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The Canadian Dealer Forum: Customer Expectations Have Changed… Have You?
56% of car buyers delay their purchase because they don’t want to have to go through the buying process. 99% of buyers expect their buying experience to be a hassle before they start. These are just a few of the findings from our 16-month research initiative on how customers feel about the car buying process.
Consumers expect more out of buying a car. Other industries from ecommerce to boutique shops have made buying and shopping easier. Those changes impact the car industry as those same consumers come to buy a car, and those expectations are only going to intensify.
We as car dealers have an opportunity to adapt. We can take the best new ideas from other industries and decades of dealership experience to create better experiences for buyers. How we do this is the main topic during our upcoming event The Canadian Dealer Forum in Calgary on June 22-23.
During the Dealer Canadian Forum I will be presenting more information about the DrivingSales Consumer Experience Study and the results that stood out to us. These results drove us to rethink the way cars are sold and how we can influence some of the issues that face our industry today.
Years of work in optimizing sales processes have resulted an increased focus on profitability and less energy focused on customer experience. Although this has helped us maximize profitability while margins are continually tightened, there needs to be equal push the other way to focus on how customers want to be interacted with. If we don’t focus on customers, ultimately we will lose.
The solution boils down to building and strengthening trust with our clients. Unfortunately, our research shows that we have some up hill ahead of us, but the results of the change could increase sales as much as 24% for the entire industry.
Websites, devices and even automated phone systems are focused on becoming responsive to users by personalizing content and process. We need to do the same by responding to the customers’ needs and making the path to purchase a personalized approach.
This responsive selling is the concept of recognizing that the customer is in control of the buying process and that we are there to guide them through to purchase. This means more focus on understanding how each customer would like to be interacted with, where they are in the buying process and adapting to their needs.
Customer expectations really have changed. We need to take a step back and see how that applies to us. Our attention should now be on how we shift the car buying processes to align with how our customers want to buy.
See you in Calgary!