Friction is the resistance to motion. Skiers understand that reducing friction allows their skis to glide smoothly and effortlessly down the slopes. Identifying the sources of friction in the automobile sales process and reducing or eliminating them can help us encourage customers to glide smoothly and effortlessly toward vehicle ownership. It’s simple. Less friction is more fun for both skiers and auto shoppers. Reducing friction in the automobile sales process is an important goal when looking at the end-to-end journey of a shopper. Friction at any point along the journey can discourage, distract or delay the shopping process. One-price selling is an important tactic in the goal to reduce friction for consumers shopping for a vehicle. Let’s look at some of the sources of friction that dealers may wish to address to increase sales, market share, and efficiency. We’ll also comment on how reducing friction creates a better customer experience.
Are you visible online?
If a shopper is looking for vehicles like the ones you sell or searching for you by name online are you easily discovered? If you are not optimizing your site so that Google serves you up in the search results that creates friction. If your paid search isn’t putting you in the top 3 results you’ve created resistance to moving ahead. Today the automobile sales process starts online and usually includes search.Without an optimization and paid strategy that makes you ubiquitous for the important branded and non-branded terms, you’ve made it harder to do business with you right out of the gate.
Is your website experience smooth and friction free?
Look at your Google Analytics metrics and see which pages get the most traffic. Most of your visitors want to see your vehicles. Your used SRP and VDP are probably your most visited pages followed by new SRP and VDPs. New car specials usually round out the top pages. Shoppers want to know do you have it? What’s it look like? Does it have the features I want? What is the price? What is special or on sale? A home page that is full of buttons, pop-ups, starbursts and other distractions runs the risk of creating friction through the paralysis of choice. Too many choices create confusion, paralysis, and dissatisfaction. How clean and clear are your VDP pages? Are your pictures spectacular? Are features easy to find? And perhaps most importantly is your price prominent. Considering merchandising your vehicles without prices? Think back to your reaction that last time you searched for a product online and you couldn’t see the price. It was probably frustrating and caused you to jump to another site. That’s friction and it will cost you sales.
Hello. Is anybody home?
According to leading call management solution Call Revu 360 one in three sales calls goes unanswered. Before you spend more advertising dollars to generate calls, leads and walk-in visits you need to plug the leaks in your phone system. Nothing says we don’t care about you like a phone call that goes unanswered or a call put on hold or a call sent to an extension that never picks up. Why aren’t your receptionists and BDC agents some of your most prized team members? Nothing reduces friction at a critical moment in the sales journey like a great phone process and top notch, motivated people answering your customer’s questions. Think about your phone process. Are customers gliding smoothly and effortlessly towards a new vehicle or do you have friction?
Your Sales Process
You’ve done everything right. From your online presence to your web experience all the way through a phone inquiry. Everything has gone smoothly. And now wonder of wonders the customer is on your doorstep. At this point does your process reflect the fact that your customer has spent over 12 hours online researching their next car on as many as 25 websites? Are you ready to guide your customer smoothly and effortlessly on the final leg of their journey? Or, are you going to start from the beginning and turn the shopping process into a 4-hour ordeal featuring 2 hours of back and forth negotiation? The One-Price automotive sales process implemented by Ryan Adams Group reduces friction at the most critical step in the sale. Experience demonstrates that shoppers perform the vast majority of their research online and enter the dealership ready to buy. The transparency and straightforward nature of the one-price process reduce friction significantly and allow your customers to glide into a new vehicle.
A Change in Thinking
Consider the path your customer takes to your showroom during the automobile purchase process. Examine all the points along the way that create friction. Remember friction is resistance to movement. Think about what you can do at each step in the shopping process to reduce or eliminate friction.