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Are You Giving Your Customers the Empty Cart Experience?

We’ve all experienced the pain of finding a shopping cart unexpectedly empty while shopping online. Maybe you couldn’t get all your credit card information entered in the time allotted by the concert ticket website, or maybe a tempting clearance section kept you from clicking “purchase” before the shoes you really wanted sold out. Or worst of all, maybe the items in your cart disappeared with no explanation, never to be found again.

Whatever the case may be, it’s painful to see something you wanted – likely something you spent time researching and hunting down – slip through your fingers.

This same situation is happening to car shoppers at all kinds of dealerships – except these shoppers don’t find out their cart is empty until they arrive on your showroom floor. They researched your vehicles online, picked out the one they want, filled out credit applications and may have even made financing selections – only to find out when they get to the dealership that no salespeople know any of this. Customers are showing up at dealerships to find their shopping carts empty.

With a few basic steps, however, you can give your customers the shopping experience they expect – making them happier and your dealership more profitable.

Make sure customer info gets from online to in-store.
If you give customers a place to enter information on your website, you also have to make sure your team has a way to access that information. Who is the first person to see the information once a customer clicks “submit”? Where does that person send the information? Take the time to secret shop your online submission forms to make sure your customer’s online and in-store experiences flow together.

Know what your customers are looking for.
Your customers have likely told you what they want, oftentimes down to the exact vehicle specifications, but that information isn’t going to help you if you aren’t using it. Integrated tools like vAuto’s Provision Suite help you turn that information into sales by providing your sales team with the insight needed to build a buyer-based inventory.

In addition, technologies like VinLens, a Connect CRM tool that integrates with Dealer.com websites, allow you to anticipate customer needs by providing insight into their browsing history. While your customers won’t necessarily expect you to know what they’ve clicked on your website, being prepared with responses to their questions before they ever ask will leave them more satisfied with their car-buying experience.

Communicate with your customers and your team.
A key underlying cause of the “empty shopping cart” experience in dealerships is a lack of communication, both with coworkers and customers. To provide the best, most streamlined customer experience, your staff must be connected – whether through tools like Connect CRM or through regularly scheduled chats. And customers want the work they’ve done to be recognized. Even if you don’t have all the info you need from your customers, acknowledge the info they have provided and ask the right questions to obtain the rest.

Ready to start providing your customers with a better car-buying experience? Contact us to learn how VinSolutions’ Connect suite of products can help.

See more Resources on Customer Experience

Caroline Murray

Marketing Manager

Caroline Murray is a marketing manager for VinSolutions and Dealertrack and author/curator of the VinSolutions blog. In her role, Caroline manages campaign content development, thought leadership and public relations for the two brands. Before joining Cox Automotive in 2017, Caroline held a number of roles with global public relations agency FleishmanHillard, where she specialized in business-to-business communications. Caroline has a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama and a master's degree from the University of Missouri.

Connect with Caroline Murray on Linkedin or shoot them a note.

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