Car-Buying Experience: A 2020 View
A few weeks ago, I started a journey to find the perfect vehicle for our family. Incentives are still pretty good, and I know they will not be here forever. I also was not originally in the market to buy, but if I can get 0% finance, low monthly payments, and deferred payments, it only makes sense!
My kids are all driving their own vehicles, and I no longer have to worry about fitting everyone in one car. I was looking to trade in practical for something a little faster, a little more fun, and a little less like a minivan.
I started my journey how 95% of car buyers do-- I googled what I was looking for. Having some industry knowledge, I knew how to search, and I was amazed at some of the fantastic and specific ads I was served! (and amazed at the others with generic ad copy and no offers). I then looked through the inventory at dealerships, and this is where my decision-making process began.
There are a few things on the dealer’s website that I was looking for as I searched for my new vehicle.
- Do they offer “At Home” test drives? I take care of my parents, and am still a little wary of too much exposure.
- Is there a Digital Retailing Tool to let me see what I can afford as well as speed up the car buying process?
- How is the dealership’s engagement? How quickly do they reach out to me, and are they answering my questions?
We are a good 4 months into our “New Normal” (I hate that phrase), and there are still some dealerships out there without a Digital Retailing Tool! That alone amazed me, but I needed a car, so I continued on.
I couldn’t find everything I needed online, so I filled out an information request form on a few dealership websites. I wanted to connect with someone so that I could buy the car I wanted quickly.
I was hoping to get some answers, even though it was after 8:00pm. What I discovered was frustrating, to say the least.
Of the three dealerships I completed forms on, two sent me an auto-response stating something of the following, “Thank you for your inquiry. We value the opportunity to serve you and will reach out as soon as possible.” It was 8pm? I wanted a genuine response with a little information to help guide my decision.
One dealership sent me an email with my name spelled correctly and capitalized correctly, with information I requested, and addressed my questions. Some were too specific for the agent, but she promised that she would have the sales consultant get back to me tomorrow with the rest of the information I requested.
That was enough to make this dealership #1 on my list. If they have what I need, they have won the deal.
Let me be clear on this: I HATE AUTORESPONDERS. To me, it’s like calling your cable company to discuss an issue, and you have to deal with the pesky automated voice dialing (i.e. dial ‘1’ to add service, dial ‘2’ to discuss billing, etc.) for 30+ minutes before you can finally talk to a human.
Why You Need Live Agents Responding
Let’s put this into perspective. If I showed up to your dealership, would you ask me to sit down and wait hours before being helped? Of course not. Why? You understand that a good customer experience will increase your chance of getting the sale. Since your website is just an extension of your physical showroom, why should your online customer be forced to wait hours to get their answers? And this is not just for sales, but for Parts and Service as well.
Having a great CRM can be a huge asset to car dealerships; however, one aspect of the CRM that dealerships tend to mishandle is the process of responding to their internet leads. With 40% of internet leads coming after 9 pm and on Sundays, dealerships have an urgency to take the digital lead to a personalized response the fastest.
In other words, your response time and response quality are more important now than ever. If you’re not giving the customer what they’re looking for, your competitor is just one click away.
So how can your dealership do better? Consider using BCP to handle your internet leads. Every lead is answered in less than 10 minutes, 24/7/365. And here’s the best part: every lead is answered with a model specific response using questions, photographs, brochure links, and even YouTube videos that are sent by real people so your customers can get their questions answered.
Respond Better. Sell More.
It’s that simple.