The Road to ROI with F&I

Enhancing Customer Experience at Your Auto Dealership

Posted by Vanguard Dealer Services on Apr 25, 2018 2:19:49 PM

Customer Experience at Your Auto Dealership

From the moment a customer walks into your dealership until the time they drive their car off the lot, they are forming positive or negative images of your business's culture, passion, and dedication to service. With competition for buyer loyalty at an all-time high, it's vital that your customers' experiences are not only positive, but lasting. Fortunately, there are creative and meaningful ways you can enhance customer experience at your auto dealership.

What is Your Dealership Saying?

The exterior of your dealership makes the first impression, from the way the cars are displayed to the cleanliness and ease of access. When you drive onto your lot, is there ample and welcoming parking? What about the view when a potential customer exits their own vehicle? Having an enticing or intriguing new model in view from where the customer parks adds to the feel of adventure and excitement. More than ever, customers want a sense of wonder when they upgrade their vehicle, or add a new one to their fleet. And technology adds to that sense of wonder.

Premium sound systems and navigation tools, including back-up cameras, are high on the list of technology-driven demands. Adding a "tech niche" to your dealership's entrance not only entices customers, but gives them the sense of value that upgrading their vehicle can give them.

But it's more than style and color. Your lot should be exceptionally clean, from the pavement to the glass doors your customers walk through. And most importantly? It should all be highlighted with a welcoming smile.

People Buy From People They Like

Your salespeople shouldn't have to force a smile. A genuine smile should be an innate part of your employees' character. Since many buyers view salespeople as just that--salespeople first and caring professionals second--it's imperative that your staff focuses on making eye contact, opening doors for customers, and shaking hands. 

Your customers are there to decide on investment as well as an experience. If they feel valued, they are more likely to view their overall customer experience positively. Simple gestures and offerings like ensuring bathrooms are clearly marked, the waiting area is inviting and comfortable, and fresh water or even light snacks are made available all add to your customers' perceptions of how much they are valued. 

Do your sales professionals truly enjoy meeting your customers? Customers can tell. Train your sales people to listen more and talk less. Sales and relationship guru Zig Ziglar said, "If people like you they'll listen to you, but if they trust you they'll do business with you." Genuine relationships are the basis for any great dealership that gains and retains customers.

Find Ways to Creatively Thank Your Customers

Once your shopper becomes your customer, their senses are heightened. They want to know you still care, and are not finished with the relationship because you have their business and they are about to leave your lot. Make their experience a celebration!

From literally rolling out the red carpet to providing a special key chain for the brand-new-to-the-set key, customers appreciate special gestures, and will share their positive experiences with friends and neighbors. 

Do you have a "wall of fame?" No, not for your employees, but for your customers. Ask for permission, then take a picture of your proud new car owner with his or her new vehicle. Send one copy of the picture to your customer within a few days of their purchase thanking them for their business and congratulating them; add a second copy to a display in your dealership that highlights your "dealership family of happy customers." Seeing a sea of happy customers before them helps customers visualize being a part of something important and positive.

What Else?

Opportunities for enhancing your customers' experience with your dealership are limitless. If you are ready for ideas, contact us. We specialize in helping your dealership grow and thrive, and have years of expertise behind our passion.