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Building trust through digital channels

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Building trust through digital channels

By Carol Fairchild, Chief Customer Officer, CitNOW

Delivering transparency and trust between consumers and retailers has dramatically increased with the now always-available online information, comparisons and reviews.

With digital channels being the first port of call when researching a car and choosing a dealer, the likes of Trustpilot, Google and the retailers’ own independent reviews verifies the trustworthiness of the business before the consumer has even visited them. Sometimes before they have even spoken to someone at the site.

Car buyers are already building trust in dealers with excellent customer satisfaction ratings and stock that best matches their requirements. Still yet to make an actual visit, attention turns to price. Sites like Auto Trader identify vehicles that are good, fair or poorly priced instilling trust that retailers are pricing to market rather than simply recouping the part-exchange cost.

It doesn’t matter how well priced the car, if uploaded without images, video and 360-views, customers will often move on. These digital assets have become a vital element in the online journey, forming a bridge between the virtual showroom and the physical site. As the car is seen in all its glory, consumers are developing more confidence in their potential purchase and trust that the vehicle is in the condition they require.

The ICDP’s 2019 European Car Distribution Handbook found digital customers were far more engaged in the sales process and visited dealers more often. With this in mind, once an initial enquiry has been made, a rapid response is essential if trust is to continue building. An engaging video message highlighting the car of interest and introducing the dealership takes the customer relationship to the next level - with a site visit still to happen.

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