Over the last several years, car dealers have worked hard to improve their customers service. The industry has changed because everybody has a stronger potential voice, so giving them an excellent experience has been a major focus for dealers.

An area that could use improvement based upon what we’ve seen is making the VIP experience start before they ever set foot on the lot. Once you’re face-to-face with them, it’s easier to treat them right, walk them through the sale, and have them leave as happy as possible in their new vehicle. Before they get to the lot, dealerships can improve the way they make their customers feel about them using a few simple strategies.

  • Put effort into the “why buy from us” section of your website. Older websites and even new ones for some dealers have very little in the way of explaining why the experience is better at their dealership. A simple video or a mission statement clearly visible on the website gives you the opportunity to instill in your website visitors that you’re going to do everything you can to make their experience memorable in a positive way.
  • Offer “VIP appointments” through all of your communications. In the dealer chat world, we’ve done this in the way that our operators interact with your website visitors. It’s not only a great way to start the car deal off on the right foot from the moment you’re getting the lead. It actually helps to increase the number of quality leads as well!
  • Keep your team positive. I’ve been there. I’ve sat through meetings where the managers beat up the staff over slow months or missed opportunities. I’m not suggesting that dealers have to get soft with their employees in order to keep them happy. Still, I’d suggest that getting the team pumped up can be more effective in most situations than trying to beat them down.
  • Highlight your customer loyalty programs. Not all dealers have them, but most of them should. Loyalty is a big deal in all industries today. The car business should focus on it more than most other industries. That’s one of the reasons we support the Insight Loyalty Conference. It’s THAT important.
  • Let your customers decide the proper method of communication. One of the biggest mistakes I see some dealers make is that they try to determine the way they want to communicate with the customer without getting their input first. It’s really simple but it makes an impact when you ask them the preferred method of communication. It shows that you respect their perspectives and you’re cognizant of their preferences.

Building loyalty starts at the first contact with the potential customer. Put your best foot forward and you’ll have an opportunity to show them why you’re different from the competition.