When shopping for anything, especially big-ticket items like cars, shoppers compare prices. It’s natural to try and find the best deal and save as much money as possible. However, the best price is no longer the sole determining factor in many cases. The ability to comparison shop online has made it necessary for dealerships to compete in areas other than price alone.

 

While a rock-bottom price is tough to beat, there are a few priorities that help to round out the list of necessities for car buyers. Here are five areas your customers are examining beyond price:

 

  1. Customer Service. This will always remain at the top of the list in any business. You can meet and exceed shopper expectations by first putting yourself in their shoes. Think of comfort and convenience, and then think of ways your dealership can meet those needs. Whether it’s free wi-fi, quick check-ins or early maintenance hours, your customers will appreciate the things you do to make the dealership experience better for them. Expectations are high, and from the moment shoppers walk into your dealership, everything matters—from the smallest details to the biggest gestures.

 

  1. It is your best friend in today’s marketplace. Shoppers arriving at your dealership are well-educated and already know quite a bit about the vehicles they want to buy, so it benefits you to ensure your sales team is on the up-and-up about prices, products, financing, and all the other details involved in the car-buying process. Customers will pick up on your forthrightness, and you’ll earn their trust by offering genuine answers and insight. Along that same note, when in doubt, be sure to find the correct answers instead of guessing.

 

  1. Product Knowledge. When your sales team demonstrates in-depth knowledge of the vehicles they’re selling, they will instill confidence in potential buyers. Despite all the information available on the Internet, NADA confirms a full 90% of consumers find dealership visits to be the most important source of information during the buying process. This means your sales staff can make all the difference by anticipating questions and being prepared with the right answers to inform and educate shoppers.

 

  1. This is an important aspect in building and maintaining your customer relationships. That new-car shine makes everything exciting, but it’s important to ensure that trend continues by carrying the service well past the sale. Be sure your sales team is well-versed in post-transaction service, including follow-up calls, helping new customers schedule maintenance, and answering any questions that may come up in a timely fashion. When the performance and responsiveness of your team remains exceptional, customers will continue to turn to you when it’s time to buy, repair, and maintain their vehicles.

 

  1. Long-Term Attentiveness. This lets customers know you will be there for them weeks, months, and even years after their vehicle purchases. By being accessible, open, and great at communicating, you’ll make customers more comfortable in doing business with you. Work toward creating great social platforms, an interactive and easy-to-use website, and exceptional follow-up plans for your team.

 

Shoppers have spoken, and they’re letting us know price is only a portion of the big picture when it comes to earning and keeping customer trust. All of above five points are a vital part of relationship-building, and that process starts from the moment of first contact.