Data Shows Auto Dealerships Influence EV Deal Sales

DAS Technology, automotive’s leading consumer engagement technology company with the industry’s first next-level Consumer Data and Experience Platform (CDXP), released its 10th annual Automotive Customer Experience Trends Study at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show. The comprehensive report, which provides insights from more than 7,000 recent car buyers and dealer service customers in the United States, indicates a clear trend: Dealerships are not meeting consumer expectations regarding digital communications.

“What was eye-opening from the feedback is that only 37% of consumers indicated they received payment options for their vehicle of interest from a dealer’s lead response communications. In addition, only 29% of respondents indicated that their selling dealer included options for similar vehicles when responding to their online inquiries,” said Alexi Venneri, DAS Technology co-founder and CEO. “Car shoppers have high expectations that dealers will present the requested information. Our industry has a big gap regarding how dealers interact with consumers online. DAS Technology has the solutions to enable them to deliver the experience they desire more effectively.”

The study also found that only 2.4% of respondents — 60% of whom were male and 40% female — reported completing the car-buying process entirely online.

Other notable findings include:

  • 95% of car shoppers said dealership reviews impacted which dealership they visited when shopping for a vehicle — up from 69% ten years ago.
  • 84% of vehicle shoppers say review sites like Google are the most helpful in selecting their dealership.
  • 88% of vehicle buyers report their dealership followed up with them consistently until a purchase was made.
  • 18% of electric vehicle buyers didn’t initially plan on buying an all-electric vehicle, and 50% stated what changed their mind was the dealership had good deals on an EV in stock.
  • Only 36% of service customers are offered additional repair services at their appointments. Yet, 51% of respondents indicated they would approve other recommended repairs if offered.

Five key takeaways from the study:

  1. Harness the influence of a strong online presence. Demonstrate your commitment to positive customer experiences by actively curating customer reviews and ensuring timely automated alerts to know when consumers engage so dealers can respond.
  2. Integrate AI-powered technology responsibly. Enhance your website with AI-powered live chat, being transparent about the technology, and offering an immediate way to engage with a human at the dealership location. Vigilant monitoring for a positive customer experience is also vital. Employ AI-powered lead response technology to proactively engage prospects with valuable information, encompassing alternative vehicle options in inventory, exclusive offers, and alternative payment options — and ensure that you have a system that can alert the dealership team when to engage directly.
  3. Leverage DMS and CRM data for effective customer outreach. Utilize the data in your customer relationship management (CRM) and dealership management system (DMS) by conducting identity resolution before targeting customers with the right message at the right time. Establish a systematic approach to analyzing customer data to unlock hidden revenue opportunities. Leverage multiple channels such as SMS and email, and use video to engage with consumers.
  4. Elevate the customer journey through enhanced online interactions. Boost your dealership’s visibility through targeted online and streaming ads, active social media engagement, sharing reviews, and personalizing custom videos to move more consumers down the sales funnel.
  5. Understand how to engage pre-order and EV customers. Enhance your approach by keeping your Google Business Profile current, and ensure you have strategies to engage customers who pre-ordered their vehicles throughout the waiting period. For EV shoppers, highlight special incentives and offers, share options for charging, and showcase additional dealership photos.

Scott Pechstein, DAS Technology’s senior vice president of business development, will delve into the study’s findings during his NADA session, “Debunking the Fantasy of Digital Retailing,” at noon on Feb. 1 in room W218 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. He will also address the myths surrounding a fully automated transaction while delving into technology that saves dealerships time and improves customer experience and sales.