Satisfaction Surges if Dealers Use Mobile Devices to Enhance Sales Process

Chris Sutton

Chris Sutton

Satisfaction is highest among new-vehicle buyers who are presented with pricing/payment options on a computer screen or a tablet (833 on a 1,000-point scale) during the sales process, according to our 2013 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which is based on responses from 29,040 new-vehicle buyers or lessees, who completed their transaction in April or May 2013.

Using technology continues to make a major difference in enhancing the buyer’s or lessee’s sales experience at the dealership. Specifically, when a dealership salesperson uses a tablet device during the sales process with new-vehicle buyers, satisfaction is 52 points higher on average (844) than when a salesperson does not use a tablet during the sales experience (792). Satisfaction with a salesperson using a computer printout (820) receives the next highest score, followed by verbal price quotes (792); and lastly, written figures (780).

Our 2013 U.S. SSI Study finds that tablets are proving to be particularly versatile and effective tools and may help maintain consistency during the sales process, while providing accessible and dynamic product information. Yet, we also see that tablet usage among dealership salespeople remains relatively limited—only 10% of dealership salespeople use these devices. On a positive note, that’s still up from 7% in 2012. Continue reading ›

New-Vehicle Buyers in Thailand are More Informed Before Showroom Visits

Traffic on Thai StreetNew-vehicle buyers in Thailand use an average of three sources to gather information before visiting a dealership—up from an average of 2.5 sources in 2012, according to the 2013 Thailand Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. A larger percentage of Thai new-car buyers also use the Internet (45%) than in the previous year (33%).

A few more highlights from this year’s study:

• Overall sales satisfaction averages 904 (on a 1,000-point scale), a 4-point improvement from 2012. Continue reading ›

Certified Used Vehicles are More Attractive to India’s New-Vehicle Buyers

MohitArora

Mohit Arora

Some 13% of new-vehicle buyers in India considered a used vehicle during their shopping process—an increase of 10% over the past three years, according to our 2013 India Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which evaluates sales satisfaction among 8,434 new-vehicle owners who purchased their new vehicle between September 2012 and April 2013.

Findings show that more than one-third (37%) of new-vehicle buyers who considered a used vehicle this year indicated using the Internet during their shopping process to find information about vehicle financing, trade-in options and service-related issues.

In contrast, only 27% of new-vehicle owners who only considered new vehicles used the Internet for shopping, primarily to look up vehicle features and specifications. Continue reading ›

Overall Sales Satisfaction Improves Significantly from 2011

Chris Sutton

Overall sales satisfaction among both new-vehicle buyers and rejecters in 2012 averages 664 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is an improvement of 16 points from 648 in 2011, according to our 2012 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. In addition, satisfaction with the selling dealer also advances by 5 points from 771 in 2011 to 776. Among the four measures* evaluated, satisfaction with the salesperson achieves the highest score this year.

Understanding Customer Needs Improves Satisfaction

Perceived pressure decreases when sales consultants establish a business relationship and understand customer needs. Among buyers whose salesperson asked them questions to determine their vehicle needs, only 21% perceive some or too much pressure from dealer sales staff, compared with 32% among those whose salesperson did not ask questions about their needs who perceive some or too much pressure. Continue reading ›

What do U.S. Dealers Need to do to Understand Their Customers?

Editor’s Note: Deirdre Borrego, vice president and general manager of J.D. Power’s global automotive operations and Power Information Network® (PIN), presented her thoughts on how dealerships can navigate the future in an article, “U.S. Dealers: Preparing for the Future,” that was published in the October issue of AutoRetailNet, an online magazine.

Excerpts on approaching Gen Y consumers are featured in the first of two posts.

Keep Your Eye on Generation Y

Deirdre Borrego

Generation Y isn’t simply a buzzword. Gen Y consumers (born between 1977 and 1994, and who are generally the children of Baby Boomers born 1946-1964) are currently estimated to number 80 million. That is a huge retail automotive growth opportunity, surpassing both their parents’ generation and Generation X (whose members were born between 1965-1976 and number only 55 million).

Generation Y, also known as Millennials, are already starting to create a massive change in the way retail business is conducted. These consumers are the first generation to be exposed to electronic communications technology from a young age—including wireless phones at home; 500-channel cable and satellite television; cell phones; the Internet; email; social media; websites; and, most recently, smartphones—and they are completely comfortable with the hardware and technologies. Continue reading ›

Lower Customer Sales Satisfaction in China Impacted by Higher Inventories and Dealership Sales Staff Turnover

 

Dr. Mei Songlin

China’s recent market slowdown has led to higher passenger-vehicle inventories at dealerships, creating an atmosphere in which dealership personnel feel pressured to make sales quickly. In addition, the rapid expansion in the number of dealerships in China has led to a high employee turnover rate, leading to a dearth of experienced sales people.

This confluence of events appears to have negatively impacted overall customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase experience, according to our 2012 China Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.

In our latest China SSI Study, overall sales satisfaction falls 6 index points from 2011 to an average 841 (on a 1,000-point scale), with the most significant declines among the seven categories evaluated being the salesperson, sales initiation process and delivery process. Continue reading ›

Dealers in India Offset Slowdown with More Diverse Revenue Sales Sources

Mohit Arora

Dealers in India expect to generate more than one-third (34%) of their revenue this year from sales of parts and accessories, auto insurance, and commissions on loans, which is an increase from 22% in 2011, based on analysis from our 2012 India Dealer Satisfaction with Automotive Manufacturers Index Study.

Finding new revenue opportunities is a way to manage risks of a slowdown in the auto market since the growth rate of passenger-car sales in India this year has been the weakest since the 2008-09 fiscal year, when sales were hurt by the global financial crisis.

On a more positive note, this year’s study finds that overall dealer satisfaction with automakers has increased 71 points to 820 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 749 points in 2011. According to the study, satisfaction improves across all nine measures,* with the largest improvement in support from the manufacturer—the factor with the most weight in our index. Continue reading ›

New-Vehicle Buyers in India Engage Family, Friends in Purchase Experience

Mohit Arora

In India, nine out of 10 new-vehicle buyers shop with a family member or friend, which can make it more difficult to satisfy these buyers during the sales and purchase experience in comparison to buyers who shop alone for a new vehicle, according to our 2011 India Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which is based on responses from 6,840 new-vehicle owners. In addition, the study finds that new-vehicle buyers who are accompanied by family or friends are more apt to shop across brands and dealerships.

It’s evident that family members are trusted advisors throughout the purchase process for many new-vehicle buyers in India, and this is especially true when customers are buying their first new vehicle. These first-time new-vehicle buyers, who bring family members or friends to the dealership, tend to be more critical of the sales experience than are return buyers.

Among new-vehicle buyers who shop with family members, satisfaction with the sales experience averages 823 on a 1,000-point scale. If they shop with a friend, the satisfaction score drops even further—averaging just 807. However, buyers who visit the dealer alone are more satisfied—the satisfaction score averages 835. Continue reading ›

Fuel-Efficiency Tips Aid Satisfaction with New-Vehicle Sales Experience in Japan

The most important purchase consideration for new-vehicle owners in Japan is fuel economy, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2010 Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study,SM which also finds that providing new-vehicle owners with advice to improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicle has a positive impact on overall satisfaction with the sales . . . Continue Reading Fuel-Efficiency Tips Aid Satisfaction with New-Vehicle Sales Experience in Japan