The internet has made everything so impersonal, hasn’t it? In today’s car buying market it has become all about the bottom line. It isn’t that people weren’t always guided by the price that someone was offering, but reputation used to matter a whole lot more.

What we are finding in trends for the New Year is that there is a real need to return to customer service. Car buyers, who were being guided only by the price tag of a car, are beginning to see that sometimes you get what you pay for. There is still something to be said for a handshake, which is what you don’t get from the internet.

Happy dealer holding car keysImage: wisebread.com

Nowhere else is it the case that you have a buyer’s beware mentality more than when you buy a car. The average person is literally at the mercy of the seller to believe what they say. Not many of us can hop under the car to see what is going on, nor can we always believe even what a mechanic tells us.

Excluding the vehicle insurance companies, in the end, the only way that anyone makes money, is by cars needing repairs or maintenance. That is just the reality of car buying and sales. That is why, if you want to excel as a dealership, you have to offer something that other dealerships don’t always, trust and honesty.

There is a reason that stereotypes exist. They do so because the people within a particular category often have the predisposition to behave in certain ways. Used car salesmen get their name because there is rarely a set price, and no matter what you got the car for, you usually find out you could have gotten it for cheaper. That is why it is becoming crucial for a dealership to offer customer service as something outside the box. Catering to the customer is the best new business plan.

Trust is not only necessary for your client service relationship, but it is also crucial for your business to business relationships. When looking to finance cars that come from your dealership, you want to establish a rapport with banks. In doing so, you can offer competitive rates to the consumer, which will increase your sales. If you wish to create trust, you have to be sure to focus on the following processes.

Educating consumers

Most car dealerships will tell people what they want to hear. The problem is that the average person knows when they are being sold goods that are packaged a little different than what they are. If you don’t tell the consumer the truth about products, and they do their own research, your credibility is going to be lost.

There are times when it will be necessary to give them information that may not be 100% positive. Your fail-safe will be that, when you emphasize the positive, they will trust in what you say. If you are willing to give the downside of a product, then the truth is much more easy to accept and believe.

Transparency

When you are operating a dealership, it is important not to have the “fine print” that can really get under the skin of the consumer. Fine print is a very upsetting thing for unsuspecting customers and it makes them feel as if you haven’t been honest.

Always ensure to educate the consumer about aftermarket issues and what each of your responsibilities is in car selling and buying. If you want to make money, you can charge a higher premium by being the only one on the block that is offering the deal that is best, not in price, but in honesty. People will pay slightly more to get the piece of mind that what they are getting is what they think.

The Internet can be key in this process. Don’t make the consumer jump through hoops to get the information that they want about features or price. That gives them the impression that they are being “worked over”. You have to trust that, if you give people a fair handshake, the real story and a good product, you are going to gain their business.

You may lose some who are always looking for the “best deal”, but in reality, those are not going to be your target market. Those people aren’t going to go with you even if you do find ways to mislead them because most often, they are the penny-pinchers who know all the tricks any way. 
The new era of internet and dealership car sales has to be focused on being honest if you want to not only survive, but thrive as a company.