Are you REALLY transparent and frictionless?

Really think you’re a “transparent” dealership? Really think you’re creating experiences that are new, innovative, and frictionless for your customers than their previous experiences with you? We’ve all heard and read lately about so many dealers that are supposedly transparent, consumer focused, and frictionless. Yes it’s true that many dealers are and many of them are working tirelessly toward those ideals and kudos to them for it because that’s exactly what consumers want and expect today.

So let’s take a look at just how frictionless your dealership is in 2018. Let’s see how transparent you really are… in the eyes of the consumer, who as I’m sure you’d agree is the ultimate judge of how frictionless their experience with you really is. Also look at how you address some of their most basic questions today in you’re supposedly new frictionless environment.


Scenario 1
Suzy asks you for your best price and your response is:
 “Give me some personal information to contact you and I might give you my best price.”

Didn’t Answer the question! #notransparency #toomuchfriction




Scenario 2
Tony asks you if you’d be willing to discount or match a lower price he’s found at another dealership and your response is:
“Here’s a calculator. Add more down-payment, increase your term, and play with other elements in the calculator until you get to a monthly payment you can afford.”

Didn’t Answer the question! #notransparency #toomuchfriction



Scenario 3
Robert is looking at the vehicle he wants, and he’s curious about what other buyers have to say about your reputation (their experience with you); and your response is:
“Go to Google and search for reviews about my dealership (please ignore the other same brand dealers you’ll see when you do that) and hurry back here.”

Didn’t answer the question! #notransparency #toomuchfriction #rude



Scenario 4
Antoinette is curious about how much you’ll give her for her trade-in and your response is:
“Here’s a calculator, put in all of the details about your vehicle and do your best to guess if I’ll agree with your interpretation of Poor/Fair/Good/Excellent. When you’re done with that give me your personal information to reach back out to you.”

Didn’t answer the question! #notransparency #toomuchfriction


At this point you might be saying: “Our dealership doesn’t behave like that. At least not anymore. That sounds like old-school-dinosaur dealership behavior.” And you’d be right it is dinosaur behavior and mentality. It’s a mentality and business practice that will likely result in a dealerships’ decline and extinction if it continues in 2018. HOWEVER… if you’re reading this, you’re also quite likely one of those dealers or managers that believes we live in a digital world. You probably believe – correctly – that 90% of your customers start their experiences with you on your website. If you believe that – and you should – then let’s review the above scenarios through that perspective, the perspective of a digital world in 2018.



Take a minute right now and open up a VDP on your dealership website, and then review each scenario above in the context of your website visitor, your customer asking those questions whilst on your VDP (the primary experience point your customers have with you online). Review how your VDP answers your customers in each of those scenarios digitally and see for yourself just how transparent and frictionless you are in the eyes of your customer in this digital world. For example: Ask your VDP to give you your dealerships’ best price, and see what steps you would have to go through, what information that you need to give away, and how long it would take to get the accurate answer. Go through each scenario with your VDP. Chances are you’ll be quite surprised about how much friction and lack of transparency there really is for your customer on your VDP … also known as “first impressions.”

You see, frictionless doesn’t mean that someone can get to you via your lightning fast mobile site, or that you let them calculate the gross that you want to keep all from the comfort of their sofa. Transparency doesn’t mean that you’ve abandoned the 4-Square and the “T.O.” for a laptop or an iPad that has a lot more product and payment options than the salesperson has. Providing online payment options isn’t transparency, it’s simply options. There’s a difference. Transparency means that you provide all of the relevant information upfront, honestly, openly, before a customer has to ask. Frictionless experience means that the customer can do business with you her way, not yours. It means she can get your very best price without being in your showroom or having “taken a test drive.” It means if she wants to see lease payments after getting the best price and bank rates then that’s what you provide. It means you may no longer have rigid “steps to the sale” but instead flexible “enthusiasm toward their experience.”

Again, review how your VDP answers the questions in the scenarios above and see how non-transparent and friction-ful you might appear to shoppers on your website. You’ll immediately see that you’ve got to make some changes and fast. It doesn’t matter how good your digital marketing is or how fast your website is if it still doesn’t answer basic questions and creates friction as if it were 1998 all over again.

Here’s a sales pitch: The good news is you can do better and we know that you really want to. We can help. Give us a direct message or a call and we’ll show you how easy it is to truly be the most transparent and frictionless dealer in your market.

Focus on making frictionless customer experiences, it’s the new “we’re crushing it!”

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