Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Mike Gorun

Mike Gorun Managing Partner/CEO

Exclusive Blog Posts

Upcoming Webinar: Use Your Showroom to Show, Not Sell

Upcoming Webinar: Use Your Showroom to Show, Not Sell

Ecommerce is on the rise, and today's customers walk into your showroom better-informed than ever before. 9 out of 10 customers are more likely to…

Interview with Shannon Crane: Building a Successful BDC

Interview with Shannon Crane: Building a Successful BDC

When Shannon Crane, founder of BDC PowerConsulting, started out as a BDC Manager at a local dealership, she was “as green as it gets.” Not only…

Why Security Is More Important than You Think for Your Business

Why Security Is More Important than You Think for Your Business

Having a business means that you’re likely going to have to keep security in mind. Whether you are looking to increase customer trust or you want to …

Interview with Scott Pechstein: What's Up With "Digital Retail"?

Interview with Scott Pechstein: What's Up With "Digital Retail"?

Scott Pechstein, Vice President of Sales at Autobytel, Inc., talks about the buzzword of the moment: "digital retail." …

What's Keeping Your Company's Directors Up at Night?

What's Keeping Your Company's Directors Up at Night?

Although we typically define executives by their ambitions, their anxieties can be equally telling. If you’re losing sleep over handling cyber se…

When In Rome… Adapting To Your Customers to Build Loyalty

PLG_DS1.jpg?width=350

Mimicking customer behavior is one of the oldest sales techniques in the business. So is finding common interests and building rapport. However, with three generations of car buyers in and out of dealerships daily - Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y - it’s harder than ever for salespeople to accomplish this convincingly, let alone understand what type of experience each demographic is looking for. A recent article in Wards Auto, describes a dealer that provides generational training to his employees in an effort to assist them in better handling customers. The dealership first tries to match up salespeople with customers to optimize the experience – such as a Hispanic salesperson to assist a Hispanic customer. And, when that’s not possible, the training enables the employees to better understand what type of experience each generation is most likely seeking, and to then provide that. The dealer explained that every customer is different and that salespeople shouldn’t feel as if they need to provide the same experience to everyone, as not everyone wants the same thing. In his opinion, Boomers are more inclined to want to negotiate, while Millennials want something thrown in. Older customers aren’t necessarily seeking a fast buying experience, (as has been the hot topic of late) but Millennials are much more time conscious.

 

What does all of this have to do with customer loyalty?

 

In today’s automotive marketplace, OEMs and dealers are increasingly shifting the retail battlefield to customer experience. While that may be an excellent strategy, how do you create the perfect customer experience, and deliver it consistently, if all of your customers want different experiences? If your dealership decided that a one-hour sales process is the optimal customer experience, how will that Boomer, who wants to take his or her time shopping and negotiating, feel about the experience? They will probably rushed through the process, which will either run them off, or leave them dissatisfied. On the other hand, if a Millennial is forced to sit in your dealership for 6 hours, they’ll probably feel very unhappy too.

 

The customer’s perception of their buying experience affects a lot of things: the likelihood that they will recommend your dealership; the type of review they share, either online or with their family and friends; and whether or not they choose to continue to patronize your dealership. As consumers are holding onto their vehicles for much longer these days, customer retention heightens in importance and these points become ever more relevant.

 

If you recognize that there isn’t necessarily a single “best” customer experience, but, that the customer experience must be tailored for every customer, you may find it easier to retain customers of all demographics. By training salespeople on the types of experiences different generations would like. And, by giving them the flexibility to provide that experience on an individual basis, you will have happier customers across all generations.

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now