According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, almost 1.25 million people around the world die in car accidents each year. The frequency and severity of these accidents have not gone unnoticed by customers, automakers, or governments. In the U.S., the government has required many safety features to become standard on newer vehicles, while some automakers have even gone past legislative requirements to make features like brake assist, forward-collision warning, and back-up cameras standard on most modern cars.
For customers, the response to the statistics above has looked like a growing preference for car tech features related to safety. As a result, understanding the safety concerns of car buyers and including discussion of safety-related features can go a long way in improving the customer experience.
Autotrader’s Car Tech Impact study revealed that 32 percent of consumers would give up and consider another vehicle if they could not figure out how to use the current car’s tech features. Acquiring and retaining customers can depend on how comfortable you make them feel with car safety technology. So, here are some strategies to incorporate the discussion of safety features during the sales process.
Dedicate a Half-Hour to the Discussion of Tech Features
According to Autotrader’s Car Tech Impact study, 67 percent of respondents said they needed at least 30 minutes to figure out how to use all the tech features included in their new vehicle. So, make sure you allow enough time to discuss what each feature—especially safety-related ones—can do. For example, take the time to walk through how to turn on adaptive cruise control, and discuss moments when using the tool might be necessary. This step will give your customers a clearer picture of the safety features they have and how they can be used.
Offer Short Classes for Additional Learning
Autotrader’s study did reveal that many customers like to learn these features at their own pace. However, 35 percent did indicate a need for classes or training from a salesperson. You may want to think of having a monthly or bi-weekly training where you allow customers and potential car buyers to learn how to use the latest technology. You can then mention that this class exists during the sales process so customers can come back to receive more focused education on these features if they feel they need it.
Know the Safety Features Customers are Looking for the Most
Cox Automotive’s Vehicle Tech Features study showed that when it comes to safety features, customers are looking for back-up cameras (67 percent), automatic headlights (48 percent), and blind-spot monitors (40 percent). Be sure you and your staff are familiar with these features, know how they work, and know the vehicles that come standard with them. This action will allow you to quickly refer customers to the vehicles they need and be able to discuss the benefits of all three and how they work.
Involve Car Safety Tech Features in the Test Drive
According to the Car Tech Impact study mentioned above, 31 percent of respondents wanted more time in the vehicle to test all features. So, while the test drive is an excellent way for potential car buyers to get a feel for driving the car this is also an opportunity to allow customers to try out the car safety tech features in a controlled setting. This step is also an excellent strategy for combining the test drive with a car safety tech demonstration and allowing customers to try these features on their own and ask questions as they have them.
Utilize Your Dealership Website
Cox Automotive’s study revealed that dealership websites are the third most popular place to find information about technology features. Couple this with a stat from Autotrader that showed that 15 percent of customers wanted an interactive website where features could be simulated, and dealers have an excellent option for helping customers better understand car tech safety features. Dealers can use an online technology simulation tool to supplement classroom training and car safety tech discussions that are happening during the car buying process.
Out of all car safety tech features, back-up cameras are the most likely to be on a customer’s must-have list. This statistic is not a coincidence. When it comes to technology, many customers want these innovations to make cars safer for themselves and their families. Dealers that recognize this and strategically involve discussions on what these features can do will put themselves in a better position to retain customers and increase sales.