PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER FOR THE CUSTOMER
A Walk through a Car Dealer Experience
Car dealers are the face of an automotive company's corporate brand to customers. They are in charge of local customer treatment and even have some flexibility in what they can offer, especially when it comes to building customer loyalty. However, some car dealers focus so intently on short-term measures—mainly sales—that they fail to provide a dealership experience that will bring customers back for more. In addition, many dealerships are located along a town's “auto row,” among numerous competitors, where the goal is to keep the customer on the lot or in the showroom and out of a competitor's shop.
As a result, visits to car dealerships do not always result in positive customer feedback. Listen in on some of the comments frequently heard from customers at dealerships:
“I dread the hard sell at the dealership.”
“I don't want to endure that kind of psychological warfare.”
“I am investing in a 5-to-10-year experience; who I buy from is critical.”
Meanwhile, a growing number of customers are turning to the Internet to ease their car-buying experience. The Internet sales department of many car dealerships provides a no-haggle experience; they can transmit prices quickly, by e-mail or by phone.
Once customers become loyal to a brand, many of them return to buy from that car manufacturer again and again over the years. Even children are influenced by the kind of car their parents drive, so owner loyalty ...