Why customer experience is your dealership’s ultimate marketing tool

By prioritizing customer experience, dealers can cultivate a community of brand advocates, who not only return for repeat business but also become enthusiastic ambassadors for the brand.

In the dim glow of a local dealership, Sarah drove off the lot with her brand-new sedan. Instead of feeling like just another sale, the dealership made her feel like family.

From the initial greeting to the in-depth discussions about features and the thoughtful post-purchase follow-up, every interaction was designed to ensure her complete satisfaction.

Customers like Sarah aren’t just one-time customers; she’s now a vocal advocate for the dealership on every platform she frequents. And this experience will attract others with higher expectations regarding personalized customer service, proactive pricing, and successful omnichannel experiences.

Welcome to the transformative power of prioritizing customer experience.

The Significance of Customer Experience in the Dealership

We’re long past the days when a flashy advertisement or a one-off discount could guarantee customer loyalty. A recent study by Accenture said 92% of dealers believe that customer experience will play an integral role in future growth, although they may not follow through. Additionally, 46% of customers said they’d switch to a different OEM if it delivered better customer experiences.

Today, customers yearn for genuine connections and memorable experiences. When dealerships shift their focus from mere sales targets to curating unforgettable customer journeys, they aren’t just selling cars but building long-lasting relationships.

Even simple personalized interactions, like remembering a customer’s preferences or inquiring about their specific needs, can make all the difference. When customers feel truly understood and catered to, their trust in the brand solidifies. This trust isn’t just for the present—it’s an investment in the dealership’s future.

Building Brand Loyalty: It’s More Than Just a Sale

Think about your own purchasing habits. Brands that try to know you, value your patronage, and continue the relationship even after the sale are the ones you’re likely to return to.

To your customers, your dealership is no different. Post-purchase follow-ups, such as checking in on how a customer is enjoying their new vehicle or offering maintenance tips, showcase a level of care that goes beyond the initial transaction.

These check-ins are invaluable in fostering brand loyalty. Why? As a recent PwC report suggested, 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. And 16% of those customers are willing to pay a premium for a great customer experience.

The benefit for dealerships is that customers like Sarah will become an advocate because her dealership didn’t stop caring after the sale. A successful dealership continues to nurture that relationship, ensuring the customer is happy and satisfied with her purchase.

Attracting New Customers Through Exceptional Experiences

Word-of-mouth marketing, which we’ve covered here, remains one of the most powerful marketing tools available. When customers share their positive experiences, they not only endorse the brand but also inspire others to seek out similar experiences.

Imagine a scenario: A potential customer reads a glowing review detailing the unparalleled customer service and personal touch offered by a dealership. How critical is that positive review? In an article about the importance of customer reviews, Qualtrics said 92% of buyers are likelier to purchase after reading a trusted review over another with generic, less enthusiastic reviews.

Optimizing the Customer Journey

Dealerships must be strategic in their approach. It’s not about grand gestures but consistent, thoughtful interactions at every touchpoint. For instance, many dealerships offer personalized video tours of cars, where salespeople address customers by name and cater the tour to their stated preferences. This simple yet effective strategy will bring a remarkable increase in both showroom visits and sales.

Prioritizing Customer Experience: The Path Forward

In an industry as competitive as automotive sales, dealerships must constantly evolve to stand out. By prioritizing customer experience, they can cultivate a community of brand advocates like Sarah, who not only return for repeat business but also become enthusiastic ambassadors for the brand.

Embracing the power of exceptional customer experiences isn’t just a marketing strategy—it’s a commitment to excellence that promises unparalleled growth and success.

As dealerships navigate the rapidly changing retail environment, one truth remains constant: Happy customers always drive the business forward. So, gear up and shift your focus to what truly matters—the customer.

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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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