Posted by Mike Woodgate on February 23, 2016
To many people, shopping for a large ticket item like a car can be a stressful experience. What should be an exciting and rewarding experience, is for many, a very confusing, high-pressure and unreasonably long process that can leave a customer with a bad taste in their mouth, even after a successful sales transaction.
There is strong evidence to show that today’s car buyers want a different experience when going through the car buying process. Autotrader's Car Buyer of the Future study, from March 2015, showed that only 17 out of 4,002 people prefer the current car buying process as is, and the rest want significant changes.
Another indication that consumers are unhappy with the current dealership experience, is evident in a 2015 survey conducted by Accenture. The global survey of 10,000 people shows that if given the opportunity, 75% of respondents “would consider making their entire car-buying process online, including financing, price negotiation, back office paperwork and home delivery.”
That being said, the human element, personal interaction, and dealership experience are still considered to be an important part of the process. 40% of the car buyers surveyed stated that the salesman and visiting the dealership in person were extremely influential in their decision making process (third only behind the actual need for a new car and recommendations by family and friends)
It is for that reason that a growing number of retailers are looking to give customers a unique experience within the dealership that is more comfortable and less stressful. While it still may not be the norm, two Mississauga dealerships, Meadowvale Toyota and Meadowvale KIA, are bringing this change to life through:
- Offering a non-commission based sales strategy
- Allowing customers to browse at their own pace, without pressure, and speak with product experts first, not traditional salespeople
- Offering a more streamlined and transparent process overall
- Measuring and rewarding sales staff on customer satisfaction
To assist Meadowvale KIA and Meadowvale Toyota in getting the word out to the community of their unique sales process and strategy, BTI helped them each develop brand statements to be used within online and print advertisements, as well as, targeted direct mail campaigns.
These have been effective in communicating the dealership's unique sales strategy, and as a result, the dealerships are witnessing an increase in customer traffic. The dealerships are doing a great job in bringing the brand promise to life as evident in many glowing customer testimonials
It is important for retailers in the auto industry (among others) to be creative in making their in-store experience unique in order to stand out within very competitive landscapes. Because today’s consumers research, review and purchase online, retailers have to work harder to make the in-store experience valuable, relevant and rewarding to their customers. A good customer experience, above all, will lead to creating brand ambassadors who will send referrals and make repeat purchases.
At BTI, we can help you develop an engaging in-store and online strategy to help drive customers to your front door, and keep them coming back.