As inventory issues continue to plague the industry, we are finding that progressive dealers are using this as an opportunity to further refine their processes to focus on their customers’ experience. One way dealers can do this is through a customer journey audit. If you’re wondering what a customer journey audit is, then you should definitely keep reading.
What Is a Customer Journey Audit?
Simply put, a customer journey audit is where you map out all of the different paths a prospective customer could take to purchase from your dealership. It takes some whiteboard time, but you should be able to visually map out every path (with a few exceptions). Many dealerships fully understand this concept as it applies to their physical showrooms, but many do not when it applies to their digital footprint. This is where we often find a big disconnect (more on that later).
Only once you fully understand these pathways and the associated touchpoints can you move forward with optimizing your customer’s experience.
You may not be a process engineer, but do not fret! There are easy-to-use tools for documenting these workflows such as lucidchart.com. Whatever you use, take the time to map out the journey and document them (please document them).
Now that you have your different pathways documented (please, please, please document these), you can create your audit checklist and begin to implement a recurring process to not only audit your customer’s journey but also begin to refine it.
Understanding Customer Engagement Online
You’ll be amazed at how fragmented many of these pathways can be. We do these audits all of the time and find that many dealerships have very little idea how consumers are interacting with their dealership digitally. When they do, they often say, “well, that doesn’t make sense” or “how would the customer know what to do here?”
Here are a few examples of what we typically find through the auditing process:
• Inconsistent messaging. A dealership’s search ads may say “Lease for $499/mo.” but their website says “Lease for $529/mo.”, or nothing related to that special at all!
• Broken links and click paths where a website user literally cannot continue down the funnel (I kid you not).
• Conflicting calls to action that confuse users. For example, a “value your trade” button that took the user to a general contact form or a “get pre-approved” and a separate “get financing” button right next to each other.
• Conversion data not being submitted to the CRM. How can your team reach out properly if they have no idea why/where/how a lead is converted?
• And others, such as outdated images, vehicle information and more.
While the initial shock can hurt, the good news is that you’re now on your way to fixing these issues and, in turn, you’ll often see an immediate lift in conversion rates for your dealership. This leads to an improved bottom line!
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “When exactly am I supposed to find time to do this?” While I can’t answer that directly, I can tell you that after doing this exercise you’ll also begin to see friction points with your internal process. Often, these processes and mundane tasks can be automated through technology, saving you and your team that much-needed time that can now be spent focusing on something a bit more strategic … or playing golf.