How did the RAC survey give the used car dealer industry a bad name?
A recent RAC used car dealer survey has been deemed "misleading" and took some stick from the industry. The survey found that more than a third (39%) of motorists who have bought a second-hand car from a dealer would under no circumstances use the same dealer again.
The study by the RAC looked into the car-buying habits of 1,500 motorists which also found that 40% of consumers said they have had a problem with a vehicle bought from a used car dealer and just under a third (29%) said the dealership was disappointing when it came to putting the problem right. Although such figures are rather bold and inaccurate for the entire used-car dealer industry, which explains why the RAC have received some stick for this.
Also, dealers that rely very heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations from customers they need to buck up their ideas as one in three car owners claim they have actively told others not to use a specific car dealer. Although the industry is portraying quite a different story for used-car dealers, as the second hard car market is actually thriving and dealers are in a comfortable position to benefit from the demand. So how accurately exactly is this survey reflecting on the used car industry? In contrast to the survey, 56% of motorists actually said they would buy a used car rather than a brand new vehicle because new cars depreciate faster. On top of this, a further 44% feel they get a better quality and higher spec of car if they buy from a used car dealer.
Steps you can take as a dealership to ensure customers leave happy
- Prioritise your customers - Customer service is key in any line of business, although within the used car dealer industry it can often be overlooked by some salesman. The most important thing is not to make a sale but to meet your customers needs and ensure they leave more than satisfied, as this opens up avenues for future leads.
- Once sold, maintain the happiness - Building the relationship with the customer is only the first step of the buying process and the last step is certainly not to sell them a new/used car. Ensuring once you have sold them a car that they are happy with how it is performing is key for future business and positive recommendations. Therefore if a past customer has an issue be there to help in any way you can or recommend them to a third-party which can.
- Focus on customer intent - Don't refer a customer to a car which merely fits their needs but is of a higher value, appoint them to something you genuinely think is best for what they are looking for. Approach the customer with a level-head not entirely from a sales/business perspective.
- Be transparent - If you are selling a vehicle with a minor problem or a certain feature the buyer should be notified of, then make sure you tell them don't let them walk away and discover it a few weeks down the line as this leads to negative feedback for your dealership.