Have you noticed a change in your customers over the past decade? If so, you’re not wrong and you’re not alone. Today’s customers might ask fewer questions. They might come to the dealership knowing exactly what they want, right down to the price they’re willing to pay. And they tend to shy away from the give and take, dealer vs. customer competition that has become such a big part of auto sales.
Instead, today’s customers expect the businesses they support (including car dealerships) to be on their team—to look out for their best interests. To them, car sales is less adversarial than ever before. And if your customers sense that you’re trying to gain the upper hand, it can lead to distrust and loss of business. So, how do you keep up with these changing customers and their changing expectations? The answer: give them what they want—a more personalized, value-based approach to car sales.
Building Relationships of Trust with Technology
According to the 2019 VinSolutions Technology & Transformation of Retail Study, three in five customers want to have an advisor, partner or mentor relationship with their dealership. But most people still consider their relationship with their car dealer to be that of a retailer, facilitating a transaction and nothing more.
Artificial intelligence technologies like VinSolutions Connect Automotive Intelligence aggregate your customers’ online browsing data from popular research sites like Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader and Dealer.com. This technology then translates customer data into actionable insights that dealers can use to improve the car-buying experience, promoting a unique buying experience and a more helpful customer/dealership relationship. Instead of feeling like just another number, your customers feel like one of a kind—like you’ve created a path from first contact to final sale for them and them alone.
Personalizing Car Buying
Using technology to improve human relationships might sound counterintuitive. But today’s customers are much more dependent on technology than any past generation. They are also optimistic about new technology and excited about how it can improve their lives. The more applicable, accessible and useful technology becomes, the more your customers embrace it. So, it’s no coincidence that advances in artificial intelligence that personalize the customer experience are now an expected part of retail.
While only 40% of retail and consumer product companies use AI-driven automation now, it is expected to be commonplace soon. 79% of companies are expected to utilize AI in their businesses by 2021. Essentially, the number of companies using AI will double by the end of next year. But as these technology-driven retail experiences become the norm, consumers still care that they are implemented for their benefit. In fact, approximately two-thirds of consumers believe that personalization technology will improve the car buying and car ownership experience. And they already expect some personalization in their car-buying experiences. As much as 76% of consumers expect their dealer to know something about them before they step foot in the dealership.
Catering to Customers Now
As your dealership enters a new decade of auto sales, now is the time to keep your changing customers and their ever-evolving expectations in mind. VinSolutions Connect Automotive Intelligence can help you create a more personalized buying experience for each customer—one that makes them feel that you are focused on their best interests and gives them the type of car buying experience they expect in the decade to come.
To learn more about artificial intelligence and how it can drive results at your dealership, stop by the VinSolutions booth at NADA for a copy of my new book, Accelerating Sales With Artificial Intelligence.