In today’s age, where customers can freely access information at the touch of a button, brand reputation has never been more critical. One wrong step and your image can change drastically, but good reviews and experiences can transform your business and put it above your competitors.
Customer demands are ever-changing. Customers are now more aware of what they want, and simply selling the vehicle to them is not enough anymore. The watchword for car dealerships is customer experience, how your target market interacts with you and how this can be streamlined. In the digital age, ease is a non-negotiable. The minimal-click approach of applications such as Amazon Prime makes the buying process seamless, straightforward, and efficient. Customers expect this from their car-buying experience. Of course, a car buying journey will naturally be longer than a traditional e-commerce purchase, but there is space to shorten a customer journey.
The Online Marketplace
As mentioned, dealerships have no choice regarding online offerings: improve or be left behind. Nearly two out of every three car buyers are now open to an online car purchase. Most customers are now buying their next car online, and some even buying without viewing the vehicle in person. With this development, the old methods of selling the car’s power, technology and comfort alone are insufficient; creating a seamless online journey is vital.
Customer is King
This has never been truer than in today’s market. With the vast amounts of information available to customers, they hold all the power. Customers will go elsewhere if your customer journey is not good enough. With the growing ease with which to view cars, customers are now willing to completely disregard a company if they don’t have a car that suits them. As a dealer, assessing your stock and optimising this to suit demand is essential. On top of limited stock, customers will be turned off by clunky processes, slow apps, and unclear site direction. With the desire to find a car as quickly as possible, providers should assess their customer journey and not be afraid to remove steps that get the customer to their vehicle quicker.
Car purchasing is a significant decision that occurs less often than a daily purchase. A customer may only own a few cars in their lifetime, so it is critical for each purchase to be with your business. Customer loyalty and retention will set your business apart from competitors, and the best way to achieve this is to listen to your customer’s needs and modify your journey to match. In today’s market, less is more. Limit the steps a customer needs to take and watch your business soar above competitors.
Analyse the Whole Journey
The journey doesn’t end when your customer purchases the car. Maintenance and support are a must for car owners, and they want to feel that they can go to your business for support. The trend of companies offering a complete in-house experience has left buyers longing for a car experience that meets all their needs. Analyse your journey post-sale, and review how you support your customers. Aside from the obvious benefits of increased customer loyalty, watch your brand image improve as customers leave positive reviews about having all their needs met. In a highly competitive market, having a solid portfolio of reviews to fall on can be the difference between success and failure. Don’t forget to assess the whole customer journey, and take responsibility for your customer post-sale, not just forget about them.
With the growing digital experience, whilst customers can now access their new car much easier, they can now feel more alone than ever before in the buying process. A bog-standard process leaves many yearning for human interaction, something synonymous with the car buying experience of old. With personalisation, you can provide the customer experience of old while still meeting a modern customer’s tech demands. Specific customer hubs and personalised contact give customers the impression that you genuinely care about their experience and are there for them every step of the way. Using chatbots and AI tools to create real-time conversations with customers can allow them to reach out for support whenever they need it, and dedicated help centres can provide advice on demand. Personalise your offering and create a unique car buying experience for customers, increasing the potential for retention and a positive brand image.
Purchasing a car is a significant decision. Customers expect dedicated support 24/7 and the ability to buy a new vehicle from anywhere in the world. Do not underestimate the power customers now hold in the car buying process, and failing to put them at the heart of your business could leave you lagging behind competitors.
At Marsh Finance, we have perfected our practices over the last 50 years, amassing valuable advice and experiences that we are ready to share with your business. Become a partner with Marsh today and receive industry-leading support. Take control of your growth with our MVP solutions, where you can receive tailored support in compliance, sales processes, and operational efficiencies, helping you grasp the power of technology and elevate your customer journey to market-leading heights.