Consumer Behavior in Automotive Industry

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As well said by Mr. Donald Potar that “Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They expect you to fix things when they go wrong.

Since last two decades, it has been seena huge development in the dealership network with outstanding network by each company (OEMs) has been established in order to provide the best and complete solution to customers under one roof. Complete or best solution for customers under one roof means to have complete process cycle “Customer Experience” from vehicle booking / purchase to Aftersales Service, Warranty obligation and management of the entire repair solution and resale etc. The whole exercise from the companies to have best dealership network to meet with customers expectation because customers have high standards: the words “great customer experience” or “excellent customer service” occur most often in positive dealership reviews, followed by variations of “best” or “great buying experience.” Words such as “friendly,” “helpful,” and “knowledgeable” emerge often in positive dealership reviews.

Let’s understand what customers want and what they have exceptions from dealership or company. Customer expectations had two levels: desired (what the customer hopes to obtain) and sufficient (what the customer would find acceptable). Of course, there’s a third level: unsatisfactory, where companies miss the mark entirely. Customers satisfaction is about meeting customer expectations and best customer satisfaction always have an impact on both existing and potential customers.

These are the factors which should be consider for the customers satisfaction and makes sure that customer having these expectationsfrom that dealership, likeQuick and appropriate response, dealership to Listen their VOC, dealership to dobest for customers, deliver beyond as per customer expectations, dealership needs to continually ensure your customers value what you offer, empathize with customers, educate customers about the product and necessary engagement with customer for the periodic maintenance of vehicle etc.however, the most factor is “KYC” Know Your Customer Wants”

What customer is demanding when he is visiting to the auto workshop for complaint or for repair services that his vehicle (i) should be return to him within Promise time (ii) by fixing all issues right at first time (no repeat repair) (iii) the promise time should be reasonable. Because for a customer, there’s nothing more frustrating than being without a vehicle for an extended period of time (more than promised time) and then needing to bring that same vehicle back to the auto shop for the same issue because of repetition of same issue (in case of non-fix-it-right). In Automotive industry, customer service is everything, hence the Fix-it-Right, right at first time of customers complaint is right approach to gain the customer trust and their satisfaction. it is essential for businesses to effectively manage customer satisfaction. To be able do this by the company, firms need reliable and representative measures to be initiative for the customer satisfaction.

When it comes to purchasing a vehicle or any other product or service from a company or dealership, customers have certain expectations that they want to be met. These can include:

Trustworthiness: customers typically want trustworthiness from a dealership. This includes honesty, transparency, and a commitment to providing good customer service. Trustworthiness can help build a positive reputation for the dealership, which can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Trustworthiness can also help to build trust and a good relationship between the dealership and the customer, which can lead to more successful transactions and a more enjoyable overall experience for the customer. They want to be able to trust that the company or dealership they are dealing with is honest and transparent about their products and services. They want to know that they are getting a fair deal and that the company is not trying to take advantage of them.

Knowledgeable staff: knowledgeable staff from a dealership means that the staff should have a good understanding of the products and services that the dealership offers, as well as the industry as a whole. Knowledgeable staff can provide customers with accurate and helpful information, which can help customers make more informed decisions. Additionally, knowledgeable staff can also be better equipped to answer customers’ questions and address any concerns they may have, which can help to build trust and improve the overall customer experience.

Excellent customer service:Yes,customers want excellent customer service from a dealership. Excellent customer service can include things like friendly and helpful staff, prompt response to customer inquiries, and a commitment to addressing customer concerns in a timely and effective manner.Benefits of excellent customer service for customers include is to have quick resolution of issues and problems, positive experience, which can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations, and ultimately this will increase the customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can lead to a better long-term relationship with the dealership. Benefits of excellent customer service for dealership include (i) increased customer loyalty and repeat business (ii) positive reputation and word-of-mouth recommendations (iii) greater potential for upselling and cross-selling products and services (iv) better chances of attracting new customers through positive reviews and feedbacks.Also, customers want to be treated with respect and kindness when they interact with a company or dealership. They want to feel valued and appreciated as a customer, and they want to be able to get help and assistance when they need it.

High-quality products or services: Customers want to be able to purchase products or services that are of high quality and that meet their needs and expectations. They want to be able to rely on the products or services that they purchase to work well and last a long time.

Competitive pricing:Yes, customers typically want competitive pricing means that the prices offered by the dealership should be in line with or better than those offered by other dealerships in the area.They want to be able to purchase products or services at a fair and competitive price and to get a good value for their money, and they want to be able to compare prices and options before making a purchase.

Benefits of competitive pricing for customers include: (i) getting a good deal or value for their money (ii) saving money (iii) having more options to compare

Benefits of competitive pricing for dealership include: (i) attracting more customers (ii) increased sales volume (iii) better chances of closing deals

Improved profitability by avoiding price wars and keeping the margins.this is important to note that while competitive pricing is important for customers, it’s not the only factor that they consider when making a purchase decision. Many customers are willing to pay more for a dealership that provides excellent customer service, knowledgeable staff, trustworthiness, and a good reputation which is discuss above.

Efficient and simple buying process:customers want to be able to purchase products or services quickly and easily. They want a buying process that is straightforward and hassle-free, and they want to be able to complete the process with minimal effort and time.There are several factors that can affect a customer’s experience with an efficient and simple buying process:Clear and accurate information meansknow exactly what they are buying, including features, specifications, and pricing. Clear and accurate information can help to reduce confusion and uncertainty, and make it easier for customers to make informed decisions.Streamlined process buying process can help to make the process quicker and more efficient. This can include things like online forms, digital signatures, and online payments.

Personalized assistance can help to make the buying process more efficient and simpler. This can include things like a dedicated salesperson or customer service representative who can help to guide the customer through the process and answer any questions they may have.

Flexibility in terms of payment methods, financing options, return policies, and other aspects of the buying process can help to make it more efficient and simpler for customers.Transparency in terms of pricing, fees and any additional costs can also help to make the buying process more efficient and simpler for customers.Overall, an efficient and simple buying process can help to build trust and improve the overall customer experience, which can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations for the dealership.

Good warranty or maintenance program: Customers want to be able to have a peace of mind that they are protected against any defects or malfunctions of the product they bought, they also want to have a good maintenance program that they can rely on to keep their products or services in good working order.

A good warranty or maintenance program can have a significant positive impact on dealership services (i) increased customer satisfaction and loyalty (ii) reduced customer concerns about potential costly repairs (iii) improved customer experience (iv) building positive reputation and trust (v) competitive advantages over other dealerships that don’t provide such services (vi) additional revenue from maintenance and repairs (vii) Better control over the service schedule, which can improve the performance of the car and reduce unexpected breakdowns (viii) can increase customer retention as they will be more likely to return to the dealership for their vehicle’s warranty and maintenance services

After-sales service:Aftersales services can have a significant impact on dealership services, as it can be a key driver of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Aftersales services can include things like maintenance, repairs, and warranty work, and can be an important way for dealerships to generate repeat business and build positive relationships with customers.Benefits of aftersales services include: (i) increasecustomer retention and loyalty (ii) additional revenue from service and repairs (iii) increased customer satisfaction (iv) improve customer experience (v) building positive reputation and trust (vi) competitive advantages over other dealerships that do not provide such services

Take away from this article:

Pakistan the automotive industry and dealership services have likely been affected by the economic crisis in 2022, although the specific impacts will depend on a variety of factors. Some potential effects could include a decrease in consumer spending on cars and car-related services, a decline in demand for new and used vehicles, and financial difficulties for car manufacturers and dealerships. Additionally, the economic crisis may lead to an increase in competition among companies in the automotive industry, as they strive to maintain market share and profitability.

customers want a variety of things from businesses, including high-quality products and services, competitive prices, convenience, and good customer service. They also often value things like transparency, reliability, and a positive overall customer experience. Additionally, customers are increasingly interested in socially responsible and sustainable products and services, and may be more likely to do business with companies that align with their values. In the automotive industry, customers tend to look for good quality cars, fair prices, and good after-sales services. They also tend to be interested in the latest technology, safety features, and fuel efficiency. Therefore, it is important for businesses to understand the needs and wants of their customers and to strive to meet those needs through their products, services, and overall customer experience.

This exclusive article has been published in Automark Magazine’s February-2023 printed edition.

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