Service Providers

Creating a transparent dealership

Colleen Malloy BlogDo shoppers trust your business? If they don’t, you could be losing out on business. The 2016 Dealership Action Report by DealerSocket came out recently, and while its target is auto dealers, there are some interesting findings that I think hold a lot of value for powersports dealers. When the creators of the report surveyed 2,000 consumers who purchased a vehicle in the past 12 months, there was one key thing they found that would’ve improved the shoppers’ buying experiences: transparency.

Lack of trust in salespeople and the amount of time the buying process takes are two leading reasons why shoppers don’t like the car buying process, and these are issues that you might have faced at your own dealership. Fortunately, there are three tactics you can use to help ensure you’re giving customers a great, transparent experience that will keep them coming back.

  1. Implement technology

As you might remember from my last post, using customer-facing technology in your dealership can go a long way toward setting you apart from the competition. In the Dealership Action Report, researchers found that using a tablet during payment presentation greatly improved customer satisfaction ratings compared to using a desktop computer.

With mobile technology, your salespeople aren’t tied to their desks. They can easily move around during the sales process provide shoppers with product details, work on deals with the manager or show customers payment options. Having more flexibility can help your sales team get shoppers more engaged in the process and increase customer trust.

  1. Create a great customer experience

It’s no secret that if shoppers don’t have a good experience with your dealership online or in-store, they probably won’t come back. In fact, 79% of consumers would take their business to a competitor within a week of experiencing poor online customer service.

Providing a great experience while your shoppers are researching online and visiting your brick-and-mortar location is an obvious must. Invest in pay-per-click advertising and make sure you’re using the latest SEO tactics to ensure shoppers can find your website easily on search engines, make sure your website accurately reflects your in-store inventory and make it easy for shoppers to take the next step by allowing them to schedule a test drive directly from your website.

  1. Address pain points

Customer loyalty can be a huge revenue generator, but what do you do if your customers aren’t coming back for service or accessories after making a purchase? The Dealership Action Report found five main reasons customer’s didn’t bring their vehicle back to the dealership for service:

  • Price
  • Convenience
  • The shopper found a less time-consuming option
  • The shopper found an option with a higher level of customer service
  • The customer found an option with a higher level of transparency

Addressing these pain points and doing what you can to eliminate them can go a long way toward keeping shoppers coming back to your store. Highlight the perks that you offer in-store, like free WiFi, a comfortable service waiting area or free coffee, and be sure to advertise when you’re offering big deals or promotions.

Making sure you provide a great experience for your customers throughout their journey with your dealership can ensure you build strong customer relationships and keep customers loyal. Take some time to audit what you’re doing online and in-store and see where you can make improvements, then implement some of these tactics to provide your shoppers with the best experience possible.

Colleen Malloy is ARI’s director of marketing. Malloy has more than a decade of experience in the powersports industry and previously served as the editor of Motorcycle & Powersports News. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage ARI’s website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff!


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