Against all odds, the experience of the auto sector coming out of Covid has vindicated the role of physical dealerships and showrooms in the car-buying experience.
Paul Bennett, senior vice president at iVendi, a UK-based software company serving the auto sector recently told Motor Finance Online: “Our internal research combined with that from leading global consulting firms has shown us that consumers in a mature automotive sector do not want a complete online digital journey.
“Undoubtedly, digitalis here to stay and rightly so. It permeates all aspects of our daily lives; as a consequence consumers also expect the convenience of digital when shopping for a car. However, digital tools should do the heavy lifting; the 80%, covering all aspects of research, initial engagement, finance eligibility and application stages of a transaction leaving the remaining 20%, the emotional, hands-on fun component to be enjoyed in-person, in a showroom,” he said in an article titled End of the road for digital-only dealerships?.
Customers highly value their buying experience when it comes to making a purchase, with research from Astute Solutions finding that 74% of people will make purchases because of positive customer experience.
So, how can dealerships create a handover experience that helps assure their customers they’re making the right decision buying from them?
Car handover: personalised experience
Buyers like to be looked after when having something sold to them. This is backed up by data from Hubspot that shows us that 76% of shoppers who visit stores and dealerships in person want to feel like their needs are being considered by dealerships.
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This doesn’t have to be a huge display by the dealership like a banner that says thank you. Small touches can make the world of difference, like being handed the keys to your new vehicle in a box with your initials or name printed on it.
Other additions being gifted to you free of charge, like a keyring or a spare key can help to assure customers that their potential needs are being considered by the manufacturer.
Car handover: an accessible and fast transaction
When travelling to a dealership to pick up a car, buyers want one thing in particular: efficiency. This comes in terms of not only how fast the paperwork can be completed but also the location of the dealership.
Buying from a dealership means buyers want to be able to drive away once they’ve signed the contracts. So, one way that the salesperson in charge of the handover can assure a positive experience for their buyer is by having the contracts and paperwork prepared in advance. This could be accentuated with Post-it markers indicating what needs to be signed, dated, and printed for official purposes.
If the vehicle in question is located in a car park or warehouse on site but far enough away that there would be a short delay in driving it to the customer, they could move it in advance of their arrival time. That way, it’s easily accessible and ready to go – keeping efficiency in mind. It also helps customers feel like our time is being valued.
Helpful and friendly communication
Friendly, open communication from a salesperson can help put a car buyer at ease in every stage of purchase, whether it’s a first look around the dealership or the handover process.
Not every customer is an expert on cars, and there may be some last-minute questions or concerns they may have during the handover. This could be related to things like questions regarding the mileage of a used Mercedes car and when it was last serviced.
In these instances, salespeople can have a huge impact on their actions. For a more positive experience, doing what they can to help assure the buyer of any fears they may have can make a huge difference in the interaction and help them feel more at ease.
Buying a car is an important phase of a motorist’s life, and having a positive handover experience to remember it by can help influence important motoring decisions in the future. In particular, if buyers have a good experience with a dealership when first receiving the car when they come to decide on upgrading or changing their vehicle in the future, they are likely to take their business back to that dealer rather than finding a new one.