Faced with empowered customers, the need for convenience and an array of sales and marketing channels, today’s dealerships must look to win the battle of customer experience if they want to win customers.

Today’s customers expect more. They pay closer attention to companies than ever before and their expectations of how you should interact with them are rising. They want to deal with companies on their own terms.

What if your dealership doesn’t meet these expectations? The news isn’t good; research shows a staggering 95% of customers take action as a result of a bad experience, with 79% of those telling someone else about their experience1.

The good news is you have solutions at your disposal to help you excel at customer experience. The most powerful of these is to have one simple goal: make it easy for the customer.
Customers expect things to be easy. In fact, new research from Salesforce has revealed that 70% of Australian shoppers ditch brands if they have endured a difficult purchasing process2. No surprises there, says John Barwood, Senior Manager – Performance Development at Eric Insurance.

“In an era with so much choice and information at our fingertips, prices and products matter less and experience matters more,” says Barwood. “This is where focusing on providing a seamless and consistent experience becomes extremely powerful in the battle for customers.”

Barwood says dealerships looking to improve their customer experience should start by answering three questions:

  1. How can you make it easier for customers to do business with you?

    Take a close look at how easy it is for customers to do business with your dealership, and this also includes the F&I process. Which obstacles and barriers do you need to remove to make it easier? For example, think about how long customers need to wait for assistance. If you can see that there are sticking points, look at how you can make the journey smoother.

  2. What technology can help you make the journey easier for customers?

    Don’t introduce technology for technology’s sake. There are many new technologies, apps and software solutions out there enabling companies to do business from almost anywhere. While these technologies create new and exciting opportunities to engage customers, not all of them will make it easier for the customer to do business with you. In fact, some do the exact opposite. Before implementing new technology, ask yourself whether it passes the ‘low effort’ test.

  3. Are you trying to fit every customer into the same box?

    The important thing to remember here is that one size does not fit all. With huge amounts of information just a swipe or tap away, most customers have a good idea what they are looking for long before they set foot in a bricks-and-mortar dealership. So once they are in front of you it’s more important than ever to listen to your customers and provide convenient solutions that fit their unique situation. This is where the right technology can help.

Final thoughts

Customer experience is your biggest differentiator. By proactively looking for ways to make things easier for customers to do business with you, you will do more than change the game – you will start winning.


Eric Insurance was a Principal Sponsor at this year’s AADA National Dealer Convention. Eric’s expo stand launched Touch, a real-life example of the latest customer experience technology available for automotive dealerships. To enquire about a no obligation Touch demonstration, contact John Barwood on 03 9707 6732 or email

1 Customer Experience Report, Harris Interactive 2010


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