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True Stories: “My experience wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t memorable.”

Exchanging money for vehicle
Article Highlights:

  • The negative marks weren't to the fault of the people, but the process.
  • It's time to become memorable.

Purchasing experiences differ consumer to consumer. I recently spoke to a first-time car buyer about her experience at a local dealership. While her experience wasn’t the worst of the stories I have heard, there is some definite room for improvement from the dealership.

Listen to Emily’s story as she navigated her way to her new SUV.

Overall Experience

“I bought a car recently and realized something about my purchasing experience.

It wasn’t that bad.

Listening to tales of customers griping about their first buying experience, I was nervous. But, in all honesty, I would give it a solid six out of 10. The negative marks weren’t to the fault of the people, but rather the process.

I was left alone a lot.

While waiting on the salesperson to come back, I started writing down a list of what I needed to tell him upon his return. The next time, I started playing games on my phone. The final time he left us, I price checked Autotrader to make sure our negotiations were fair and I got a good trade for my car.

I would have rather watched paint dry. The salesperson was kind and considerate, but every time he came back he was with us for two minutes before running off again. This gave us the opportunity to chat about what else we could get out of him.

The finance manager missed a form.

Sitting in the F&I office, I signed and initialed line after line, which was fine with me. I knew what to expect and it was a lot less daunting than what most talk about. But, in the middle of cleaning out my old car, he comes running out with a form he realized he missed.

What if I would have left? I would not have been happy if I had to take time from work and come back in to sign the form he missed.

I wasn’t offered accessories or service.

When I went with my husband to purchase his truck, accessories were discussed like candy. He really enjoyed the process and his truck looks sharp. Well, I like to make my vehicle look nice, too. I felt I missed out on something that could have made my car even snazzier because no one brought accessories up. Also, they failed to set up my first service appointment. I have a tendency to forget to get my oil changed. It would have been nice to set something up so I wouldn’t forget.”

Conclusion

It’s time dealerships become a memorable customer experience. Let’s be honest, the purchase of a brand new or used car is an exciting milestone in anyone’s life. Why isn’t the good being talked about?

Start focusing on how to make your process more engaging, efficient, and effective for customers. If they enjoy it they will return to spend more money at your dealership.

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Director, Brand Marketing, Reynolds and Reynolds

Ashley is Director of Marketing Communications for Reynolds and Reynolds. In her 10 years with Reynolds, she has managed the marketing strategy for several key Reynolds solutions and branding initiatives. Today, she leads the U.S. and Canadian marketing teams to drive brand awareness, product penetration, and content strategy for Reynolds and other key brands within the Reynolds Retail Management System.

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