Are You Losing Customers to a Slow Buying Process? - AutoSuccessOnline

Are You Losing Customers to a Slow Buying Process?

Buying a car and going grocery shopping are pretty different, but how you feel about your time as a consumer should give you an idea about how your dealership customers feel when they spend more time there than they had planned, leave with more options than they wanted and spend hours finishing the delivery process.

I might love food and cooking, but even I can get a little frustrated while grocery shopping. I always spend way more time there than I initially planned, my basket usually has a few (or a lot) more things than were on my shopping list, and I hate waiting in long lines at the register. Who has time for that?

Buying a car and going grocery shopping are pretty different, but how you feel about your time as a consumer should give you an idea about how your dealership customers feel when they spend more time there than they had planned, leave with more options than they wanted and spend hours finishing the delivery process.

These days almost anything can be bought or streamed online whenever you want it. This want-it-now mentality has already translated to the car-buying world in the way people research new cars. It’s well known by now that today’s car buyers do most of their research online and typically have their choices narrowed down before they call or visit a dealership.

The way customers approach researching new cars might have changed, but J.D. Power says customers still spend an average of 4.3 hours at a dealership while purchasing a car. A recent IHS study also said that 41 percent of unhappy buyers cited the amount of time spent at a dealership as the most frustrating part of the car-buying experience.

Though Autotrader says buyers still prefer to purchase cars at a dealership rather than an online shopping cart, the process has room for improvement. Here are a couple ways you can better manage the time customers spend in your showroom.

Encourage Appointments

Imagine a busy Saturday morning at your dealership. The showroom is a beehive of activity. Your sales reps are all busy with customers. What happens when a walk-in customer pulls up? Are they greeted by a receptionist? How long will it be before they can speak to a sales rep? Do you think they’ll wait or leave for another dealership?

Customers might be doing more research online before visiting dealerships, but that doesn’t mean everybody fills out a web form or places a phone call before showing up. On especially busy days, walk-ins can turn into lost leads if they’re not willing to wait for a sales rep.

To keep customers from feeling like their time is being wasted before they even start the buying process, use your marketing campaigns (both online and traditional) to encourage customers to book appointments through your website or by a phone call before they visit. This approach helps you manage your reps’ time better and serve more customers.

You can even leverage the need for appointments as proof that your dealership is busy because buyers want to do business with you. Use messaging like “Call today to secure a meeting with the best sales team in the area!” in your campaigns to hammer the point home.

Get Paperwork Settled up Front

While customers might be interested in getting in and out much quicker than the average 4.3 hours, the reality is that some parts of the process can’t be changed to reduce time. A frequent cause of lengthy delays is the time it takes for your managers and sales reps to shop interest rates for customers. Being up front with customers and explaining that one part of the process might take longer than expected can help manage their impatience.

If buyers are interested in getting a deal done quickly on a particular day, having the right paperwork in advance can help manage the overall transaction time as well. Put a checklist on your website that lists key documents that customers will need when buying a car. Having proof of insurance, a driver’s license, the title and registration for a trade-in vehicle and the account number for a trade-in’s loan all in advance can help expedite the process.

You can also let a prospective buyer know what paperwork they’ll need over the phone if they indicate they’ve made a decision and don’t want to spend hours in the showroom.

What are some ways your dealership has tried to curtail the amount of time customers spend in your showroom? Were you successful? Let me know in the comments.

You May Also Like

Live Chat Revs Up Automotive Marketing in 2024

Discover strategic shifts, like prioritizing digital marketing with live chat, to engage customers effectively and drive sales.

Live Chat Revs Up Automotive Marketing in 2024

For many auto dealers, 2024 is shaping up to be a challenging year. According to Cox Automotive, the new vehicle inventory supply is near its highest point since June 2020. At the same time, dealers are seeing triple-digit increases in floor plan expenses, mainly due to increased interest rates, according to Auto Finance News.

The Myths and Truths Behind Artificial Intelligence

Learn how AI enhances efficiency and productivity in business settings, creates new job opportunities and promotes ethical practices.

Navigating Title Clerk Transitions

Discover solutions for dealership title clerk shortages to avoid backlogs and ensure smooth vehicle sales and registration processes.

Navigating Title Clerk Transitions
The Jury Is Out: How Many Dealers Are Utilizing AI?

Discover insights from industry surveys revealing the shift away from gut instinct to data-driven decisions.

Accelerating Auto Dealership Efficiency: 7 VoIP Trends for 2024

With these advancements, there’s a prime opportunity for dealers to harness technology for heightened productivity and efficiency.

Other Posts

How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency: 7 Signs of a Bad Agency

Here’s a complete guide to identifying the red flags that signal a digital marketing agency might not be the right fit for your business.

Digital marketing agency
Paving the Way for Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is like a muscle, where the more we use it, the stronger it becomes. By being smart about how we use it, we can develop this key attribute and get the best return for our energy.

Paving the Way for Self-Discipline
How Auto Retailers Are Leveraging Advanced Connected Vehicle Data for Optimized Lot Management Solutions

Advanced technologies based on intuitive real-time data seamlessly integrate with the software platforms to receive real-time connected vehicle data from equipped and eligible vehicles to simplify lot management for accurate and remote inventory management, that leads to a contactless and seamless experience for fleet and auto retailers.

How Auto Retailers Are Leveraging Advanced Connected Vehicle Data for Optimized Lot Management Solutions
Jeff Wyler Automotive Family Completes First 100% Online New Car Sale

This is the first U.S. dealership to offer a fully digital buying experience for new and used cars.