We live in a world of constant stimulation. At times it may feel we are on sensory overload from all of the pings, posts and constant barrage of media and advertising that are incessantly targeted to grab our attention. This has fueled an insatiable need to be entertained.
Studies have shown that, as a society, we value experiences more than we value things. The need to be entertained pervades all that we do. This is especially true when it comes to the buying experience. While the internet is convenient, the world of ecommerce is trending toward a hybrid between an in-store experience and the convenience of online checkout (i.e. the new Amazon Stores that are popping up in major cities).
The point is that buyers want an enhanced buying experience that offers more than a great product at a reasonable price with decent customer service. They want to be entertained.
Your quest to entertain customers starts with getting them in the door. Renovations are expensive, it is true. But consider the direction we are headed. How many people drive by your dealership and say “wow”? There will come a time in the near future when a nice front line and a clean showroom are not enough. You will need the wow-factor and a promise of something exciting to get buyers in the door.
In this day and age even major cities and other attractions are more like movie sets than mere combinations of buildings and structures. For example, the Las Vegas strip is constantly undergoing some sort of facelift that will attract attentions, and improve the visitor experience. The dealership of the future may need to follow suit.
Once in your dealership, you need to engage visitors with something exciting. Your showroom should be filled with exciting new products, but there should also be an invitation to interact and learn. The Apple Store does an excellent job of this with genius bars and expert “geniuses” who share knowledge and instruct on how to use the product.
It is safe to assume that the average driver does not fully understand everything that modern vehicles are capable of. With that in mind, there are endless possibilities in your dealership for interactive displays, and live experts (not salesmen) who are more than happy to talk “geek” with anyone who walks in the door. Remember, buyers want an experience as much as they want the product itself.
Modern cars are more expensive and more complicated than ever. It is no longer acceptable to simply sell a car and wave goodbye as they drive down the road. You have to be involved with every step of the ownership experience.
Some essential elements of an enhanced ownership experience include: 1) A thorough new vehicle orientation by a product expert (think Apple Genius), 2) An entertaining New Owner’s clinic, and 3) Memorable service experiences.
Some luxury dealers and high performance shops have gone as far as to redesign their service departments with full glass walls and viewing areas where customers can watch their vehicle being serviced. In this scenario, your service technicians become actors on stage. The service experience becomes a performance that creates an enhanced experience the customer won’t forget.
New high-performance vehicles often come with driver training and track time. Such memorable experiences are exactly what buyers crave. With so much competition for your buyers’ attention, it may be time to start providing memorable experiences that will keep them coming back for more.