When consumers shop for a car, the experience they have at the dealership can make a world of difference. A dealer that cares about the customer experience will be more likely to help them get the vehicle they want at a fair price, instead of making buying and even owning a vehicle a challenge.
Increasingly, consumers separate the good from the bad by researching auto dealers online before deciding who will get their business. But your online reputation and reviews are a byproduct of the work you’ve put into improving the customer experience at every touchpoint.
(Download the 2020 Automotive Reputation Report for a detailed explanation about managing and boosting your online reputation.)
Customer Feedback Helps Improve the Customer Experience
One of the best ways to find out what your customers think about their experience with your dealership is to use different feedback tools. In fact, this approach can help your business improve customer experience as well as its bottom-line results.
According to Gartner research, companies that use feedback to actively listen to their customers spend 25% less on customer retention than those that don’t. Customer feedback can help your dealership see what you’re doing right so you can do more of that, or understand where you’re falling short so you can make some adjustments. But, you need to get your hands on that feedback to make the information meaningful.
Top Customer Feedback Tools for Automotive Dealerships
A good starting place is to use custom surveys to collect feedback. There are several ways to distribute surveys. Here are five of the formats that work well for automotive dealerships.
1. Interactive Touchscreen Surveys
Your dealership might already have some interactive kiosks around the showroom that provide information about sales and vehicle features. You can also use these devices to ask customers about their experiences, such as:
- How they found your dealership
- If they are receiving the quality of service they need and expect
- If the location has the inventory they want
2. Guest WiFi Survey Prompts
If your dealership provides guest WiFi to customers, you can solicit some brief feedback during the sign in process before they are directed to the navigation page. Alternatively, you can send a message to their phone with a link to the survey, asking whether they mind taking a few moments to share information about their experiences with your business.
3. Handout Surveys
The tried and true paper or cardstock survey still works. You can create a short feedback survey that you hand to customers at the right moment. This might be after closing the sale or as they leave after a test drive. Let them know that their participation will help you improve your services.
4. Text Surveys
According to Clear Seas Research, up to 40% of all surveys are completed on mobile devices. You can reach consumers where they are most active by sending out easy-to-use customer surveys via text that can be completed right from a smartphone.
5. Email Surveys
Once you have a customer in your sales funnel, or even post-sale, your dealership likely sends out a series of email messages to move them along or periodically keep in touch. One of the things you can add to some of those messages is a request for some honest feedback with a link to your brief survey.
Collecting Meaningful Customer Feedback to Improve Your Brand
Any and all of these tools will give you additional insight into what your customers think about your business and its approach. However, collecting and analyzing feedback are only the first steps. You will also need to use that data to improve the customer experience. Those changes you make will begin to bear fruit as more and more customers sing your praises on online review sites, which will provide you with the Automotive Reputation Score you need and give an additional boost to your business.
Download our eBook, “How to Build Customer Surveys that Yield Actionable Feedback” to learn more about how you can begin building and using a customer feedback program to deliver an exceptional customer experience.