Often what makes one dealership stand out from the others is not their product but their service. In today’s world of individualized marketing, customers are used to shopper-centric buying journeys and are highly sensitive to any perceived pain points along the way to a purchase. Ensuring convenience and consistency are two ways to build customer loyalty and boost return visits.
Convenience is King
We all know that the customer is king, but to the customer, convenience often takes that prestigious role. Time is at a premium these days, and the dealership that shows they respect the customer through convenience will find themselves with loyal customers for life.
Speed Things Up
To start, find ways to speed up processes. Are there forms customers can fill out before coming in? Make sure they’re available and plainly marked on your website. Do you find staff answering specific questions over and over? Allow for customer self-service by creating a clear and user-friendly FAQ page. Highlight time-saving cuts to customers, so they know you’re going to help them get in and out with as little hassle as possible.
Update and Upload
Next, make sure any technology you use is up-to-date. Online is now typically the first point of contact for customers, and so a dealership’s online presence is essentially a showroom. Websites should be current and inviting to look at. Cluttered websites, websites with out-dated information or designs, and websites that don’t transition well to mobile use all create annoyances that can lead to buyers giving up.
In addition to taking care of the main website, dealerships should make it easy for customers to access them by creating multiple points of potential contact. Maintaining several social media accounts and keeping an eye on review sites makes it easier for potential customers to be in virtual touch, which many prefer over traditional visits or phone calls during the early stages of their vehicle searches.
Empower Staff Agency
Today’s customer, as mentioned, is used to a personalized shopping experience. For true convenience, dealerships should give their staff room for agency, allowing them to make judgment calls when talking to clients that reflect a customer’s individual needs or preferences.
Embrace Customer Realities
Another important aspect of convenience is to keep a customer’s reality firmly in mind. Think about the needs customers have when they visit. If they tend to come with children in tow, consider having a small play area with coloring books and toys. Have snacks and drinks available for those coming out during lunch breaks. Offer free WiFi so customers can keep working while they wait. Little touches like these make it more comfortable and more convenient to shop for a car.
Consistency is Queen
While convenience may be king, consistency is the queen; that all-powerful piece on the chessboard that influences the tide of the game. Consistent service creates bonds of trust between dealerships and customers, who don’t have to worry about what to expect. In this way, consistency is also another layer of convenience, as it offloads anxieties and allows customers to make concrete plans.
To create consistency, make sure dealership sales staff understand the business’s core message and tone and can articulate it. Try to use consistent language across all accounts when addressing questions, as well. Finally, make sure there are consistent protocols in place in how customers are engaged and followed up so that they learn what to anticipate when interacting with you. Remember always that convenience brings customers in and consistency brings them back.