Published 20 Nov 2020
This article was originally published in the Autofile Magazine - May 2018 issue.
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What do my customers think of the experience they had at my dealership? This is an extremely important question to know the answer to.
However, there are many car dealers out there who, not only don’t know, but are yet to understand and respect the importance of knowing this information that could help shape their futures.
Once you break it down and begin to understand what you could learn from knowing what your customers think, including their perceptions of your dealership, you begin to realise how little you may know and how important it is to consider.
In most instances, we assume a customer had an amazing experience, otherwise why would they have purchased from us, right?
This can be true, but more often than not there will be a combination of reasons as to why a person purchased from one dealership over another.
Across many studies of car buyers, the research shows they progressively narrow their search for a new vehicle down to about two or three options, which could be made up with a mixture of dealerships, and or private sales.
The chances are very high that the vehicles are all similar and, at this stage of the purchasing process, it’s likely these dealerships are on a level playing field (simply by having the right car in the right affordability range for that buyer).
So what heavily influences someone beginning to choose one dealership over another? The simple answer is the experiences they have.
As a dealership, you want to do everything possible to ensure a customer has an experience that will greatly influence his or her decision to buy from you.
This is why it’s important to learn from your past customers and better still, compliment that with trying to understand why someone didn’t buy from you. Achieving this will give you a very good source of information to work from and improve your businesses success.
Focusing on customers who have purchased from you will certainly be easier – you have their contact details and this will lead to more constructive feedback.
The easiest, most efficient way to conduct this is with surveys facilitated by BuyerScore.
In this way, you can identify areas of amazing or poor performance to focus and work on, along with any missed opportunities, such as finance, insurance or trade-ins. You can efficiently learn how good or bad each buyer’s experience was.
You then need to ensure you quickly address any areas of concern brought up so you can avoid the same pitfalls with future customers. Improving in this area alone could provide those extra five or ten vehicle sales you’ve been chasing each month.
More than 60 per cent of buyers of products or services have their purchasing decisions influenced by customer reviews.
With that in mind, it makes sense for you and your team to do all you can to ensure your customers get the best experience possible, therefore providing you with the best feedback possible.
You can then turn this around and share it with potential new customers – and all in an effort to influence their decision-making process. Leverage the positive reviews, which you’ve worked hard to earn.
Great experiences combined with remaining present in buyers’ minds through active customer relationship management disciplines contribute significantly to increased conversions for, and referrals to, your business. This also increases the probability when the time is right of being their first choice for their next purchase in the years to come.
The risk of not taking your customers seriously in this regard means your business ends up solely relying on new clients you have to advertise heavily around to get in the door.
Dealerships invest heavily in acquiring new leads and engagement from prospective clients, and need to value the importance of understanding their perspectives to ensure they can get the maximum return on that investment, and maximise conversion through to a sale.
If you want to learn more about your customer’s experience, at the same time as accumulating reviews and ratings, please contact the team at Motorcentral and ask about BuyerScore – New Zealand’s leading and most successful automotive survey solution.
The Motorcentral blog is intended for educational purposes only. All writers opinions are their own and nothing published on this blog should be interpreted as a recommendation or advice in any way. Motorcentral is also not responsible for and does not verify accuracy of any of the information contained within this blog.
In the event third parties are referenced within this article, Motorcentral is not necessarily affiliated with those third parties.