Tiffany PeelerVice President of Sales & Operations,Proactive Dealer Solutions
Dealers today first meet most of their customers online, not in person. Various studies have shown
that the average buyer visits only two dealerships before purchase. It shows that dealers who respond quickly, personally, and completely to website customer
inquiries sell more vehicles. Yet, the majority of dealerships don’t
answer questions. Leveraging mystery shopping can help you to uncover invaluable insights and identify training opportunities to equip your team and dealership for success.
The Pitfalls of Pressuring Customers and Failing to Provide Answers
Instead, dealership employees too often fall back on the age-old playbook of pressuring customers to come into the dealership. Guess what? Customers don’t want to come in; they want answers! So, they ignore that “invitation” (more like a command) only to be bombarded with irrelevant automated CRM-templated emails and texts (assuming they opted-in with a lead form) that have nothing to do with the original inquiry.
The outcome of this misstep is a direct loss in sales. Customers perceive the dealership as too difficult to work with, so they cross them off their list. As a dealer, you can either practice hope - meaning, you hope your team is answering customer questions and delivering a terrific experience - or you can know what’s truly happening through a mystery shop that unveils problem areas and serves as a springboard for employee training on how to meet the needs of today’s customers.
Omnichannel and the Car Buying Process
A mystery shop
only grows in importance as consumers rely more heavily on omnichannel
experience (including digital tools) during the buying process. The term
“omnichannel” is thrown around a lot. In a nutshell, it means that consumers
expect to be able to submit an online lead, talk to a salesperson on the phone,
use your chat function, send a text, and have all that communication
gathered and recorded in one place. So, when they do come into your showroom,
you know that were questions answered, their interactions/work done online, and
you’re ready to oversee the test drive and speed through the signing ceremony.
research reveals that 90% of dealers aren’t delivering on
this expectation - even though they promise it to customers. Guess what?
Customers hate feeling like you’re wasting their time. Even if they buy from
you, don’t expect a stellar review or repeat business.
Leveraging Mystery Shopping at Your Dealership
The only way to know what your customers are
experiencing is to become a customer yourself - or hire a company to do it. A
vendor specializing in mystery shopping for the automotive space will help you
define your objectives and quickly create shopper personas. Then, they will get
to work submitting leads, placing phone calls, engaging via chat, and sending
texts. The last step is compiling results and helping you nail down and execute
strategies and tactics to deliver a better experience.
When putting mystery shopping into action:
The Invaluable Role of Dealership Mystery Shopping in Driving Customer Satisfaction and Sales Growth
No one is
suggesting that employees are purposely cannibalizing leads, far from it.
Meeting customer expectations in the digital age is a skill set that must be taught.
However, training must derive from observable and measurable shortcomings.
That’s why mystery shopping is irreplaceable.
automaker recently underwent an intensive mystery shop analysis and training
program and gained a 10-point lift in scoring - correlating to higher customer
satisfaction and more sales. Give your dealership the opportunity to realize the same profitable results.
Tiffany Peeler is Vice President of Sales & Operations at Proactive Dealer Solutions, a leading provider of training, software, and BDC solutions for the automotive industry.