Five top tips for keeping your customers satisfied

Woman and Man having a conversation

Going the extra mile for your customers means the difference between your business thriving and merely surviving. So when surveys of car buyers reveal a pattern of pain points in their purchase journeys, it pays to take heed.

What conclusions can we draw from the experiences (good and bad) of dealership customers and what needs to be done so they drive away satisfied.

1. Make a customer, not a sale

This one may be something of a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating. Without staff who are wholeheartedly committed to delivering excellent customer service, you’re going to find it hard to make new customers and retain existing ones..

According to CDK Global, 85 per cent of Millennials say the attitude of a salesperson can positively influence them to choose a dealership and 95 per cent said that a bad attitude would drive them away1.

The statistics should come as no surprise. Going above and beyond for your customers is key to a happy customer experience – and it may be integral to your dealership’s success.

2. Manage expectations about price

Let’s face it, insurance is a grudge purchase for most customers. And it’s a product that most people hope they never have to use. So, it should come as no surprise that the primary choice driver for many customers is price2.

But why is that? In August 2020, Allianz worked with research agency InMoment to conduct in-depth interviews with 21 customers who had recently purchased a vehicle. Many of the customers struggled to talk about what differentiated different insurance options on the market. Many customers reported that they believed insurance was all the same, no matter the provider.

Interestingly, the features customers understand the best are those that impact their premium – such as changing their excess – because it was easy to see the difference it made to their policy.

While customers can sometimes resent having to consider the cost of insurance after making the decision to purchase a car, it’s important they realise that desirable inclusions such as the use of genuine OEM repair parts and choice of repairer will vary between products.

3. Know the right time to discuss insurance with a customer

Some customers report that conversations about insurance happen too late in their car-buying journey and could have been useful earlier. Young and first-time car buyers add that understanding their insurance options much earlier in the process can help them work out the impact on their budget.

Having a rushed insurance-related discussion at the point of vehicle delivery is never optimal. It doesn’t give customers enough time to consider their decision and many report feeling overwhelmed by the amount of research they need to do when buying a car – even before they start thinking about insurance.

Flag the need to consider insurance early on in your customer interactions and give your customer time to digest what’s on offer by placing insurance related materials from Allianz Workbench in the customer waiting area. Many customers say the ideal time to start a conversation about insurance was earlier in the journey so that they were ready to make their decision after buying the car – but before it was delivered.

4. Up your online game

Research by CDK Global, a provider of tech solutions to dealers and OEMs across the United States, found that 70 per cent of car buyers preferred to shop online for products such as service packages, warranties and insurance 3 .

Consider how you might give customers more control of the purchase process by offering them the option to explore more about the products online. Doing so gives them a chance to weigh up their options and make a decision at their own pace.

Make use of the resources available to you, such as the Allianz Dealer Insurance website, allianzdealerinsurance.com.au, or suggest the customer check OEM websites to learn more about branded programs.

5. Leverage customer downtime

Having to spend time in a waiting room is rarely a bundle of laughs. And it’s a wasted opportunity for dealerships who have a captive customer sitting under their very roof. Respondents to the Allianz survey said there were natural gaps in their car-buying journey that were ideal times to discuss insurance, such as “waiting to do a test drive, after the test drive or during the price negotiation.”

Don’t wait for the opportunity, make the opportunity.

1 https://www.cdkglobal.com/us/insights/generation-now-how-millennials-choose-dealership#sm.0001pdr8v4pzzcycs0j1ew39tjzwf

2 The statistics provided here are sourced from an Allianz survey conducted in 2020 on customers’ car-buying journeys and their experience of purchasing insurance. (Sample size – Qualitative: 21 indepth interviews conducted / Quantitative: 4000+ survey responses.)

3 https://www.cdkglobal.com/us/insights/six-ways-keep-customers-walking-away-deals

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 (“Allianz”). Information contained in this article is accurate as at 30 August 2021 and may be subject to change. In some cases information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of the issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.