Your Automotive Marketing Specialists

Your Automotive Marketing Specialists

Trust & Today’s Car Shopper

4 min read

How do you drive business to your dealership and build brand loyalty? Trust.

There are ways that dealerships can build trust with the modern car buyer to enhance their reputation. Unfortunately, car salesmen don’t have a great reputation.  A 2020 Gallup Poll found that only 7% of consumers trust car salespeople. By understanding what car buyers want and using technology to your advantage, you can give customers control of the buying process and build trust.

Give the customer control. Car shoppers want to do their research first and then come into the dealership to complete the car-buying process. It is important that your website is easy to navigate and offers information that customers are looking for. Create an atmosphere of transparency and trust on your website to boost confidence in the car buying process. Make sure your website contains all your inventory and current specials. Provide information that the customer wants like pricing, availability, delivery timelines, and additional fees. Customers can price compare as they shop and read reviews up until they make a purchase to gain reassurance that they are working with the best dealerships for their needs. Make sure your information is easy to find and that it is easy to contact your dealership to set up a visit.

Offer Expertise. When a customer comes into your shop after completing their research online, offer additional education about the information they need to know when purchasing a vehicle from your dealership. Customers most likely will have done their research before coming into your shop and will be able to ask informed questions as a result.  Your salespeople should be able to present additional information to fill in the gaps in the knowledge of their customers.  Salespeople can foster trust and add value to the car buying process by offering their expertise on the product that the consumer wouldn’t get shopping online alone. Successful salespeople not only offer transparent information upfront, but they are also experts on their products and add value to the car buying process. Salespeople can build trust by offering additional information on the vehicle’s safety, maintenance, and other facts.

Be Transparent. Make sure that the additional information the consumer is receiving at the dealership matches up with the information that they found online and that your salespeople are transparent when offering details, so there are no surprises. Consider how easy it is for customers to navigate working with your business.  Through transparent information on pricing, vehicle history, and safety, shoppers are armed with the information that they need to feel comfortable moving forward in the process with your dealership. When you give the customer the ability to shop online first, they are armed with information for when they meet your salesperson. Customers that feel they have control of their buying experience have a greater rate of satisfaction with the result.

Highlight your positive reputation. Solicit feedback as part of the car buying process, so that your customers can build your reputation for you. Reviews from other people on products and services have become very important to would-be customers. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and almost the same percentage trust these reviews the way they trust personal recommendations. More than half of shoppers say that the most important factor when choosing a dealership is the dealer’s reputation.  Most shoppers today will read and trust third-party opinions of a business and make an overall assessment based on what they read. If most of the reviews are good, then the customer has a sense that they can trust the dealership with their business.  There will always be disgruntled customers, but people can usually discern if this is the case with a poor review based on how the review is written or how the company responds to the review. Make sure to respond to reviews in a timely manner and stay ahead of your competition. People will often make a judgment about your business based on your reviews, so it is important to properly manage your reputation.  Highlight your positive reviews, as this feedback from a third party, will make customers feel more comfortable entrusting you with their business. 74% of people always use ratings and reviews to inform their decisions when shopping generally. This number is even higher among millennials (ages 25-39) at 80%.  Your reputation is of utmost importance and requires regular attention. This is something that your staff should actively work to maintain or improve.

Use Technology to your advantage.  Use digital experience tools to guide customers through the sales process by offering customers the ability to purchase a car from your website. More than three-quarters (76%) of car-buying customers are willing to consider a complete online purchase process.  Allow for open communication and provide a shopping experience with a mix of digital and in-person.  You can also utilize targeted marketing campaigns to follow up with interested customers so that you can reach your intended audience when they’re ready to make a purchase and build brand loyalty.

Digital to Dealer Direct offers reputation management, website management, and targeted marketing. Contact us today for more information!