For Car Shoppers, Transparency Wins - AutoSuccessOnline

For Car Shoppers, Transparency Wins

Answer customers’ FAQs with short, informative videos that also highlight your dealership and staff.

As an industry, we’re finally getting it. We realize that when it comes to selling cars, transparency wins.

Traditionally, dealers trained salespeople to withhold information from car shoppers because they believed that if they gave that information out, the car shopper would go somewhere else. They believed that if they could just get that customer in for an appointment, they could make the sale. 

These beliefs aren’t cutting it with today’s consumer. It’s too easy to research every last detail about a vehicle before making a decision. The Amazon experience is now considered normal — a plethora of choices, transparent pricing, information overload and hundreds of customer reviews. So, is it really surprising that when a car shopper visits your website, they quickly become frustrated?

Many dealer websites offer little information on vehicles other than photos and basic specs listed on the vehicle detail pages. Many dealers still don’t list pricing and they don’t set any expectations for the consumer about what the buying experience is going to be like.

If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re giving away too much information, I have news for you: You can never give away too much information! If a person can spend three hours researching the right coffee maker to buy on Amazon, how many questions do you think they have about buying a vehicle? 

Today’s car shoppers want information, and the more the better. Find a way to convey as much information as possible on your website and you’ll win the customer’s attention and trust. 

Think about typical questions that car shoppers or potential service customers have, and provide answers to those questions on your website. You can do this via frequently asked questions, or FAQs, but the most efficient and engaging way is with video. Videos convey a lot of information in a very short time span. 

List the top 10 questions car shoppers typically ask. These may include:
• What is the best way to get the lowest car payment?
• Can I buy a car with no money down?
• I owe more than my car is worth, can I still trade for a newer vehicle?
• How long does it take to buy a car?
• I’ve declared bankruptcy, can I still get a loan?

Now, make a series of videos that provide car shoppers with an answer for each question. Ideally the videos will be short and informative. You want to set the customer’s expectations of what it will be like to do business with you, and you want that experience to be professional. Some short descriptive video title examples could be: “Fair, Upfront Pricing,” “Our Pre-Owned Vehicle Standards,” “Educated & Informed Staff” and “We Respect Your Time.”

You can do the same thing in service. What are your service department FAQs?
• When is my first service maintenance?
• How do I know when I need to buy new tires?
• Why is it important that I keep my tires inflated?
• How can I get better gas mileage?

Again, make a video for every question. Feature your service advisors and other personnel. The more videos potential customers watch, the more they will get to know and like your staff, which is half the battle when it comes time to make a decision.

Informational videos are a great way to build rapport and earn customer trust. Don’t forget to always include a call to action so your customer has a reason to call you! The more transparent you are with current and prospective customers, the more they will engage with you and trust you.

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According to the 2022 Capital One Car Buying Outlook, 77% of dealers believe that the car-buying process is transparent, but only 26% of consumers believe that. So, what is causing this gap in perception?

Transparency during the car-buying process simply means giving the customer what they want. When a car shopper first contacts a dealership, the first thing they want to know is whether the vehicle is available, what the price is and what their personalized payment is, according to a 2021 study conducted by Marchex and Root & Associates. Next on their list is information about financing and trade-in valuations.

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