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How to make the car buying experience effortless for your customers — Gary Graves | TotalCX

Creating an excellent car buying experience for customers is crucial to the success of any dealership. Unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced world, consumers have less and less time to spend shopping for vehicles, meaning traditional methods of service may no longer work.

Welcome back to Driving Solutions on CBT News. Today we’re joined by Gary Graves, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of TotalCX, a leading, AI-driven customer experience management platform. Today, we’ll be discussing how dealers can measure customer effort, what it means to have a customer experience mindset, and what’s in store for TotalCX at the upcoming 2024 NADA Show.

Key Takeaways

1. Customer effort is defined as the work and time a buyer invests into purchasing a product. In terms of the retail automotive sector, examples of customer effort include time spent researching different models, calling dealers for quotes, and filling out paperwork in store. To improve the car buying experience, dealers must start by making the process less stressful for buyers.

2. Dealers often burden their buyers with excessive levels of customer effort. Graves notes that common practices such as leaving callers on hold or requiring clients to repeat their questions after being transferred to a different department can negatively impact the car buying experience. Additionally, some staff members treat defected leads who purchased their vehicle from another business with less care than new or returning clients.

3. Placing an unnecessary burden on car buyers results in other issues for the dealership. Not only can this affect customer retention, it can also hurt net promoter scores as clients who feel mistreated will share their frustrations online.

4. Implementing a better process can reduce customer effort and help dealerships take better care of their buyers. Dealers and their management teams need to rely on platforms that give them the power to implement changes.

5. Traditional customer relationship management (CRM) models have become increasingly antiquated in the digital age, as they only account for the business’s perspective of the customer. Graves urges dealers to consider TotalCX’s service model, where the vehicle shopping process is driven by the customer’s perspective of the business. This not only gives retailers more insight and control over the car buying experience, it also provides opportunities to reduce customer effort, ramp up efficiency, and improve service scores. To learn more about TotalCX and its suite of customer experience management tools, visit their website here.

Don’t forget to stop by the TotalCX booth #4321W at the upcoming 2024 NADA Show!

"[The Amazon-Hyundai partnership] caused a lot of uproar in the marketplace...When I saw that come through, I thought that, well, if it's easier, and dealers don't make the effort to reduce the friction in the buying process, then yeah they may have something to worry about. Because there comes a point where if [dealers] are not maintaining a relationship and a relationship no longer becomes a necessity, then digital retailing all the way through the buying process makes sense." — Gary Graves

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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