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How to Improve the Buying Experience Through Car Shopper Feedback

The age of simply trying to get the highest possible price for the cars on your lot is over. In the age of social media, you will need to provide a top-notch customer experience that helps your audience go through the car buying process as smoothly and with as little pain as possible. If you don’t, you risk losing not just them, but also everyone they tell about their less-than-ideal experience online and in person.

Providing that buying experience is impossible if you cannot put yourself into your customers’ shoes. The more you understand the process from their perspective, the better you’ll be able to make adjustments that puts your dealership ahead of its competition. If you know how to gather information the right way, you can find your bottlenecks, understand pain points, and improve the overall experiences. The key is finding and encouraging feedback from your buyers.

Provide Immediate Survey Opportunities

The simplest way to gather feedback from your audience is to ask about their experience. Whether you make a sale or not, provide an opportunity for your audience to share their thoughts on the salesperson, the cars they test-drove, the time it took to get to where they needed to be, and the overall experience.

To incentivise your audience, consider a small promotion attached to your survey. The more responses you get, the more representative your feedback will be of the majority of your audience. By giving away a gift card or promotional gift, you can encourage and increase that response rate.

Follow Up With Experience-Related Questions

Of course, your audience may need some perspective before they’re willing to share their honest thoughts with you. In addition, they may want to reserve judgment until they’ve been driving their new car (or decided to stick with their old alternative) for a few weeks.

That’s why it makes sense for dealerships to follow up with buyers about a month after their experience. This survey, of course, should differ from the above, focusing on open-ended reflections and happiness with their purchase rather than the immediate thoughts on the process itself.

Monitor Online Chatter With Social Listening

When your car buyers have a strong opinion about your dealership, positively or negatively, they will talk about it. Perhaps not to you or in responses with their survey, but through online communication on social media and blogs. Being able to keep up with these online mentions can be a crucial way to gather and respond to feedback.

The key to success here is social listening, a technique most digital marketers will be familiar with. By monitoring specific keywords related to your dealership and brand, you can keep up with everything that’s being publicly said about you online. Then, you can choose to respond, but most importantly gather the data to compile insights about your buyers’ experience with you.

In the process of social listening, it’s tempting to focus on the negative comments. In reality, positive feedback can be just as, if not even more important. It allows you to find trends on what your car buyers loved about their experience, which you can highlight more prominently in the future.

Turn Customer Feedback Into Actionable Insights

Of course, you should never collect data and feedback just for the sake of it. It can only be valuable if you use it to actually find insights that improve your buyers’ experience.

For example, your research, surveys, and social listening may show that your finance process is long and too complicated for most car buyers. Now, the next step is to determine which exact areas of that process can be improved, and implement measures that make it easier for future customers.

Speaking of finance: car dealerships commonly report that this is the most complex and least liked part of the buying experience. You will probably not be able to turn it into your audience’s favorite aspect of buying a car, but you can streamline it significantly. eLEND Solutions, for example, can help your dealership make the process much more simple, recuding the time it takes to complete a vehicle purchase from hours to minutes. Contact us to learn more, and improve your customers’ buying experience today.

Author: Pete Maclnnis

Author Bio: Pete brings over 37 years of experience in automotive finance and technology as Founder and CEO of eLEND Solutions.  Founded in 2003 as DealerCentric, eLEND Solutions is an automotive FinTech company specializing in online and in-store digital credit, identity and finance solutions designed to create a more efficient and profitable vehicle purchase process for the retail automotive industry. 

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