Some 46% of U.K. vehicle buyers say dealers who use the same smart technology they use in their own homes on a daily basis, such as touchscreen TVs and tablets, offer a far more positive customer experience, a survey shows.
The poll by Cooper Solutions on consumer expectations for the showroom car-buying experience also finds 56% of those surveyed believe dealers who use smart technology offer a more efficient car-buying process.
On the flip side, 73% say dealers who don’t use technology for the customer’s benefit are not being as professional as they could be.
Cooper Solutions, which provides integrated dealer-management solutions and systems for the automotive industry, says the survey results show dealers embracing the latest innovations are benefiting from a perceived higher degree of professionalism compared with those who don’t.
The customer who trades in a vehicle for a new model has particular expectations about getting a vehicle valuation, the survey shows, with 33% saying they would be more confident if a dealer provided an electronic valuation. Another 67% believe a more traditional type of valuation wouldn’t be as accurate.
“Our research shows that as many as 68% of car buyers believe 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,” Barry Cooper, Cooper Solutions’ managing director, says in a statement.
He says the way the vehicle appraisal process is conducted, calculated and communicated to the prospective customer is crucial 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,” Cooper says.
“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.”