Car Dealer Live

Car Dealer Live: Why building trust online and generating leads have never been so important

Time 12:17 pm, November 23, 2020

Dealers need to align their sales processes and offer the same level of experience to customers whether they’re transacting online or in the showroom.

That’s the view of leading digital solutions provider Codeweavers. The firm is helping dealers offer a seamless experience for customers whether they’re transacting online or physically.

Speaking on Car Dealer Live, Codeweavers commercial director Shaun Harris said: ‘We need to make sure people aren’t penalised by buying online and doing the digital journey.

‘We need to align the sales processes and the models. People should get the same experience whether they’re doing the whole sales process online, all in-store or part online and part in-store. The process should be seamless, have the same level of experience and engagement and the same outcome.’

Harris said there’s ‘more work to be done’ on dealers’ retail models and moving towards pricing models that work in both scenarios.

‘Maybe it’s a move towards fixed price rather than negotiation,’ he said. ‘Negotiation is difficult to replicate online and isn’t actually the experience online customers want – people go online because they want ease, that want simplicity and it suits the time they have. We cannot treat these [online and in-store] as two different sales channels.

‘Our stats show that when dealers start to transact online, there is no magic bullet. Customers don’t suddenly start and get to the end of the journey without interaction.

‘Customers want to move between environments; this year has been great at collecting data and experience, but we now need to take that and improve on it because we are by no means where we need to be in the medium term.’

But how do dealers build trust and loyalty online?

‘We’ve had to learn very quickly but it’s simple,’ says Blackshaws managing director, Will Blackshaw.

‘You’ve got to ask yourself, “How do I interact when buying online?” Reviews are very important now, so when we redeveloped our website five years ago we pushed on our strengths which are our reviews.

‘If a customer looks at our new and used cars, they will see not just Google reviews but also customer reviews. We dissect these down to make and model and the customer experience in dealing with us.’

The fascinating chat also covers how dealers can get a competitive edge in the digital space, along with:

  • How dealers are losing out by not having digital tools
  • How important digital tools are to dealers
  • Building trust and loyalty online
  • Why generating and managing leads has never been so important

You can watch the full video at the top of this story

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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