Car dealers can improve customer satisfaction by providing online part-exchange prices and simplifying the administration process at point of sale.
A new survey by Motors.co.uk found that car buyers prefer visiting dealerships to view cars, take test drives and collect their new vehicle than negotiating prices or completing paperwork.
The company questioned 1,000 in-market consumers to identify their favourite customer experiences in car dealerships.
More than two-thirds (67%) said they enjoying viewing cars at dealerships, 65% like the experience of taking delivery of a car and 63% enjoy test drives.
Nearly half (47%) dislike the administration associated with change of vehicle ownership, 39% do not like the process of agreeing a trade-in value for their car and 36% said they did not like negotiating prices.
“Whilst our research dispels some of the popular misconceptions about the car buying process which is all too often portrayed as an unenjoyable experience, it also reveals pain points which management can address with better processes,” said Marc Robinson, Motors.co.uk’s sales director (pictured).
“The burden of completing change of ownership paperwork can be addressed simply by dealers giving customers a checklist ahead of them coming in to collect their vehicle. This would need to cover things like making sure they bring in their V5, both sets of car keys and remember to cancel insurance cover,” he said.
Robinson, who has over 20 years’ experience of running dealerships with Inchcape, Vertu and Pendragon, also believes more can be done to address trade-in values before customers visit a dealer.
“It’s not surprising that customers do not like haggling over trade-in values, which is why online part-exchange valuation services are so important. Buyers can therefore arrive at a dealership with a realistic, rather than emotional, view of how much their car is worth.
“Alternatively, dealers need to be more transparent with their onsite valuations by walking the customer around the car as this will help manage expectations by showing how the valuation is derived.”
Robinson said customers would also appreciate the opportunity to use online tools such as Live Chat to negotiate from the comfort of their homes, rather than face to face.
“Dealers who address customer pain points through subtle changes to their showroom processes and online experiences, will gain a competitive advantage. We can see how increased transparency drives conversion rates at the point of sale. It also helps drive more sales of GAP insurance, paint protection and promotes post-sale loyalty through improved CSI scores,” said Robinson.