>
Request a Demo
Article

Physical + Digital = Great Customer Experience

As customer expectations have changed, it has become more critical than ever for customer experience to always be top of mind for dealers.

In today’s marketplace, that experience goes beyond the four walls of your dealership. It starts online. To provide the best experience for customers, the digital and brick-and-mortar experiences must be connected, and a customer-relationship management system like Connect CRM can help facilitate those connections.

Launching a Great Experience Online
The vast majority of shoppers today begin their car-buying journey online – and many of them begin at dealers’ websites. As such, your website is an opportunity to make a great first impression. The best dealer website gives the customer a great experience by serving as a car-searching resource and a place to get time-consuming paperwork out of the way.

If a dealership is taking full advantage of its website, the site gives customers the ability to search for the vehicles, structure payments, submit for a cash offer on their trade, apply for credit, view aftermarket programs and accessories and save the work they have completed. These online capabilities are a great start to an outstanding customer experience, but they don’t mean much if the information doesn’t make it to the next step of the buying process – the visit to the physical store.

Recognizing Customer Work
Once a customer decides to make the trip to a dealership’s physical store, it is crucial to recognize work that customer has already done online. Far too often, customers walk into a dealership knowing the car they want, with their forms already filled out online, only to discover no one on the showroom floor has any idea who they are or what they are looking for.

Dealerships need real-time visibility into customer’s actions on the store’s website; this is where a CRM steps in as an extraordinary tool for dealers.

Using the CRM
Data is the key to a great customer experience because it allows dealerships to personalize each customer experience. That means understanding what they are looking for, where they are in their unique customer journey and what their current circumstances are.

Having access to this data is only possible with the right technology in place. At a dealership, using a CRM can help salespeople grab all kinds of customer data, including purchase history and conversations. This allows dealers to both acknowledge previous conversations and use what was entered online to their advantage by filling in what was previously unknown – creating a seamless, connected customer experience.

Creating Customer Connections
When used and used well, a CRM can play an important role in creating a great customer experience. By collecting and disseminating customer data with a CRM, dealers are able to provide, a cohesive, comprehensive and connected buying experience that leaves customers satisfied and ready to buy.

A version of this article originally appeared in Ward’s Auto.

See more Resources on Customer Experience

Mo Zahabi

Director, Product Consulting

Mo Zahabi is the Director of Product Consulting at VinSolutions and Dealertrack, where he educates dealers on best practices and ensures their offerings exceed industry expectations. Mo has applied his strong foundation in technology-based applications to the automotive industry for the last 18 years. Prior to joining VinSolutions in 2008, Mo was a respected Internet Director and eCommerce Director for two different automotive groups.

Connect with Mo Zahabi on Linkedin or shoot them a note.

Related Content

Article
Are You Giving Your Customers the Empty Cart Experience?
This 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. With a few basic steps, however, you can give your customers the shopping experience they expect – making them happier and your dealership more profitable.
Read More
Webinar
How the CRM Improves Customer Experience
Dealers can learn to close deals more efficiently by targeting new and repeat business while personalizing the customer experience. Watch the webinar to learn how to maximize your CRM and improve the car buying experience. 
Watch the Webinar
Article
New Year, Same Customers: Improving Retention in 2018
Many of us embrace the new year as a symbol of a clean slate in our personal lives, as a chance to start fresh. But if you’re starting from a “clean slate” at your dealership this new year, you’re likely missing out on big opportunities for customer retention, sales and improved profitability. Here are a few tips for improving customer retention and starting out the new year strong.  
Read More
Ready to drive more traffic to your store and close more deals? Request a demo