In the age of electric, hybrid, connected, and autonomous vehicles, could you imagine driving a steam powered car? Probably not. The automotive industry has certainly come a long way from the mass-production of the Ford Model T, but technology isn’t the only thing changing in the automotive space. Emerging entrants are disrupting the industry and redefining how consumers buy, own, use, and drive their vehicles. With so many new ownership models available, consumers are clearly in the driver’s seat. So how do you stay relevant? Connect with customers to drive long-term loyalty.
Drive the Digital Experience
According to Deloitte, the average consumer now takes less than three months and spends less than 10 total hours to research their vehicle purchase. And most of that research is conducted online. By the time a consumer visits a dealership, 38 percent will only visit one and 52 percent will only test drive one car. When it comes to vehicle maintenance, 85 percent of consumers look online first for service and repair information. There is a window of opportunity to influence a consumer’s purchase decision, but you must act fast. And it must happen online. Provide consumers with a fully immersive digital and mobile experience. Use photos and videos to showcase vehicle information, and make it easy to find pricing, reviews, and inventory online. And don’t forget to monitor the social chatter as an estimated 70 percent of buyers trust reviews on independent websites.
Stop Wasting Time
Consumers don’t have time to spend an entire day at a dealership or service center. And they certainly don’t want to be hassled during the process. Don’t give consumers a reason to rethink the deal by wasting their time or leaving them idle during the purchase process. Instead, look for ways to shorten the time it takes to seal the deal. Start by reducing customer effort. Allow consumers to complete certain purchase steps online – even before they reach the dealership. And look for ways to streamline steps throughout the negotiating and financing process. When you make the purchase process easy and hassle-free, it increases sales, enhances customer satisfaction, and improves customer loyalty.
Mirror Best-in-Class Experiences
Consumers have come to expect a best-in-class customer experience from retail, banking, and a host of other industries. So why wouldn’t they expect the same when purchasing a vehicle? Hint: They do! Focus on creating a positive shopping experience that is simple and pressure-free. Use stocking and acquisition tools to make sure you have the inventory consumers want along with transparent pricing so there are no surprises that could cause the deal to veer off course. And most importantly, use dialogue to quickly gain credibility, build rapport, and earn trust. Understanding how to dialogue with your customers is not just an activity – it’s a skill.
Good dialogue is about using proven communication principles to adapt to the implicit needs of the customer. The result is that customers feel that someone is listening to them, they are being treated as unique individuals, they are understood, and they can trust the person they are speaking with.
Are you ready to start passing the competition? Startek and Aegis drive world-class customer experiences for nearly two dozen leading automotive companies, including 40% of the top brands in the industry. Connect with us today and start driving long-term loyalty.