I am the first one to offer that I am not always fond of relating specific automotive examples to other industries. Understanding that while it is essential to think about things from various perspectives; certain processes and elements are automotive specific. One thing, though, that we can learn from other industries is the explanation of the “process.” Namely, what is involved when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. Think about it, we sell cars every day, but people do not purchase them daily. So while we understand - in our sleep - what it takes to purchase a car, not all of our customers do. That said, we already know how stressful buying a car can be, so if there is anything we can do to make it easier, then we should do it! Of course, making sure it is mutually beneficial for the dealership.
Here are some of the top reasons to explain the buying process online!
Customers Often Do Not Know What they Need to Bring When it Comes Time to Purchasing A Car:
We have all been there; that is the customer agrees to purchase a vehicle from us, but they do not have their pay stubs, credit application, key fobs, bank statements (if needed), pay off, insurance card or anything else needed to make the purchase. In which case, the customer has to spend that much more time at the dealership to make the deal happen. Or worse, schedule a time to come back into the dealership, which can in some cases lessen the chances of their returning.
To avoid this issue, dealers could easily create a quick video (no more than a few minutes) to outline “things to bring on your visit,” which would offer the above items. In doing so, the customer not only understands the everyday things to bring, but it can also save them time at the dealership. There is nothing worse than being held up in F&I because the customer does not have their insurance card, or is otherwise missing important documents. Not to mention, if that customer is held up it only means that the next customer to hit the box is going to be delayed. And it is no secret that the customers ‘experience’ often lessens when they are made to wait too long before signing. This is not by any means to offer that you explain everything in the video, either. Instead, it is a means of offering the customer ways to save time making for a better, smoother experience at the dealership.
If the Customer Has A General Idea of What to Expect they Are Often More at Ease:
This reminds me of what it is like to buy a house; there is a lot of information that is required, but a lot of it is similar; proof of income, insurance (home), bank statements, credit application, etc. So while this might seem to be common sense, we have to remember - as I mentioned above - the customer is not in the market every day, and might not otherwise really know what to bring. Given that we know how stressful it can be just buying a car imagine what it might feel like to gather up a bunch of documents without knowing what you really need? And let's be honest, how many customers come in with everything - I mean everything, including having already added the VIN to their insurance - when coming in to meet with you? Very Few! And from my experience, this happens more often for pre-owned vehicles where the customer is purchasing out of state. That said if we took the time to explain which documents are most commonly required to purchase a car the customer will be at ease. Better yet, if the customer is not anxious and or worrying about s/he needs to purchase a car, they can spend that time and energy focusing on what is most important; finding the car, they are about to purchase!
If the Customer is Willing to Bring All of their Information for their Appointment Chances Are they Are Ready to Purchase. Most Customers Do Not Visit the Dealership for the Sake It.
When I first started in the industry, I was always told “tell the customer as little as possible, and just get them into the store,” which looking back - that only caused for multiple issues. Everything from the customer having to make multiple visits, not purchasing, or having expectations on being able to purchase a car that was not within their budget. Of course, simply telling a customer what documents to bring in is not going to change that all, either. What it can do, however, is offer a glimpse into where they are in regards to making the decision. In that, a customer who is willing to bring in the common documents is usually ready to go. In turn, allowing you to focus on ensuring that you are finding them the right vehicle - to which you can - in many cases - glide through the sales process.
Bottom Line: there is nothing more frustrating than not knowing what you need to bring or what is otherwise expected when purchasing a vehicle. And while there are some blog posts here and there that offer “what to bring” from other customers perspectives, that is not always what is also needed for each customer that happens to stumble across the blog when searching "what is needed to purchase a vehicle." Given that some customers, as we know, might require various other documents. So if your dealer were to step up and offer the customer things that can offer them a better experience, it could also have a positive impact. An experience that can influence their decision to purchase from you.
Do you offer a video to explain to the customer how the car buying process works? If so, have you seen any positive impact? If not, what is holding you back from creating a video for your website?