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How-to Guide: Driving exceptional dealership customer experiences

Delivering on your promises is a crucial part of providing exceptional customer experiences.

As an automotive dealership, you know that customer service is essential. But you might not know just how important it is to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Good customer service is essential to keeping your customers happy and returning for more. But excellent customer service can take your business to the next level.

Here’s why:

Exceptional customer experiences create raving fans. Raving fans are customers who love your dealership so much that they tell all their friends and family about you. And when it comes to car buying, word-of-mouth is still the best form of advertising. And to back that up, 54% of consumers say they would buy from a dealership that provides a better experience than lower prices.

Raving fans are also more likely to give you positive online reviews, which can help attract even more new customers.

Exceptional customer experiences lead to repeat business. It’s no secret that it costs more to attract new customers than to keep existing ones. So why not focus on ensuring your current customers have the best possible experience?

If they do, they’re much more likely to come back the next time they need a car – and they’ll probably bring their friends and family with them.

Exceptional customer experiences result in referrals. Not only will happy customers come back for more, but they’ll also tell their friends and family about you. In fact, referrals are still one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal.

And there’s no better way to get referrals than delivering exceptional customer experiences.

So how do you go about delivering exceptional customer experiences at your dealership? Here are a few tips:

1. Make sure your sales team is knowledgeable and helpful.

Your sales team is the face of your dealership, so it’s vital that they’re friendly and helpful. They should be able to answer customers’ questions and make them feel comfortable throughout the buying process.

Call to action2. Have a solid online presence.

In today’s digital world, potential customers will likely research your dealership online before setting foot on your lot. So it’s essential to have a strong online presence with a mobile-first, user-friendly, and informative website.

You should also ensure your dealership is active on social media, which is another excellent way to connect with potential customers. Consumers said the ability to interact with dealerships over multiple channels was an ideal customer experience. Walkaround videos, test drive videos, and videos that explain what it’s like to bring a car in for service can set customer service expectations before a customer arrives.

3. Offer competitive pricing and Improve the buying process.

Customers want to feel like they’re getting a good deal, so offering competitive pricing on the vehicles you sell is essential. This doesn’t mean you have to be the cheapest option, but you should be in line with other dealerships in your area. And, that means to stop adding $5,000 or more market adjustments to $40,000 cars. A 10-20% or more markup on a vehicle is never going to be seen as a good thing to a customer. Whether you mean to or not, they’ll see it as greedy price-gouging.

A recent Ward’s Auto article said that this practice brings bad will on the dealer, the brand and consumers resent both the practice and the dealer — even if they have no choice but to buy the car.

So, competitive pricing is important, but every dealer should be focused on improving the buying process. Moving it online should be job number one. There’s a reason that OEMs want to sell EVs exclusively online, and it’s not just because Tesla is doing it. It’s because consumers want it.

4. Deliver on your promises.

Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. For example, if you tell a customer that their car will be ready by a specific date, make sure it is. If you say you’ll call them back within 24 hours, do it. In a recent survey, 47% of consumers said a fast response to inquiries or complaints led to a positive dealership experience. Delivering on your promises is a crucial part of providing exceptional customer experiences.

5. Follow up after the sale.

Once a customer has purchased a vehicle from your dealership, don’t just forget about them. Instead, send them a thank-you note or give them a call to make sure they’re happy with their purchase. This small gesture can go a long way in creating loyalty and repeat business.

By following these tips, you can start delivering exceptional customer experiences at your dealership. And when you do, you’ll see your business booming in no time.

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Steve Mitchell
Steve Mitchell
Steve Mitchell is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News. He earned bachelor's degrees in Marketing and Television from the University of Texas in Austin and a Masters of Theology study from Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas. His passion for automobiles lead him to become a creative director for automotive marketing ad agency. Most recently, he was the manager of interactive marketing for Mitsubishi Motors, NA.

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