ALMOST half of consumers believe that dealers who use smart technology offer a far more positive customer experience, according to a new poll.
Forty-six of 100 customers aged from 18 upwards who took part in the survey for dealer management specialists Cooper Solutions said they were drawn to dealerships using the technology that they use in their homes daily, such as touchscreen TVs and tablets,
More than half – 56 – of those surveyed by Gorkana in May said they believed that dealers who use smart technology offered a more ‘efficient’ car-buying process, while 73 of them said that dealers who didn’t use technology for the benefit of the customer were not being as ‘professional’ as they could be.
The ‘swapper’ – the customer who part-exchanges their car – has particular expectations when it comes getting a vehicle valuation. A third of the consumers surveyed revealed they would be more confident if a dealer provided an electronic valuation, while 67 per cent of all those surveyed believed a more traditional type of valuation wouldn’t be as accurate.
Cooper Solutions managing director Barry Cooper, pictured, said: ‘Our research shows that as many as 68 per cent of car buyers believe that dealers who are not using smart technology in the showroom are not being as transparent about the sales and services they offer as they could be.
‘Take, for example, the vehicle appraisal process: it’s crucial the way this is conducted, calculated and communicated to the prospective customer in securing a sale. Those dealers who take a “Wizard of Oz” approach to appraisals – disappearing behind closed doors to produce a quote – seriously underestimate the impression this leaves with the customer.
‘One properly appraised vehicle will return the cost of an iPad and offer greater reassurance to the buyer that they are getting the best market price for their part-exchange, plus it could engender a greater level of trust.
‘Today’s tech-savvy car buyers expect a seamless experience, from initial research using a dealer website through to the visit to the showroom itself. As our research demonstrates, those dealerships utilising the latest smart technology such as tablets, TVs and smartphones to assist with the customer journey are one very large step ahead of the competition.’
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