How to Improve Customer Satisfaction in the Auto Industry

A great customer experience is everything.

Creating brand loyalty in today's computerized world requires excellence and speed at every step of the automotive customer lifecycle, from first contact to repurchasing. If your dealership can't keep pace, we can guide you through a digital transformation to streamline your operations.

We provide a comprehensive and tailored solutions suite that converts manual tasks and face-to-face interactions to the digital applications you need to create a fantastic customer journey.

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Finding ways to improve customer satisfaction in the auto industry is critical to keeping pace in an ultra-competitive market. Would-be customers have several dealerships from which to choose, and they can quickly jump from one to the next if they are not receiving the service they expect.  

However, not all dealerships employ strategies to boost satisfaction and build long-term customer connections. Without the right plan, these dealers will fall behind the competition. 

5 Ways to Improve Customer Satisfaction in the Auto Industry

Dealers should consider the following five strategies for improving satisfaction, generating more sales, and creating repeat customers: 

1. Provide Informative Online Content 

Customers complete most of the car buying process online in today’s digital landscape, meaning they conduct their research remotely before ever visiting a local vehicle dealership. 

Dealers should consider generating instructional and engaging online content that informs consumers and helps guide their future purchasing decisions.  

This content could take any of the following forms: 

  • FAQs 
  • Articles and blog posts 
  • Website landing pages 
  • Podcasts 
  • Videos 

Informative online content portrays a dealership as a thought leader and authority on specific vehicle information. Consumers might be more likely to do business with a dealership that answers their inquiries and assists them in acquiring the ideal vehicle for their needs. 

2. Prioritize Customer Needs 

Customers like to be nurtured and made to feel important – not as though they are a transaction number to the dealership. 

 Dealers might consider the following sales methods to accomplish these more personal connections: 

  • Avoid focusing exclusively on the “hard sale” 
  • Prioritize offering solutions – not products – to each customer 
  • Advise customers instead of pushing them toward a specific vehicle 

While these steps may seem counterintuitive, dealers should keep in mind that the more they cultivate that relationship with the consumer and earn their trust, the more likely that consumer will become an active customer. 

3. Streamline the Sales Process 

Customers tend to dislike prolonged purchasing experiences, and dealers should try their best to truncate this process while maintaining high service levels.  

Strategies might include: 

  • Providing internet forms 
  • Allowing customers to schedule test drives online 
  • Accepting digital signatures 

Additionally, dealers might have customers fill out brief online questionnaires about their car-buying needs when scheduling a test drive. Receiving this information in advance can help sales teams better understand customer preferences. 

4. Leverage the Appropriate Multi-Channel Marketing Touchpoints 

Effective marketing in today’s online world requires an array of analog and digital communications, which should include: 

  • A polished dealership website  
  • Email campaigns 
  • Social media platforms 
  • Display ads
  • Phone calls 
  • Flyers 
  • Direct mailings 

While these methods can all prove effective, dealers should create a marketing strategy with the specific communication channels that best fit their target audience. 

5. Encourage Customer Feedback 

Dealers should uncover ways to improve the sales process by giving customers a survey to provide feedback on their car-buying experiences. 

Management might employ a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to generate these surveys, which should include the following touchpoints: 

  • The specific sales rep 
  • The sales process 
  • Facility quality 
  • Their new vehicle 
  • Their level of satisfaction with the entire experience 
  • Any other topics the dealer deems relevant 

Dealers should then share this feedback with staff to help them better understand customer expectations, enabling the team to develop strategies to improve their sales and customer relationship strategies. 

Improving Customer Service Requires Innovation 

Excellent customer service is at the forefront of every car sale and directly impacts dealership earnings. However, with so many dealerships competing for new business, you need to find new and innovative solutions to improve customer satisfaction and attract and retain customers. 

While the abovementioned strategies are a great start, you cannot leverage their full potential without implementing the right CRM tools. Creating the best customer experience requires technology that digitizes and optimizes the journey from front to back. 

Contact us today and discover how Affinitiv’s Loyalty solutions can help your dealership attract more business by improving customer service in the auto industry to build long-term and productive relationships. 

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