If you’ve had a good experience shopping somewhere, you are more likely to go shop there again. According to an Autotrader study titled, “Decisions, Decisions: What Drives Shopping Choices for Vehicle Re-Purchasers,” new and used re-purchasers were 46 percent and 30 percent more likely to choose to purchase from an auto dealer where they previously had a good experience. Developing a smooth and cohesive purchasing experience is essential for all customers, but how can you encourage potential re-purchasers to visit your dealership when they are ready to buy again?
Keep Track of Former Customers
Tracking time since a previous purchase, the type of vehicle bought, and service activity, allows an auto dealer to gain insight on a customer’s future potential purchase decision. Linking those data points to an after-purchase experience survey can help you gain a better understanding of the experience a customer had during their buying process. The next time that customer steps foot into your dealership their second purchasing experience should be at least the same, if not better, than the last time they purchased.
Keep Former Customers Informed on Available Inventory
The Autotrader study notes that “new car buyers are nearly twice as likely to re-purchase the same make as used car buyers.” The study also notes that “most re-purchasers consider another make/model other than the vehicle they purchase. Nearly half of new re-purchasers and over half of used re-purchasers buy an entirely different make and model from the vehicle they are replacing.” Reach out strategically to former customers when the timing is right with available inventory that not only lines up with their previous purchase, but also includes other desirable makes and models.
A customer’s individual experience with a particular vehicle will determine whether or not they will decide to re-purchase a vehicle of the same make. If they decide to re-purchase from the same make, be prepared to offer detailed information on the benefits of the newer models. If they decide to purchase another make or model, figure out, either in person or online, what qualities they liked and disliked about their previous vehicle and align those qualities with current inventory.
Make Financing and Negotiating Easy
The time spent at the dealership and negotiating a price are often cited as the most frustrating part of the vehicle buying process. If customers experienced a smooth process of financing and negotiating the first time they bought from an auto dealer, they would expect a similar or better purchasing experience their second time buying at that dealership. Implementing transparent pricing and financing practices and allowing customers to start the financing and negotiation part of the process online or in-store, according to their preference, is one step towards improving the purchasing experience.
Consistently earning the business of former customers takes time, effort and hard work. However, that effort will be well worth it when your dealership is a former customer’s first choice when it comes to buying another vehicle.