A Look at the Automobile Purchase Customer Journey
Buying a car can undoubtedly be compared to a voyage. An adventure, even.
And similar to any adventure you can imagine from a book or film, the car-buying process can be full of unexpected twists and obstacles to surmount. Clearly, this may be an exaggeration. However, between preliminary investigation and locating a dealership, selecting the ideal vehicle, test driving, and arranging financing, it’s beginning to sound like an adventure, right?
The car-buying journey is unique for virtually everyone — because people are unique!
But in the digital age, with online purchasing and digital interactions gaining prominence even for high-priced items such as automobiles, there are a few constants that can help car dealerships map out the automotive customer journey.
What is the car purchasing process?
Although the name is fairly self-explanatory, the car-buying customer voyage encompasses much more than simply considering and purchasing.
A vehicle will typically be the second most expensive purchase a consumer makes and the first most emotional. This is a weighty consideration that necessitates a great deal more planning and deliberation in order to make a decision that makes sense for the customer while also incorporating their emotions.
Thus, what is the car-buying process? Let’s ask a colleague!
LeadsBridge outlines the automotive customer journey as follows:
“Awareness, when a customer encounters your brand for the first time Research, when they are weighing their purchasing options
Consideration, when they are actively contemplating making a purchase Purchase, when they are completing the transaction Loyalty, where they may refer other customers to you and make additional purchases in the future”
The Car-Purchasing Process Never Ends!
As can be seen, the journey…never truly concludes.
You will need to ensure that each stage of their customer journey, as it relates to you, provides them with the best customer experience and customer satisfaction, which will encourage them to maintain long-term customer loyalty and refer you to others.
A Hybrid Customer Experience Provides Stellar Results
Even when purchasing a car, customers anticipate a seamless and customized experience due to the rise of the digital age. The process of purchasing a vehicle is most certainly not an uncomplicated Amazon-style purchase.
However, in a world that is constantly evolving and increasingly dependent on technology, it is becoming increasingly essential to standardize an effortless digital shopping experience when shopping online.
Carvana springs to mind.
However, they almost went too far in the opposite direction and neglected to consider what the consumers might need in addition to their vehicle moving forward. Frequently, dealerships have their own service and repair facility. Carvana cannot claim to provide that!
Not to mention, concluding the car-buying process in person provides the customer with tangible assurance and eliminates a great deal of back-and-forth during a very complex procedure!
Meet Automobile Customers Where They Are in the Purchasing Process
Regarding how to approach them, you will have a tremendous advantage if you pay close attention to where car purchasers are in their car-buying journeys. Meeting people where they are is the key to success.
In fact, understanding where car consumers are in the car-buying process can serve as a guide for establishing the most trust with a customer and confirming their decision to do business with you.
Despite the continued significance of price, modern car buyers place a premium on a convenient and transparent customer experience. This means they may be more likely to purchase a vehicle from your dealership if the process is streamlined and they are handled with the utmost respect.
Four Ways to Use the Automobile Purchase Customer Journey to Your Advantage
In the Research Phase through the Loyalty Phase, dealers are best prepared for action and consumer attraction. Here’s how you can take advantage of the car buyer’s journey:
Attract clients during the investigation phase.
It is essential for car dealerships to capitalize on the investigation phase.
Clearly indicate what inventory is currently available or on its way in. (Make it abundantly clear that something is en route!)
If the model is neither in stock nor on the way, provide a method for customers to communicate with you about it. You can still be a resource for the customer and may investigate a dealer trade or help them purchase a vehicle; you never know! (Our behavioral offer tool, ActivTarget, is ideal for engaging consumers and adding them to waitlists for products that may not be readily available!)
Video can be of great assistance to customers conducting investigation. What a wonderful place on your website it would be to have videos of the vehicles they are interested in to give them that extra thrill. (Our MyDrive virtual test drive tool allows us to send videos of vehicles in operation directly to your customers!)
2: Accommodate automobile buyers during the contemplation phase.
You have piqued the interest of prospective vehicle buyers with your crystal-clear inventory presentation, information, and setting of appropriate expectations. What now? Your dealership is currently being considered for business.
This is where business-friendliness becomes crucial. Customers feel welcome on your site, right? Do they feel heard and respected? Do you provide the means for them to advance to the next level?
This includes having an advocate available to help these vehicle purchasers (ideally a real person!) as well as a digital retailing tool that can get them launched on the path to purchase.
Impress vehicle purchasers during the purchase procedure.
Buying a vehicle is a convoluted and highly variable process. How simple is it to begin online? Is there someone who can assist them in reaching their goals? Is there someone who can answer basic queries and explain the next steps?
What must be present in terms of quantities will vary depending on the shopper’s priorities. However, we recognize that it is essential for every individual to be heard and assisted.
Continue to foster and cultivate customer loyalty.
Perfection is unattainable, so how do you intend to address customer complaints when steps fall short of their expectations? Who responds to online testimonials? How do you conduct post-sale follow-up?
You have accomplished the extremely difficult task of acquiring your consumer. Now is the time to cultivate and nourish this relationship beyond the point of acquiring their business. Now is the time to secure future business, as well as referrals from their family and friends, if you have impressed them sufficiently.
Enhance Your Automobile Purchase Customer Journey with SimpSocial
SimpSocial is superior to all other automotive live chat providers when it comes to consumer conversations.
We utilize 100% live customer engagement specialists, no bots or AI, and are an effective BDC-style implementation that aids your sales and service teams. We strengthen your digital dealership, and with SimpSocial on your dealership website, you’ll never miss another opportunity.
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