Plenty of headlines lately tell what sounds like a dismal story for America’s car dealers. The reports continue to sound alarms about the chip shortage, high demand for vehicles, and the ease of the online buying experience. Any one of them might cause potential car buyers to think twice before visiting your showroom. Collectively, the headlines could easily scare prospective customers away.
The remedy? According to a recent automotive consumer survey, stay the course!
The 12th annual Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey Study indicates overall car buying satisfaction remains at a near-record level. In 2021, the number of highly satisfied buyers was actually higher than it was before the pandemic.1 So, the new steps your dealership has taken to attract customers over the past two years are still working.
“The findings signal that auto retailers have adjusted their purchase processes during the pandemic in ways that resonate with consumers, even as the market continues to be challenged by shortages of microchips and inventory that have pushed up prices,” said Vanessa Ton, senior industry intelligence manager for Cox Automotive, as reported by the industry publication Automotive News.2
What has your dealership done to maintain the foot traffic on your lot and improve the customer experience? Have you spruced up your facilities or increased your staff training? Have you added new customer services or financing options to give car buyers more choices?
If you’ve taken any of those steps, now might be a good time to double-down and keep them rolling. And if you’ve put off going the extra mile for prospective customers, now might be a good time to invest in your future. We all know online buying experiences are popular and working well. There’s no need to fight them head on. In fact, make sure you’re invested in those capabilities, too.
But it makes perfect sense to do all you can to cater to those shoppers who still like to walk the lot and see the cars and trucks with their own eyes. Don’t run scared from the headlines. Just be aware of them and make sure you’re giving your customers plenty of reasons to visit your showroom.
Keep inviting people in and creating a welcoming customer experience for every prospective car buyer in your community. Before you know it, the chip shortage will be behind us and vehicle inventories will return as well. And as an industry, we’ll be in better shape than ever.
If we can help your dealership provide auto finance options for your customers, please call our Dealer Operations Group at 1-855-4EXETER (855-439-3837). Or, to inquire about becoming one of Exeter’s core dealer partners, click here.
1 Cox Automotive. (Jan. 18, 2022). 2021 Car Buyer Journey Study Released. Retrieved from: https://www.coxautoinc.com/market-insights/2021-car-buyer-journey-study/.
2 Vanhulle, L. (Jan. 24, 2022). Consumers still enjoy car-shopping experience. Automotive News. Retrieved from: https://www.autonews.com/sales/car-shoppers-still-enjoy-experience-cox-automotive-survey-finds.
Exeter Finance LLC is a non-prime auto finance company headquartered in Irving, Texas. The company partners with franchised and independent auto dealers throughout the country to make car ownership a reality for consumers. For more information, call our Dealer Operations Group at 1-855-4EXETER (855-439-3837).