3 Time-Saving Tips to Improve the Car Buying Process

April 8, 2020 in Customer Experience

Time is one of the most precious commodities for today’s car buyer. Although this is true for the vast majority of the population, our industry continues to subject buyers to a time-intensive purchase process.

Consumers still spend about 100 days in the market, whether they’re buying a new or used car. Even after a consumer has selected the vehicle they want and identified a dealership to buy from, they still spend an average of 3 hours at the dealership test-driving, negotiating, signing paperwork, and processing their trade-in.

There is a direct correlation between increased time spent at a dealership and decreased customer satisfaction. The time has come for all dealerships to begin finding ways to save their customers time, thereby improving the car buying process.

Here are 3 simple time-saving tips to help you do this.

#3 - Make Your Website a Time-Saving Tool

Your website should be an extension of your showroom. Visitors should be able to find the same helpful information, tools, services, and inventory you would offer to them in-store.

First, consider implementing consultative selling at your dealership. Appoint a dedicated sales associate to work closely with a customer, from your website to your showroom, throughout the entire purchase cycle. Not only does this create a seamless customer experience, but it allows your sales associate to build rapport, increasing the chance of a sale.

Next, provide online documentation services such as finance, insurance, and warranty applications. When you do, be sure that the online to in-store transition is as seamless as possible so customers never have to submit the same information twice.

Finally, enable your customers to schedule test drive appointments online. This accelerates the experience they’ll have when they arrive at your dealership, further improving their car buying process.

#2 - At Home Services Improve the Car Buying Process

Many consumers view an automotive purchase as a tedious and complicated process. Your customers can have a different experience. Improve the car buying process, and your dealership’s CSI, by offering your customers services they can utilize from the convenience of their home.

One way to do this is by offering at-home test drives, which are great for today’s busy consumers who want to test drive vehicles on their turf and their terms.

Another great solution is to offer at-home trade-in appraisals. Implement The Appraisal Lane at your dealership to enable your customers to connect with live appraisers to get a cash offer for their trade in minutes, right from their own driveway. They can redeem their offer at your dealership, and apply it towards their next vehicle purchase, quickly and easily.

#1 - Stop Selling. Start Helping.

Perhaps the single greatest irony of our industry is the sheer volume of time that’s spent trying to get customers into the wrong vehicles. This happens because sales professionals focus on getting a customer into any vehicle rather than the best vehicle.

It’s time to stop heavy-handed selling techniques and start providing a consultative approach to improve the car buying process.

Guide your customers to the right vehicle by asking six simple questions upfront:

  • Who will be driving the vehicle most of the time?
  • How will the vehicle be used most of the time?
  • What features are most important to the primary driver?
  • Do you have a trade-in or a down payment?
  • What is your monthly budget?
  • What is your purchase timeframe?

Knowing the answers to these six simple questions helps you in several ways.

Eliminate product confusion and time-consuming inventory searches for your customers.

Your recommendations help them find the vehicles that meet their needs quickly and easily, right from the start.

Establish more accurate benchmarks for the timing and value of the retail deal.

The better you know your customers, the more efficiencies you can create during their purchase process. Understanding their unique financial situation, their urgency (or lack thereof), and the features they need allows you to streamline their process and avoid unnecessary delays.

Improve the car buying process.

A speedy transaction eliminates wasted time, one of the most significant pain points in the automotive customer’s journey. This communicates to your customers that you know their time is valuable, and you know they are valuable too.

Speedy transactions show your customer that you know your business. They build customer trust, enhance customer experience, and improve CSI. And they keep your customers, and their referrals, coming back to purchase again.