No one’s perfect. No matter how well you run your dealership, there likely will be some customer complaints. That said, just because you’re bound to get some complaints doesn’t mean you can’t avoid most complaints. Here are five common complaints customers have regarding dealerships and how you can avoid them.
Pushy Sales Staff
Unfortunately, popular culture and a few disreputable car salesmen have given dealerships, in general, a bad reputation when it comes to pushy sales. While it’s true that there are pushy salesmen in all business sectors, people seem to be on alert for them even more when it comes to buying a car. Part of this customer sensitivity is also due to the fact that a car purchase is one of the largest a person makes, outside of perhaps their house. People want to be sure they’re making a sound decision and aren’t being bullied.
With that much history and money on the line, dealerships should be extra sure to give customers the space they need when buying. Remind your team to give customers privacy to think over or discuss options. If a customer says they’d like to “just look around,” allow them to do so without hovering. Keep within sight, but also keep a nice distance.
Ignorant Sales Staff
Up there with a pushy sales staff is an ignorant one. Today, customers often come in knowing a thing or two about cars and have done their research already regarding the makes and models they’re interested in. Nothing is more frustrating to them than a salesperson who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Buying a car from you is an act of trust, and you can help foster that feeling by being up on the cars you’re selling, as well as any and all current trends. Make professional development a priority and your customers will be quicker to compliment than complain.
Let’s face it: technology has taken a toll on all of our patience. With the ability to get everything and anything you want with a few keystrokes and clicks, is it a surprise that many customers complain that visiting dealerships is a massive waste of time. Many already know what they want, and if they don’t, they still don’t want the search to take up all their free time.
Make things easier for customers by streamlining your dealership’s sales approach. Take a hard look at your website: Is it easy to navigate? Are forms available so they won’t need to be filled out on site? When customers come in, what steps can you eliminate to make the experience as painless and efficient as possible? Make some cuts and your customers will be coming back for more.
As mentioned above, today’s customer has been conditioned by the convenience of online shopping. They’re used to things being available when and where they need them. They’re also conditioned to lightning-fast communication. They want equally quick response times from you. Make yourself available. Have the phone staffed during all business hours, and both on and off hours make sure email and social media turnaround is highly prioritized.
Fear of a Fast One
We’ve already pointed out that many customers have some preconceived notions about dealerships. For this reason, just like they are sensitive to pushy sales pitches, many are on the lookout for a fast talker looking to unload a lemon. Customers commonly complain that they feel they got ripped off in some way when buying their cars.
Forestall this complaint by being transparent. Every step of the way, be clear about benefits and deficits of different cars, and upfront about all costs. The secret to a good deal is that there are no secrets. Instead, there’s honesty that begets trust and breeds loyalty. And that’s something no one’s complaining about!