Would You Buy a Car From You?

car dealers with keys making a saleHave you ever considered going through the vehicle sales cycle, from beginning to end, to see whether your dealership processes are working like you want them to? It’s time to look at your dealership from the outside-in and experience what your customers experience.

Switch your dealer hat for your customer hat and try this exercise:

Start by searching online for your car of choice. For the sake of this exercise, let’s say you are a Toyota dealer. Using your search engine of choice, look up a few phrases such as “best price on a Toyota Camry” or “new Toyota Camry in (your town).” What other phrases might your customers use to begin their online car search?

Does your dealership show up? Are you in the first five results? Are you showing up in the ads on the page?

Click through some of those ads. What is the experience like? Which of your competitors are coming up, and why?

Next, continue clicking through and searching the way your buyer likely would, visiting a few of your competitors’ websites. Which dealership would win your business? Is it because of prices? Is it website design and ease-of-use? Or something else entirely?

Pay particular attention to any sites that seem confusing. Are there design features that are distracting or confusing? Is it easy to submit a lead, find the information you need, move forward with purchasing the car?

Now, go to your own website and make some comparisons.

  • Where does your website rank in search results in comparison to your competitors?
  • Can you quickly access your inventory from your site?
  • Do you carry the exact Camry you’re looking for ( color, equipment, etc.)?
  • Is it easier to find the Camry you want on your competitors’ sites? s it easy for a customer to understand the trade-in options at your dealership? Financing and incentives? What about prices and discounts?

Now, be honest with yourself. If you were a customer, from which dealership would you buy? What should you change to make the online search process easier and to better direct your customers to your inventory?

Look at your dealership as a customer would, see what they see, and make the necessary adjustments to give them the best experience possible.