CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
A hot topic of much discussion today is the decrease in the sales process. There are many opinions on whether shortening the time it takes consumers to buy a vehicle is the answer to providing a better customer experience. There’s no doubt that it can be arduous and exhausting for a consumer to buy a car - from finding the right one, to filling out paperwork, negotiating price, spending time in finance and then, ultimately, sitting through a lengthy presentation as the salesperson explains all of the vehicle’s features during the delivery process.
A recent story in Automotive News details how one dealership chose to take a different tactic. Instead of making a buyer endure a lengthy but necessary tutorial on a new car at the time of sale, Jaguar Land Rover of Fort Myers delivers the lesson later, at the owner's home or business. And when it's time for repairs or maintenance, an owner can get a loaner car delivered to him or her and avoid the hassle of driving to the dealership for service. As a result, the dealership’s CSI scores have “skyrocketed,” according to General Manager Brian Del Negro.
For the most part, customers already do their car shopping in phases, if you think about it. They start by researching or reading vehicle reviews and, according to some studies, will spend upwards of 10 hours or more online doing so. They key here is that it is highly unlikely they are doing this research all in one sitting. Then, after taking their time preparing themselves and narrowing down vehicles, they visit 1-2 dealerships. Then, in almost every case, they are pressured to make an instant buying decision (i.e. “What would it take for you to take this vehicle home today?) This, of course, is certainly understandable from the dealership’s side -- it doesn’t want to risk losing the sale to a competitor. But, what if the customer simply isn’t ready to buy right then?
Whether the customer experience proves to be a great one for the consumer certainly hinges on numerous things. For some it could be the lack of pressure. Others may want an expedited buying process. While some may want to take their time. While Jaguar Land Rover of Fort Myers offers the encore delivery service, it’s certainly not mandatory for those customers who are fine with going through the delivery process on the spot. That being said, it certainly helps differentiate them from their competitors and allows customers options that they don’t get at other dealerships. One intriguing dealership-centric benefit of encore delivery is that it allows the dealership a second opportunity to build on that relationship, rather than just have the customer feel really important during the sales process, then forgotten about the next day.
These services certainly add expenses to the bottom line of the dealership. But, ultimately, are paying off with increased service business and higher CSI scores. The relationship building phase also gets extended, which allows the customer to feel more important and appreciated. And, that is the beginning of customer loyalty and, ultimately, a brand advocate.