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Dealership Stickiness: Atmosphere Keeps Them Coming Back

Article Highlights:

  • Is your dealership on track to creating a five-star experience?
  • "Today's customers want a luxury experience..."

In my first two articles about dealership stickiness, we explored how dealerships can deliver a five-star customer experience by providing a great first impression and superior customer service. However, there is a third component that keeps customers coming back for more service and future purchases… the atmosphere.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about the atmosphere at your dealership:

Cleanliness

A dirty service department might cause a customer to question the quality of your service work. Someone put off by a poorly kept showroom will doubt the quality of used cars being sold. My advice: Don’t let a lack of cleanliness hold back your dealership from being revered as a top-tier business.

Prioritize more than clean floors, seating, and windows. Taking care of these things goes a long way in making the customer feel at ease. Do you like your odds of closing a sale when the customer is distracted by the lack of cleanliness?

Take Comfort to Another Level

Cleanliness is only the first step. You need to ensure that all areas of the dealership are set up for maximum comfort. Seats with thick cushions, a wide selection of up-to-date magazines, a comfortable air temperature, and fresh coffee are all givens.

Go the extra mile — offer your customers free WiFi or even have a few charging stations set up for them to use. If you’re open on a Saturday in the fall, have college football on a big screen TV. If a customer isn’t a football fan, let him know it would be your pleasure to find something else. How often do waiting customers expect to sit back with a complimentary drink and bag of chips while watching a big screen TV? Think how much you could set your dealership apart by making this scenario a reality.

Dress to Impress

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling luxury vehicles or not — today’s buyers want a luxury experience, regardless of the make they’re purchasing. That’s why I recommend salespeople wear ties throughout the week. A professionally dressed sales team represents a dealership that is more than capable of accommodating the customer. On the flipside, a sloppily-dressed team appears as something other than an authority on the product it’s selling. It would be a shame to lose customers because your sales team isn’t dressed to impress.

What’s Next? 

As we wrap up this series, think about the areas where you come up short in creating a five-star experience. Before making the commitment to correct these areas, it’s important to ask yourself, “why make these changes?” The simple fact is, your customers deserve to be on the receiving end of a phenomenal experience every time they step foot in your dealership. That’s what it takes to make your dealership sticky and keep them coming back.

For more information on training and system utilization improvement, contact Reynolds Consulting Services at 888.204.6092 or send us an email at consulting@reyrey.com.

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Director, Reynolds Consulting Services

Carl Bennett is the director of North American Consulting Operations and Sales for Reynolds Consulting Services. In his consultant role, Bennett teaches automotive retailers in the U.S. and Canada how to achieve higher levels of success and better results in vehicle sales and F&I. Prior to joining Reynolds and Reynolds more than 15 years ago, Bennett worked in dealerships for 15 years as a general manager, finance director, and sales manager.

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