get their initial information—from makes and models to local dealership hours—it makes it even more essential for your dealership to make a great first impression. After all, consumers now only make an average of 2 dealership visits before purchasing. For your dealership, this means ensuring customers get exactly the experiences they are looking for; or you’ll risk losing them to the competition.
It happens. And while not every transaction will be perfect, there are many things you can do to ensure you’re meeting customer needs, providing unparalleled experiences, and encouraging them to shop with you, not the competition. Consider the following and steer clear in order to sell more cars and lower your chances of sending shoppers packing:
1. Untrained salespeople. At the dealership, your salespeople are likely the first people customers will meet. They are responsible for making the dealership’s first impression, as well as building relationships and trust with shoppers. Ensure you give them the tools to sell more cars by offering continuing education opportunities such as monthly meetings, one-on-one feedback, and links to helpful resources. Additionally, be sure to coach your pros through areas of growth opportunity in order to benefit them professionally and the dealership as a whole.
2. A neglected website. The good news is that your dealership is able to reach all your online customers, and an effective, well-functioning website is essential. Your customers are researching cars online before they even think about setting foot inside your showroom. However, a neglected website makes it more difficult for shoppers to get the answers to the questions they may have. When your website doesn’t function properly or is filled with outdated information, the quality of your brand, in their minds, diminishes. An up-to-date website will do wonders in attracting the attention of your online customers.
3. Hole in the wall. When customers see your dealership for the first time, they begin to generate opinions about the brand just by looking at the parking lot and building. And with their first steps inside your showroom, their opinions solidify even further. For these reasons, it’s important not only to maintain your lot and showroom, but also to consider timely updates to keep things looking modern, efficient, and welcoming. While customer service and brand quality is strong at your dealership, constant attention is important to ensure that these remain top notch and up-to-date.
4. Lack of motivation, lack of training. While your dealership likely works to maintain ongoing education and updates for sales professionals, it’s important to keep an eye on the overall motivation and engagement levels of all employees, as these will reflect on the dealership as a whole. Your sales team will feel more confident and be able to provide better customer service when you take the time out to offer them industry insights and sales tips to help them succeed and sell more cars. Additionally, motivation for your entire staff should be assessed regularly, with a focus on ensuring employees are happy and satisfied in their positions. With a happy, engaged staff, you’ll end up with happier, more satisfied customers.
5. A lonely social platform. Having a solid social presence is a necessity when it comes to reaching out to your online customers. This allows your dealership to have a prominent online presence, but only if it is properly maintained. This isn’t something that can be left alone and forgotten. Constant posts and updates need to be generated in order for a social platform to serve its purpose; with plenty of engaging content, your followers will return to view and share your posts.
Your customers can make or break your dealership, especially now that word of mouth feedback and recommendations spread like wildfire via online outlets. By ensuring you capture and keep the attention of as many customers as possible, your dealership will be heading in the right direction; and by following through and maintaining your reputation, engaging, and interacting with consumers, you’ll build a reputation for trust and quality.
It’s been proven that 55% of consumers will pay for a guaranteed better experience, and 91% of unhappy customers will simply leave, costing the dealership money. Unhappy customers hurt the dealership in two ways; the first being lost sales, and the second being the fact that it costs 6-7 times more for a company to attract new customers as opposed to keeping existing ones. This being the case, customer satisfaction and customer retention should always remain very high on the priority list, as they are the basis for dealership success. Dealerships can avoid sending shoppers to the competition by providing the best service, excellent customer experiences, and plenty of knowledge and consumer interaction.