Want to Increase Dealership Sales? Retain Walk-In Customers

Increase dealership sales by retaining walk-in customersAccording to a Cox Automotive study, “walking in” remains as a customer’s most common initial point of contact with dealers. More than half of car buyers don’t contact a dealership prior to their first visit. In addition, out of the 400 consumers who visited a dealership and completed a survey, three out of four went to the dealership with the intention to buy but only one ended up making a purchase. What prevented those consumers from making a purchase? What can a dealer do to increase dealership sales by encouraging walk-in customers to return to make a purchase?

Why Didn’t They Purchase?
When customers leave a dealership they typically do so for a number of reasons. Of the 400 consumers surveyed, the top two reasons why they left was because they were considering other brands, and the deal offered wasn’t compelling enough. Though customers ended up leaving for those reasons, 92 percent of those surveyed said they would come back to the dealership in the future.

Create a positive experience
Encouraging a customer to revisit starts as soon as they walk through the door, which means dealers need to focus efforts on creating a positive experience for customers no matter what part of the sales cycle they are in. This can mean doing little things, like making sure the lot is clean, inventory is presentable and that your sales team effectively gauges how hard to push a potential customer. A bad experience can quickly push a customer from being willing to visit, to never wanting to step into a particular dealership ever again.

Figure out how to measure revisiting customers
Without a solid plan to capture walk-in leads, how is a dealer supposed to know whether or not a customer revisits? Note what current CRM capabilities are. In addition, consider what information a potential customer is willing to share. Are they looking for a particular vehicle? Any information walk-in customers are willing to provide can help dealers learn more about their current market, and additionally provide insight for future marketing efforts.

Walk-in customers will often make up a large number of dealership customers. Though many of them may not buy today, working to ensure a positive experience for every customer can mean more customers and an increase dealership sales down the road.