Although technology is revolutionising the automotive retail industry, car dealerships are still crucial touchpoints for both sales and service customers. Despite a drop in the average number of customer visits, most customers will rely on traditional dealers, especially in the decision-making phase of a vehicle purchase or the car servicing process, which is still very much an ‘offline’ necessity.
Yet today’s customers are more demanding than ever before. They have less time, more knowledge and are less tolerant about delays and bad service. If customers visiting car dealerships can’t park, have difficulty finding their way, experience delays or speak to a staff member with less knowledge than they have, their whole perception of the brand (not just the visit) will be tarnished. Unfortunately for dealerships, no matter how ‘exciting’, ‘futuristic’ or ‘seamless’ a customer journey is, a simple frustration, which a customer finds important and is ignored can be hugely damaging.
One such frustration that occurs at many dealerships is finding a customer parking space. Although some dealers are aware that customer parking is a problem, usually from voluntary customer satisfaction surveys, very little is being done about it. Without focused research, the root cause, extent and impact of parking problems can remain unclear. This means that solutions may not be obvious and the business case to motivate intervening action difficult to develop. Customers will continue to feel ignored, while dealers simply allow parking to correct itself each day as peak periods pass.