Car sales stem from a great digital customer experience

Car sales stem from a great digital customer experience

The customer experience can make or break a sale in any industry. If a car buyer walks onto your showroom floor and receives poor service, they’re likely to walk back out the door to your competitor. But a customer’s experience of your business no longer begins with a handshake; it starts with the click of a mouse or tap of a smartphone.

In an article published by Google, the chief marketing officer for the largest used car retailer in the US, CarMax’s Jim Lyski said: “Ten years ago, the average used-car buyer visited five to seven dealerships before selecting a car. Now, with online research, the average buyer doesn’t even make it to two. While nine out of 10 CarMax customers start their experience online, almost all of them finish in store.”

If your business is not prioritising your digital customer experience, then you are losing potential buyers to your competitors. To learn more about digital technology’s impact on customer service, download our eBook: Customer Service – Essential to Success.

Setting new customer experience standards

Having a better website and digital presence than your competitors is great but, with the ever-growing prevalence of online shopping, the expected standard is no longer industry specific. Customers are expecting it to match up to the best digital shopping experiences across all industries.

It’s not always possible to keep pace with the giants of digital commerce, such as eBay and Amazon, and clearly the purchasing journey has its differences. But striving for the highest standard will ultimately improve your digital customer experience and, therefore, drive more car buyers through your doors.

This digital experience is, of course, more than just your website. It includes your online business listings, your digital videos, your presence and responsiveness on social media, your mobile marketing messages, cross-channel advertising and more. First you need customers to find your business, then you need them to be wowed by the experience they receive.

To learn more about one car buyer’s digital car buying journey, read our last blog: Get your digital marketing right and get car buyers through your door.

Meeting customer expectations with your website

Potential customers will visit your website for a wide variety of reasons, depending on how far along their purchasing journey they are. This can range from a general browse of the stock if they’re checking their options through to looking at specific listings if they know the car they’re interested in. Others will be comparing deals and getting best prices before deciding on what retailer to visit.

One way to capture customer interest if they’ve decided on a vehicle is offering to extend their warranty or protect their investment with GAP insurance. Mentioning financial aftercare products early in the purchasing journey, such as during the digital research phase, will help close the deal down the road. It also demonstrates your business’s willingness to provide ongoing support, therefore improving customer satisfaction ratings and retention rates.

For further information on improving your online presence, download our eBook: Digital technology for dealerships.


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