Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Dealership Experience Can Make Or Break A Sale, According To AutoTrader.com

ATLANTA, Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2014, the industry should put a greater focus on the experience consumers are having in dealerships, according to AutoTrader.com®. Combining insights gained through years of consumer research, as well as working with a third-party firm to understand what fuels the best performing dealerships' success, AutoTrader.com identified the "Dealership Experience," and particularly "Customer Handling," as one of the leading factors that determines where consumers make their purchases.  

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110425/CL88097LOGO

"We work diligently to partner with our dealer customers and be true consultants, helping them to not only attract more shoppers, but to also turn those shoppers into buyers," said Kevin Filan, vice president of customer marketing and industry relations at AutoTrader.com. "In order to fulfill this promise, we felt it was important to highlight a key theme that has come up across our wide body of research: as shoppers move between online research and interacting with dealerships, it is those interactions—or the way customers are handled—that can make or break the sale. Because of this, we believe that now is the time for the industry to come together to enhance consumers' dealership experience."

Central to superior customer handling is meeting shoppers where they are in the shopping process and allowing them to shop the way they want to. Car buyers indicate that they will walk away from a deal when the experience is not meeting their expectations. In fact, AutoTrader.com research has shown that one of the top reasons new and used car buyers are dissatisfied with the dealership experience is a pushy and/or dishonest sales person.[1]

Additionally, that research shows that a majority of shoppers would not buy from a dealership they found to be untrustworthy, even if that dealership had the best price or the exact car they were looking for. In that study, 70 percent of respondents said they would walk away from a dealership that offered the best price on a vehicle if they found the dealership to be untrustworthy, and 74 percent indicated that they would walk away from a dealership that had the exact car they wanted if they found the dealership to be untrustworthy.[2]

Lynn V., an avid online car shopper, drove this point home in a recent conversation with AutoTrader.com where she said, "I went online and narrowed it down to two different dealerships. One was very good about communicating with me via email, was explicit in putting out an offer – very detailed. [They] included a price in the offer and invited me to the dealership. The other dealership, which actually had my first choice of color…wouldn't give me specifics in email."

She continued to try and work with the dealership that had the exact vehicle she wanted, but they would not communicate with her effectively the way she wanted, and her in-store experience led to her decide against doing business with that dealership:  "I will never go to that dealer again, even though they were probably 40 miles closer to my house. I was willing to spend the time and make the drive for a dealership that honored its word and treated its customer right."

Conversely, a good consumer experience can help dealers seal the deal. Of the top 10 reasons why car buyers select the dealership where they ultimately purchased from, six were influenced by positive customer handling: past experience with the dealer (21 percent), dealer's reputation (10 percent), referral from someone else (seven percent), dealer's service department (six percent), always buy from my salesperson (five percent), liked salesperson/treated us well (three percent).[1]

As a result, it's critical to a dealership's success for salespeople to evolve the way they engage potential buyers today by providing a buying experience that is focused on the individual customer's wants and needs.

"Shoppers want to feel good, not just about their purchase, but the dealership from where they are purchasing," Filan continued. "The dealership experience extends beyond the showroom floor, as dealers are creating experiences for consumers each and every time they come into contact with the dealership—whether that's online looking at inventory, chatting, or reading reviews, or in person as they walk the lot. Because of this, dealers should focus on building trust from the first interaction with each consumer and sustaining that trust throughout the consumer's experience."

This information is particularly important, as car buyers are only visiting one to three dealerships prior to purchase, according to AutoTrader.com research.[2] Therefore, dealers need to ensure that their "first showroom," their online presence, is creating an enticing and informative experience, as well as focus on the in-person experience.

To help dealers improve their dealership experience, AutoTrader.com offers the following tips:

  • Improve soft skills. Train employees on customer handling and in-store processes. Observe and review sales calls as well as in-store interactions and provide coaching to dealership staff.
  • Be more consultative. Embrace a more consultative approach to the sales process to alleviate shopper concerns and build trust.
  • Be knowledgeable. Ensure that dealership staff is intimately knowledgeable with inventory and product offerings. Despite being informed, many car shoppers still rely heavily on the salesperson for information.
  • Ensure pricing consistency. Consider introducing more pricing transparency through consistently pricing vehicles across third-party sites, advertising and the dealership site. It may even be worth embracing a "no haggle" policy. Shoppers indicate that agreeing on a price can be one of the most frustrating parts of buying a car.
  • Hire the right sales staff. Recruit and hire sales staff who mirror the profile of your buyers and who have a pulse on how consumers today prefer to shop.
  • Think outside the box. Differentiate your dealership with a unique amenity. For example, some car shoppers bring their children to the dealership, so amenities that cater to families can turn a good experience into a great one.
  • Reconsider the BDC/Internet Department model. While many dealerships have a finely tuned process that is highly effective, others should consider a "top to bottom" experience where consumers interact with one individual—from the person who answers the phone or greets a customer when they arrive through facilitation of the entire transaction. Car shoppers indicate frustration when they begin working with one dealership associate but then are handed off to another associate only to start the process over again.

About AutoTrader.com

Created in 1997, Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com is the Internet's ultimate automotive marketplace. As a leading resource for car shoppers and sellers, AutoTrader.com aggregates millions of new, used and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of dealers and private sellers and provides expert articles and reviews. AutoTrader.com, which also operates the AutoTraderClassics.com auto marketing brand, is wholly owned by AutoTrader Group. Additionally, AutoTrader Group owns Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com®) as well as companies that provide a full suite of software tools that help dealers and manufacturers manage their inventory and advertising online: vAuto®, HomeNet Automotive®, VinSolutions®, AIS Rebates™, Genius Labs® and Haystak™. AutoTrader Group is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. For more information, please visit http://press.autotrader.com.

[1] Source: 2013 Polk Automotive Buyer Influence Study

[2] Source: AutoTrader.com 2012 Dealership Experience Study

SOURCE AutoTrader.com

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Interoute is the owner operator of Europe's largest network and a global cloud services platform, which encompasses over 70,000 km of lit fiber, 15 data centers, 17 virtual data centers and 33 colocation centers, with connections to 195 additional partner data centers. Our full-service Unifie...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Twistlock, the leading provider of cloud container security solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Twistlock is the industry's first enterprise security suite for container security. Twistlock's technology addresses risks on the host and within the application of the container, enabling enterprises to consistently enforce security policies, monitor...
Interested in leveling up on your Cloud Foundry skills? Join IBM for Cloud Foundry Days on June 7 at Cloud Expo New York at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Foundry Days is a free half day educational conference and networking event. Come find out why Cloud Foundry is the industry's fastest-growing and most adopted cloud application platform.
For financial firms, the cloud is going to increasingly become a crucial part of dealing with customers over the next five years and beyond, particularly with the growing use and acceptance of virtual currencies. There are new data storage paradigms on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive financial data around the world without touching terrestrial networks. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Cliff Beek, President of Cloud Constellation Corporation, w...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Brad Winett, Senior Technologist for DDN Storage, will present several current, end-user environments that are using object storage at scale for cloud deployments including private cloud and cloud providers. Details on the top considerations of features and functions for selecting object storage will be included. Brad will also touch on recent developments in tiering technologies that deliver single solution and an end-user view of data across files and objects...
IBM helps FinTechs and financial services companies build and monetize cognitive-enabled financial services apps quickly and at scale. Hosted on IBM Bluemix, IBM’s platform builds in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics and security to help reduce development time and testing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Tom Eck, Industry Platforms CTO at IBM Cloud, will discuss how these tools simplify the time-consuming tasks of selection, mapping and data integration, allowing developers ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
Cloud applications are seeing a deluge of requests to support the exploding advanced analytics market. “Open analytics” is the emerging strategy to deliver that data through an open data access layer, in the cloud, to be directly consumed by external analytics tools and popular programming languages. An increasing number of data engineers and data scientists use a variety of platforms and advanced analytics languages such as SAS, R, Python and Java, as well as frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark...