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The four Rs still reap rewards in attracting customers, says

The four Rs of reputation, relationships, recommendations and rapport are still key to customers’ car buying choices, research carried out by has revealed.

Confidence in a dealer influenced 30% of customers “a great deal” when it came to deciding where to buy their next car from, according to the survey which explored the buying habits of UK drivers.

Backing this up, 36% of the survey’s 700 respondents said that whether they had heard of the dealer and whether it had been recommended by other car buyers was important, and almost a fifth (18%) stating that a good rapport with a dealer was important.

Taking price (17%) and choice (16%) out of the equation in consideration of most customers desired improvement of their car buying experience saw honesty and confidence in the salesperson (15%) and improved customer service (12%) come out as the next most important factors, meanwhile.

Peter Watts, director of dealer insight at, said: “Our research indicates that, on initial contact with the dealer, the consumer has already decided after hours of research that the vehicle they have selected will fit their lifestyle and financial requirements.

“Therefore, dealers can benefit by switching their focus to helping the customer validate their decision using soft skills in order to cement the sale.

“Quick and simple measures, such as ensuring the timings for test drives suit the customer’s personal and work schedule and delivering an aligned online/offline experience, will further strengthen the consumer’s confidence in the salesperson, which helps to assist a more enjoyable purchasing journey.” 

Watts added: “These findings highlight the importance of aligning the basics around price and choice with softer skills, making sure everyone within a dealership who is responsible for sales is also focused on delivering the very best customer service.

“The benefits of building a strong reputation should not be overlooked and securing solid customer recommendations is still key.”

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