Today there are more vehicles to choose from, more ways to buy them, and more power in the hands of the customer than ever before. But this also gives customers the opportunity to show less brand or dealership loyalty than ever before. There are several other factors affecting the car buying and selling process too, such as changing buyer behavior, shrinking margins, more options to choose from (including models and payment methods), as well as an increasingly competitive landscape.
How are you protecting your dealership from losing customers? What does your retention marketing program look like?
Did you know it costs seven times more to gain a new customer than to retain an existing customer? It’s even more critical to have timely, effective messaging for your existing customers, creating a tailored experience, specific to them. According to PwC, 63% of customers say they’d be open to sharing personal data to allow for a more customized dealership customer experience. Moreover, 88% of U.S. consumers say how much they trust a company determines how much they’re willing to share.
Customers are more informed than ever and are driving the buying experience. Today’s dealers are faced with a complex opportunity, merging the preferences of traditional car buying with the demands of digital, while juggling the emergence of data-driven technology and a multitude of choices.
Sales turnover costs dealers thousands of dollars, but the real figure is much greater when you factor in retention. Poorly trained and unmotivated salespeople create an environment where the customer knows more than the salesperson. In this circumstance, loyalty suffers by creating a losing car sales customer experience and is a major reason why relationships between store and buyer are never truly formed.
In that same customer experience survey by PwC, 82% of U.S. consumers said they want more human interaction. In fact, 71% of Americans would rather interact with a human than a chatbot or other automated process and 55% strongly disagree that when technology becomes advanced enough, there will be no need for people to create great customer experiences.
Eliminate turnover by thinking about the auto dealership CX at every touch point and interaction. You must understand consumer needs and behaviors and offer them an option that is unique to them – before they start their journey. By using the customer data you already have and applying predictive analytics, you can create a customer profile that helps to anticipate their specific needs and addresses their why-buys, ultimately improving your dealership’s CSI score.
It may seem like dealerships will struggle to improve their customer retention rates in this changing automotive landscape, but that is not at all true. Because dealerships are local and invested in their communities, they are best able to create strong and loyal customers. Automotive sales and service is evolving into a buyer’s journey that is changing the rules of the game.
Driven by digital and mobile technology, today’s car shoppers have more choices, more power and greater expectations. They are looking for a more personal dealership experience – one that includes a product, service and support. The application of appropriate and predictive data science has opened the door to new customer habits and has given retailers the power to better create a personal and trusted customer experience.
Today’s dealers must:
Remember, at the end of the day, it’s all about taking the journey out of the customer decision.
How Can automotiveMastermind Help?
Do you have any questions or comments about customer loyalty and how it’s changing automotive retail? Contact us today. Our vision is to radically transform the traditional consumer purchase journey.