“Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Customers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.” – Ian Schafer
Dealerships are in constant competition. Between other rival dealerships, automotive repair chains, and local shops, customers have many an option to choose from. And they aren’t afraid to shift gears if the customer experience isn’t up to par.
While competing for new customers (and the loyalty of existing customers) isn’t new to dealerships, the “battleground” has transformed. Customer expectations are on the rise – and it doesn’t look like they will be decreasing any time soon.
And with such fierce competition, any opportunity for differentiation is an opportunity you should be taking advantage of.
Prepare for the 5 make-or-break moments that can cause service customers to start going elsewhere.
The good news? Dealerships have a leg up when it comes to creating that ideal customer experience. The kind that drives loyalty and makes customer want to return again and again.
And it can all be summed up in one word: amenities.
At this point, it’s fairly standard protocol for dealerships to offer things like free shuttle service or loaner cars for those customers whose cars are in the shop for an extended period of time. And while those offerings are by no means irrelevant, if dealerships want to continue to stand apart from the competition, they must elevate their amenity playbook to better fit the transforming needs of the customer.
Rideshare as an Amenity
Possibly one of the best ways to level up your CX score? Rideshare as an amenity.
Think about it. When was the last time you called a taxi? On the other hand, when was the last time you ordered an Uber or a Lyft?
Chances are the latter has occurred much more recently, and most likely, more frequently. The same could probably be said by the majority of your customers.
Transforming an Industry
Rideshare apps have changed the game. What feels like almost overnight, rideshare brands like Uber and Lyft transformed an entire industry simply by understanding the consumer and what they needed from a car service.
In Q4 of 2020 alone, there were 93 million active Uber users.
And this transportation trend isn’t just for individual consumers. As rideshare apps have increased in popularity their capabilities have proven to go beyond simply requesting a ride.
Now serving businesses globally, rideshare apps offer a host of solutions that include client/employee rides, meal delivery, and package transport.
Transforming Your Dealership
So, what does this have to do with your dealership? A lot.
Innovation doesn’t always mean transforming an entire industry. Sometimes it’s as simple as transforming one customer’s experience.
Although most dealerships currently offer shuttle service or car loans for their customers, rideshare provides an opportunity for differentiation that can be beneficial across the board.
After all, why would a customer want to wait for a shuttle when they could just as easily request a car and be driven comfortably and quickly back to the dealership?
Some of the key benefits include:
For the customer:
- The Convenience Factor: Chances are high your customers have used this type of service before. Forget trying to figure out a ride, requesting a car is only a few taps away.
- Timing is Everything: Customers don’t like to wait. And when the options are a rideshare driver only a few minutes down the road or a shuttle 20 minutes away, guess which one they are going to pick?
- Avoiding the Crowd: Even pre-pandemic, crowds probably didn’t top your customers list of favorite things. They avoid the crowd, and you avoid the complaints. Win, win.
For the dealership:
- Low Maintenance: Offering rideshare as an amenity means you don’t have to worry about upkeep for your fleet of shuttles. Say goodbye to costly maintenance and repairs.
- Lower Costs: Speaking of costs, maintenance and repairs aren’t the only thing you’re covering out of pocket for that shuttle service. Between the actual purchase of the shuttles and paying to run them, the dollars are quick to add up. And while an Uber or a Lyft isn’t free, this type of expense is often much less costly. Added bonus? When you work with a provider, like DriveSure, rideshare costs are covered in the event that a customer’s car breaks down and is towed back to your dealership for repairs. Keeping costs low and satisfaction high.
- Happy Customers are Loyal Customers: It’s simple. When you can provide an easy and convenient service, your customers are more likely to return to your dealership in the future.
More than an App: Driving Loyalty
A single amenity isn’t ever going to win over hordes of new customers. What is going to win them over, however, is continuing to offer new amenities and services that prove you understand them and what they expect from their dealership of choice.
Because when losing a customer is as easy as a single bad experience, you have to make sure you are doing everything you can to drive loyalty.
Master These Moments to Keep Your Customers
Discover the 5 critical moments causing customers to abandon your dealership service department, and how you can overcome them.