How to Boost Customer Satisfaction at Your Dealership in 8 Simple Steps

It might be difficult to achieve high levels of client satisfaction at a dealership. Consumers of today seek a smooth and enjoyable experience when buying or maintaining a vehicle and have high expectations for both. Additionally, dissatisfied consumers are more likely to disseminate unfavorable word-of-mouth, which will reduce sales and overall profitability.

Higher customer satisfaction contributes to higher retention, and a 5% increase in retention can raise earnings by up to 95%.

What steps can you take to increase client satisfaction at your dealership?

1. Implement a hybrid staff approach for sales and F&I

Training sales employees to manage both sales and finance and insurance (F&I) responsibilities is part of a hybrid sales/F&I workforce model.

Lowering the frequency of handoffs and allowing consumers to discuss F&I products up front rather than being transferred from person to person (as is the case with the conventional sales-to-F&I handoff), can increase customer satisfaction.

In fact, a Honda dealership in Anchorage found that implementing a hybrid model led to a 90 percent drop in chargebacks (the money a dealership must repay when customers refinance loans or cancel F&I products).

2. Adopt roadmaps or checklists for customer satisfaction

Making a customer experience plan that prioritizes customer satisfaction and care rather than just sales volume is one strategy to increase customer satisfaction.

To ensure a seamless delivery, salespeople can utilize a checklist with topics like demonstrating to the buyer all the important technological features or making sure the BEV or hybrid vehicles are charged when they leave the lot. Depending on the car, these may be VIN-specific lists.

To ensure everything has been addressed, have the customer sign off on the list. To simplify the procedure, several dealerships employ iPads.

3. Enhance the experience of waiting

In many dealerships, waiting may be difficult, whether it’s in the showroom or the service area. Customers may become upset and dissatisfied as a result, which may diminish their overall satisfaction with the dealership.

Customers may become angry or even resentful of the dealership if they have a bad waiting experience, which can result in a decline in customer loyalty and bad word-of-mouth.

Dealerships can concentrate on the following three areas to increase client satisfaction:

An improved waiting environment

Look for methods to improve the waiting experience, such as by providing better food and entertainment, more comfortable chairs, or other amenities.

Getting rid of the wait

Another choice is to offer to pick up or drop off customers when they arrive for service in order to completely avoid waiting. Ridesharing is also becoming more and more well-liked as a dealership perk.

better expectations management and communication

By letting them know what to expect as early in the process as possible and being as accurate as you can when estimating how long they will have to wait, you can help lessen some of their annoyance.

Beyond the sales relationship, effective communication is about developing relationships with your consumers. If something is altered, let them know why and how it will affect how long they have to wait. If the wait time is becoming unreasonable, you might need to take action to fix it (perhaps by offering a discount).

In relation to communication…

5. Expand your consumer communication options

The easiest way to increase client happiness is to improve communication. Building lasting relationships with consumers and increasing retention at your dealership depends on effective communication.

The following channels are some to think about enhancing or adding:

Direct mail: tailored direct mail pieces can offer consumers discounts or serve as a reminder for impending service appointments.

The majority of clients prefer text messaging to other communication methods for service updates.

Email reminders: sending personalized emails to customers can congratulate them on their new car purchase or provide helpful tips and information, building the relationship beyond promoting services.

A well-designed, informational website can make it simple for visitors to locate information about services, improving their experience.

In-person communication: ensure that sales and service teams have clear communication processes in place, including follow-up phone calls and thank-you notes.

Particularly crucial is post-sale communication, which is frequently disregarded as an opportunity to raise customer happiness.

6. Enhance the experience after the sale or after the service

While upselling is important for revenue, make sure it doesn’t come before providing quality service to customers. After a customer has purchased a car or received service at your dealership, continue to improve the process by providing a positive post-sale or post-service experience.

Among the ways to do, this is

after their purchase, a unique thank-you note

demonstrating to them how to schedule an appointment for upcoming services

Scheduling their first service appointment at the time of vehicle delivery

Giving customers a specific contact in your service department

For post-service, have your service advisors explain the work that was done, why it was necessary, and what they might recommend during the next visit.

The post-sale and post-service interactions are pivotal retention moments that shouldn’t be treated lightly.

7. Create a customer feedback loop

Creating a customer feedback loop is an important step in continually gathering insights and improving the overall customer experience at your dealership.

This can be done through surveys or casual conversations with customers, but it’s important to remember to respond and take meaningful action based on the feedback received.

Without a response or action, the feedback loop fails to be effective. By constantly receiving and responding to customer feedback, your dealership can keep its finger on the pulse of your customer base and make ongoing improvements to the customer experience.

8. Provide unique, value-added incentives

One of the quickest ways to boost customer satisfaction is by offering new amenities and incentives that show you understand their needs and expectations. A single amenity may not win over hordes of new customers but continuing to offer new and unique benefits can help establish long-term relationships with existing customers and keep them coming back.

One way to do this is by using a service like SimpSocial, which empowers new-car dealerships to provide a suite of renewable benefits with every qualifying service visit. These benefits (like dealer-loyal roadside assistance, and road hazard tire protection) set your dealership apart from the competition and give your customers a compelling reason to return to you more often for service.

No leads were lost. reduced overhead.
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