As the retail automotive industry shifts to increased online sales, the customer experience is also shifting. So what does this mean for your operation? What can you do to stay ahead of the curve and continue to provide a high level of customer experience? Here to talk all about customer experience is Andrew Gardner, certified customer experience professional and principal at Andrew Gardner Consulting.
Digital retailing has been a buzzword in the automotive retail industry for some time now. However, COVID-19 has propelled it to the forefront of conversation in the last few months. Gardner says that the industry is going ‘clicks to bricks.’ That purchasing experiences needs to be balanced correctly with the overall customer experience.
Dealers that are facilitating online shopping successfully, are combining technology with human interaction. They have moved some of the customer activity online, while some still remains in the dealership.
In terms of digital retailing, Gardner firmly believes that two years of progress have been achieved in a few months due to COVID-19. He also believes that this trend is here to stay for the long term. The process typically eliminates the friction customers often feel.
When it comes to providing an excellent customer experience, dealers should prioritize making their customers feel satisfied and safe. Sanitation guidelines should be outlined at every customer touchpoint. Setting appointments with the service BDC should also be offered online. In addition, dealers need to ensure that their websites truly function as virtual facilities. The website content needs to be robust and comprehensive.
Andrew Gardner has 25 years of experience in the auto retail industry. He has worked for both dealer groups and OEMs and started his own consulting firm in 2010. His clients include Mercedes-Benz USA, J.D. Power and Associates, Nissan North America, The Lincoln Motor Company, Zeigler Auto Group, and La Fontaine Automotive Group among many others.
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