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3 Practical & Actionable Tips to Boost your Dealership’s Customer Experience

Often dismissed as another business buzzword, customer experience (CX) is perhaps the most powerful tool in the arsenal of bricks and mortar retailers. It comes as no surprise that according to Forbes Business Magazine, businesses who provide superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than those that lag. 1  CX is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – customers want something they can’t find online and need to walk away from a buying experience feeling genuinely valued and appreciated.

One of the biggest traps a dealership can fall into when it comes to CX is to focus too narrowly on CSI metrics. While valuable, CSI scores can lure dealers into a false sense of security, as more often than not they are provided by happy customers riding the wave of euphoria that comes with buying a new car.

It can happen, but an unhappy customer who travelled to another dealership in search of a great customer experience is unlikely to leave your dealership a review. Here are 3 considerations to significantly boost the customer experience your dealership provides

While upselling has been in the DNA of dealerships for over a century, customer attitudes are changing. People are generally more sensitive and sceptical, particularly to upsells in the Service department.

Be mindful of being too pushy. When they can’t physically see the benefit in their vehicle, customers can very easily be turned off by service upselling.

Instead, consider engaging in meaningful dialogue post Service to inform customers of what was fixed, while highlighting issues that are safe to leave until next time.
They will appreciate the honesty, feel genuinely valued and any money foregone on the day will likely be well and truly recovered through long term loyalty and repeat custom.

Utilising technology and data is a non-negotiable when it comes to improving customer experience.

One initiative we are seeing being rolled out across Australia is a an interactive, digital ‘build your dream car’ kiosk in dealerships. Giving customers the ability to choose their own features – then see the car come to life in front of them – is an experience very worthy of consideration in dealership.

Leveraging data is another cornerstone of improving customer experience - the possibilities when it comes to data are virtually endless. One powerful tool at the moment is predictive analytics – a branch of data analytics that uses statistical modelling to predict future outcomes. With the right skills and data, predictive analytics allows dealers and OEMs to forecast the future buying patterns of customers and tailor their product offering accordingly.

One of author Stephen Covey’s most famous quotes is to “always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your customers”2.

There is a direct, strong correlation between the experience you provide your staff and the experience they will provide your customers.

If staff feel genuinely valued and happy at work, it is highly likely that this will translate to the experience they give your customers.

Have you had much success boosting customer experience? We would love to hear what has worked (and what hasn’t) within your operations.