Lately there’s been a lot of dialogue concerning the importance of a well planned customer experience. It’s important to understand and analyse common behaviours of today’s car buyers and how you as a car dealer must work with certain needs in your digital strategy.
The customer journey describes very well what the actual customer does in different situations and occasions. This can be described as insights on what the customer thinks, feels and expects from a specific provider. However, the customer journey is not a description of your contact areas or internal processes. But it is very important to keep track of your customer journey in order to reach your potential new buyers in the right way.
If you as a car dealer invest money in things such as purchasing, concept, marketing or other special offers, this will be money down the drain if gaps in your customer journey is far too large. It’s important to keep track of how well you manage to meet the needs, behaviours and desires of those you are there for – the actual customers. A great idea to make progress in the area, is to analyse the customer’s perspective, visualise it in a specific customer journey and start acting on the potential improvements that you discover.
5 things you need to know about today’s car buyers.
The U.S is a market that in terms of cars and mobility is a few years ahead the Swedish one. Trends that has already spread all over the USA is right now becoming clear, new trends in Sweden as well. Based on facts about the American car buyer, listed down below are advice on 5 things worth start acting on today:
- A car buyer makes in average less than 2 visits to a car showroom before a purchase, but this is preceded by more than 900 digital interactions to build up a solid purchase decision. Independent third-party sites are the most popular contact points, for both new and used cars, and not even half of the buyers visit the dealer’s sites. Since the car dealer comes in late in the process, the customer is usually most focused on the deal itself.
- The decision-making process goes faster every year, thanks to better information and tools online. The time a person is on the market has decreased from 118 to 96 days between 2017-2019.
- Common frustrations that customers experience is, 1: The paperwork at the actual car purchase, 2: Negotiating the price and 3: having to spend time finding the best price. The consumers who have completed contracts and price negotiations completely digitally are more satisfied than those who visited a car showroom.
- E-commerce is now also increasing in all “showrooming-suitable” categories including passenger cars. 83% of consumers want to complete one more step online and 7 out of 10 would choose to buy from a car dealer where they can at least start the buying process online.
- Today’s consumer expects the car dealer to be with them all the way – the car purchase itself is not the end, but just the beginning of the relationship. Customers do not want to buy a car but get access to an entire ecosystem of services and products that solve their mobility needs.
This quite clear shift towards online does not take place only amongst the younger target groups. The target group which works in the middle of life, as well as adults with out-of-town children or recently retired, are examples of target groups with often emerging needs linked to cars and mobility – this is when they are at a time in life when their work, housing or family situation is changing. Many of these target groups also have high digital expectations which has led to forward-leaning car dealers in Sweden to invest in improving the digital experience for their customers. Several is in the mids of launching services that will help the customer in their decision making at home.