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Customers love a good customer experience. In fact, 86% of buyers will pay more for a good one. The auto industry tends to be fraught with trickery and there’s no shortage of complaints.

With Halloween quickly approaching, it’s a good time to talk about appropriate behavior‚ what to do, what not to do, how to stand out from the crowd. No, we’re not talking about your costume (although we’d love to see it!), we’re talking about best practices for your dealership. There’s no doubt that the automotive industry hasn’t always been known for great customer service. But with technological advancements and a better understanding of what customers want, there’s no reason your dealership can’t keep your customers coming back. Here are some top do’s and don’ts you need to think about to keep your returning again and again.

3 Treats to Give for Halloween (And Beyond!)

Customers love a good customer experience. In fact, 86% of buyers will pay more for a good one. The auto industry tends to be fraught with trickery and there’s no shortage of complaints. Here are three ways you can keep your customers coming back to your dealership.

  1. A good dealership knows how to invest time in its customers. You need to strike the right balance between efficiency and attention. Customers want to know that they are valued so you need to give them the attention they need, while also remaining respectful of their time. Answer their questions on the phones, in the showroom, and in the service lanes. Provide an upscale customer experience. BUT‚ you also need to have efficient processes. Get service customers checked in quickly and return their vehicle as soon as possible. Time is valuable for consumers and most people have endless to-do lists to manage, so know when to turn it up and when to tune it down.
  2. A good dealership is transparent in its assessments and pricing. One of the biggest customer complaints in the auto industry is being misled. Whether this involves pricing or lack of visibility into the process or service, customers don’t like feeling misled. They may even have sought out your dealership in exchange for one they’ve used for that very reason. Customers want to know what they can expect in the way of charges and repairs so give it to them and you’ll have happier customers.
  3. A good dealership meets the customer where they are when it comes to technology. In a world dominated by millennial buyers, it’s important to know when to ramp up the technology and when face-to-face interactions are needed. Think about efficiency, but also about customer pain points. Assess your customer’s level of comfort with technology at various stages of the lifecycle. You can even collect these preferences as part of service check-in. Do they prefer a text when pick-up is ready or a phone call? Do they want to receive promotions via email or direct mail? Whatever it is, meet your customers there.

3 Tricks You’ll Want to Avoid Pulling On Your Customers

It’s not always helpful to be told what to do sometimes, you need to know what’s NOT a good idea. To help with that, here are three tricks you don’t want to pull on customers.

  1. A good dealership ditches the sales jargon. Customers don’t want to feel like a target, they want to feel like you value their business. They want to feel like they are getting a deal WITHOUT all the fluff. Remind them why you are the best because you value your customer but don’t infuse your pitch with jargon. Take the direct approach and they’re less likely to feel like you are trying to deceive them and more likely to understand you have something valuable to offer.
  2. A good dealership provides extra value. Loyalty cards aren’t just for grocery stores. Customers want as much value as possible for their business. Think of a way to keep customers coming back to your store. Offer a free oil change for every three service visits or throw in a car wash each time they come back. Give them a reason (however small) to choose you over another dealership. They’ll appreciate the gesture.
  3. A good dealership doesn’t ignore branding. Don’t be generic. No one likes mediocrity and people are drawn to personality. Find ways to stand out from the crowd and give customers a reason to keep coming back. Maybe you can sponsor local sports teams in the community or perhaps you cater to families. Either way, make sure your branding is clear and you are communicating your convictions to your customers.

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