Customer Experience is the New Price

For years, car buyers would shop around for the best price. They would decide on a specific vehicle and let the price shopping begin. They could basically buy the same car or get the same service done anywhere, so the price was the most important factor.

I’ve got 10 Ford dealerships within a 25-minute drive of my house and a whole bunch more if I am willing to drive up to an hour. If I was open to other brands, I’d have a choice of over 100 places to go. For service, my choice goes up exponentially.

If you’ve been in the business for long enough, you’ll remember every one of the following stages. Be careful, admitting to remembering some of these will age you.

  • Drive around from dealership to dealership trying to find the best price for their chosen vehicle.
  • Call multiple dealerships asking for the best price.
  • Put in leads on different dealership websites asking for the best price.
  • Price shop many dealerships at the same time without even letting the dealership know that they are shopping.

Some people still shop based on price but that is mostly because they are comparing what they know. A Toyota RAV4 is a Toyota RAV4, a Ford Escape is a Ford Escape and an oil change is just an oil change.

If a customer knew that a specific dealership was known for trying to rip people off or deliver bad service, even a better price wouldn’t get their business. On the other hand, if they knew that your dealership offered a remarkable experience, they would drive the extra distance to do business with your dealership.

More and more shoppers are looking for the experience and they are willing to pay more and go out of their way to get that experience. Browsing Google Reviews is often where shoppers get a glimpse of the type of experience they can expect if they choose your store. That is why, you need to make sure that you have lots of recent, descriptive 5-Star reviews at any given time.

If you do something remarkable during a sale or service, your customers are going to mention it in their reviews. Remarkable is the key word. I’m not saying to do this but giving away a cute puppy with every purchase is remarkable. People will talk about it and include it in their reviews.

What are you doing at your dealership that is “remarkable” and will get the customers to drive the extra mile?


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