What Got You To The Car Dealership To Buy A New Car?

It used to be driving past or a newspaper ad. Now its only the most educated customers that turn up, with all the details on what they want and they’re frustrated if you’re not there to help them.

If our lives continue to have technologies enabling us to save time, this has got to be next. Perhaps the end of showrooms and the beginning of experience centres.

A recent trip to landrover after extensive research on a new Evoque, left me annoyed, frustrated and well, totally changed my perception of the brand. Thats it guys, you had one shot and you lost it.

This isn’t a rant at Land Rover, but the experience tells a good story of how it needs to change.

  1. Interested in the car
  2. Extensive online research, including engaging with the brand in social
  3. 3rd party impartial research
  4. Built my own model (not sure why, there wasn’t a checkout button!)
  5. Contact a dealer

This is when it fell apart. The dealer didn’t call me back, was arrogant, very matter of fact about asking for where my model was and how much it would cost- there was basically going to be at least an 8 month wait for it.

It got worse. I couldn’t have a test drive, he was too busy, just every single customer service trick in the book — he did the opposite.

So — whats the point — the point is, I now don’t want one. That experience turned me from a potential customer to a never in a million years customer. Regardless of all the ad spend they’ll be, I have this bad experience.

Car makers & dealers need to join up the experience of buying a vehicle to a ‘experience centre’ rather than a car dealership. Dealers have a bad enough reputation already, might as we scrap it all together and start something new.

When I say new I also not old. Don’t litter the experience centre with commission based, technology luddite sales people.

I want to feel like i’ve given you my data (remember the built my own version point above) for a reason, you should know my name and email, not to spam me with every promotion you can think of, but just call me by my name.

Anyway — whats all this got to do with influence? Well in the small scale, anyone that comes into contact with me and mentions they have that car or thinking of buying one, i’m going to recount my experience again, which will all build towards a negative experience. But guess what, yep, i’m just one person.

Imagine if this happens and I have 10k followers, or 100k, or 500k or millions? I’m going to tell the story. The impact ripples through peoples heads and all they see when their ad appears (if they haven’t skipped it on sky+) …they’re remembering the bad experience story — ultimately, they want to share those stories with their audience, because it matters to them.

Good or bad people want to share experiences and buying a car, house, bike, lipstick, camera, anything really has a level of importance to the customer. If you’re not making sure every step of the way is the brand experience from the £4m website and immersive experience you built to the dealership being closed, whats the solution.

Change the model. It doesn’t work with the modern consumer anymore.

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