As featured in the April 2023 issue of AutoSuccess Magazine
Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication
A digital shopping experience absent of friction can lead your customers to what they are looking for. Often, it is that high-quality user experience that creates early trust and a solid leg for future positive interactions to stand on. These first impressions are paramount to creating long-term evangelists of your dealership and your overall brand, which is why creating a pleasant digital experience for your customers can benefit your bottom line for years to come.
Attention Is Finite in Nature
If you’re like most dealers, you’re working with a handful of vendors who are competing for the same thing: attention in your digital showroom. Why? To justify the ROI on their tools and to give them more positive things to report during your next performance review. That said, the attention generated around these tools can be a double-edged sword: they can enhance the customer experience, or they can negatively impact your brand by introducing unnecessary friction.
Eaten by Sharks
Let’s look at this through the lens of real-world interaction. Imagine a slow Saturday afternoon with five members of your sales team standing around the showroom. Just then, an older couple walks through the door, interested in looking at some vehicles and asking some honest questions. Would it be better for a single employee to approach the couple or to assault them with the unwelcome attention of five competing salespeople who want the sale? The latter is equivalent to what can happen in your digital showroom when prospective buyers are assaulted by invasive pop-ups, loud chat tools, and multiple CTAs on your VDP. This erodes the customer experience and negatively impacts first impressions of your brand.
What You Can Do
To eliminate friction from the buying process, find digital tools and partners that are focused on providing (or supporting) a linear path for the customer to follow. Aim to emulate the ideal showroom experience by translating it to the digital world. Stop introducing unwelcome duplications brought on by OEM tools just to appease co-op opportunities. Believe me, it’s not good for customers OR dealers to have 2-3 digital retailing tools on their website.
How Clear of a Path Do You Provide?
If you’re unsure, make it a point to shop yourself often. Set aside your personal bias. Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer, and ask friends, family, and colleagues to do the same. Request an uncontested, no-filter assessment of their experience, noting what they liked and (arguably more importantly) what they did not like, and accept the feedback in a constructive way. Then, learn how to hold your vendors accountable, and commit to the continual refinement of the path you offer; you might be surprised by how quickly you can give your customers the frictionless experience that will set you apart from local competitors.
Josh Wynne is a Senior Performance Manager at Wikimotive. With more than a decade spent in the automotive space, he joined Wikimotive with an expansive resume of experiences. His automotive journey started from the ground up in the parts warehouse of a Toyota Dealership. From there, he moved into a Delivery Specialist role in a Ford Dealership, where he trained sales staff on vehicle technologies. With a knack for tech, Josh shortly became a Digital Marketing Manager for a five-store automotive group, followed by a four-year stint at one of the largest automotive website providers in the industry, where he worked with hundreds of dealers all around the country.