Back in 2017, research on trust and transparency between auto dealerships and their customers revealed some startling information that can have a significant impact on the way you do business. Below, you can find out whether you are overestimating how much your customers trust you and discover a few ways to improve that trust a great deal.
A poll conducted during the 2017 National Automobile Dealers Association showed that almost 70% of auto dealers believed that their customers trusted their salespeople a great deal. However, in a December 2016 Gallup poll, the findings were quite the opposite. Only 9% of consumers actually have high trust in car salespeople. This is a serious disconnect, and it shows that for the most part, auto dealers are seriously overestimating their trustworthiness among customers – and there’s a good chance you are, too.
Why Do You Believe Your Customers Trust You?
Think for a moment about the reasons why you think your customers trust you. Are your salespeople genuine? Do they provide only truthful information? Is your company as a whole transparent? Does your team communicate with customers effectively? You might know without a doubt that your customers have no reason to distrust you, but unless you are going out of your way to be 100% truthful and transparent, and unless you are volunteering information to your customers without them having to ask, chances are good that they don’t trust you quite as much as you think.
What Can You Do?
The “used car salesman” stigma still exists, and this means that people who venture onto car lots are apprehensive before they even leave their homes. In fact, many do as much research as they possibly can at home. They utilize videos and information from various apps and sites that helps them discover the actual value of a vehicle, so by the time they show up to take a test drive, they already know the car’s value and they’re ready to negotiate – or even walk away if they feel that a car is overpriced. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve trust and generate profit.
- Make a good first impression. In today’s day and age, your website or social media page serves as the first impression for your customers, so make sure yours is up to par. Authoritative content, short informative videos, an aesthetic layout, and user-friendly navigation are all important in this case.
- Be transparent from the start. If a specific used car you’re selling has an issue, be up front about it, or consider taking it off the lot until you can get it repaired. If a new vehicle may not be the best fit for a customer based on their preferences, be sure to let them know – and suggest a better fit within their budget.
- Provide excellent service even before the customer steps on the lot. There are several ways you can do this, but one of the best involves making personalized video tours or test drives for customers who are busy or hesitant to come look at the vehicles themselves. It shows customers that you really care about them and you are willing to help them in any way you can.
If you are one of the almost 70% of auto dealers who believes most of your customers trust you, take this information to heart. Even if your dealership does enjoy an excellent relationship for trustworthiness among your customers, following this advice can only help you grow even more.