According to a Gartner Research report, 86 percent of customers will pay a premium for a better customer experience. In that same report, Gartner forecasts that by 2020, customer experience will overtake both price and product as the motivation for choosing one brand over another. While not specifically directed at the automotive industry, Gartner’s report is an insight that can be encouraging or devastating.
The new reality of buying a car is here. Any dealer who does not adopt a more transparent and seamless process is taking a very real risk with their clients and gross sales. Outside of automotive, the customer is in control, they can do their own research, they can see all the pricing and what they should be paying before they ever walk through the door. A seamless, more transparent and interactive process breaks down the barriers, engages the customer, and keeps your brand above the status quo. Without embracing this type of innovative approach, your clients will seek alternative ways to buy a car so they do not have to be subjected to the less transparent and less desirable sales process. If you have a long-term vision of success, the #1 way to sell more cars is to invest in improving your sales process. Leveraging innovative solutions that deepen engagement and connection with your clients is the key to transforming your dealership, building the brand equity you desire and securing clients for life.
In your dealership, sales professionals are trained to quickly build a relationship with potential buyers. Those clients look more to the salesperson as their reason to purchase than ever, not just the vehicle they desire. Yet, once they’ve committed to buying their new vehicle from a person they've connected with, the client is then transplanted to the F&I office. The F&I manager has less time to foster a relationship with the client, grasping at the information from the needs-based assessment. It’s a difficult transition to manage well, but the challenge to improve this process reveals the following opportunities for deeper F&I penetration and increased PVR.
Okay, you get it. The data doesn't lie. Car buyer expectations are increasing and they're becoming more impatient with the traditional dealership experience. But it's also an amazing opportunity for Principal Dealers and General Managers to visualize what an improved process looks like in the showroom of the future. Perhaps transforming your dealership doesn't need to be a complete overhaul all at once, but a step by step process. With an exceptional car buying experience from start to finish, clients will be willing to spend more on F&I items and their vehicle, ultimately increasing the bottom line.To keep things practical, we're excited to announce an upcoming webinar to showcase how to take the first step to innovate your dealership’s sales and F&I process. For details about the webinar which will introduce a proven solution for soft entry into improved process for both your sales team and your clients, please click here.