Maintaining a "Human Touch" When Digital Retailing Takes Over

November 4, 2020

To the outside world, being a car dealer may seem simple: sell cars. But we all know that’s not all there is to it. There is so much more that goes into maintaining and building a car dealership. These aspects and facets are becoming increasingly more well known to the general public. And that’s a good thing. As digital retailing continues to grow in prevalence, additional information will be available to your customers through new and existing touchpoints. The predicament is, however, that buying and selling cars has always been an intimate, human-to-human experience. In fact, purchasing a car is one of the most expensive buying decisions a consumer will make. With that being said, how does a car dealer keep the human touch when digital retailing takes over?

As it stands, dealerships are in a constant state of competition. And with the way the market has evolved with COVID-19, dealerships are finding themselves competing for customers, gross, and inventory. The simple solution is to turn to technology. But you have to do it right. Over-burdening consumers with clunky and cumbersome tech is a turn-off. Consumers have grown accustomed to the car buying process which traditionally included some research, a sales pitch, a test drive, and a handshake. Current technology won’t change that. Rather, it should augment it.

This isn’t to say that any of that process is being thrown out the window. Rather, maintaining the human touch is critical to fostering trust between you and your customer. Doing so will also empower your staff to be confident and transparent. One such way to accomplish this is through deploying a solution for a digital showroom. Essentially, the first thing your customer will want is information. While they are used to getting that knowledge on their own or through the window sticker, they are still relying on you to relay quality information to them. If your data is bad, then you are going to provide a poor customer experience. This will remove elements of the human experience from the purchasing journey as consumers will blame you for poor technology.

All of your data must be up to date and accurate. From the first ad a customer reads, there needs to be a level of engagement and interaction. Trust-building is a human desire. Consumers need to believe the words you use to describe your cars. This is also the part of the process where they are discovering the difference between vehicle models and the packages that are included. Make this learning portion of buying a car easy on them by providing as much accurate information as possible. If it is something you would want to know when purchasing a vehicle, it is probably something they will want to know. Anticipate any questions customers may have and you will provide a more organic buying experience with a human touch.

You have the backing of technology, but buying a car should never feel like a robotic process. Even when personalization and automation come into play, the customer should be able to sense that it was created for them by another person. At least for the foreseeable future, digital retailing will continue to grow. What this means is that you have to actively bridge gaps between your technology and your customers. A certain level of purchasing a new or used car will remain in-person. And as long as that is the case, dealerships need to get the most out of their technology solutions.

From appraisals to trade-ins, arm yourself with the right data that will streamline the process and calm the nerves of new or veteran shoppers. Once you establish transparency and trust, you will be able to further develop a genuinely organic and human experience. It’s ok to rely on technology, but make sure your tech is not only working for you...but also your customers!

MAX Digital provides advanced solutions for car dealerships across the country to foster an organic and human experience for consumers. Products range from inventory management to digital retailing. Learn how you can provide an enriching experience for every customer that comes on to your lot or website. Schedule a demo today.