Hello Digital Marketing professionals... My wife and I are actively in the process of locating a pre-owned vehicle. The experience has been shocking. No, I will not name names, but I will point out a few observations:
I have let my wife do all the shopping.
Watched her process.
Noted the different dealership interactions.
Noted her feedback so far.
First... Like text book she went straight to the internet to find a three seater SUV. (Yes, I said SUV... )
Next...Narrowed her choices to one or two... found (2) local dealers that had similar vehicles...
Followed By... Calling the dealers from our home phone... went to see (drive) the cars...
On arrival to the first dealership we announced ourselves and tried to find the individual who she spoke to on the phone... A salesperson was assigned to us (no mention of the person on the phone) who promptly ignored her and focused on me even after I repeatedly told him she was the decision maker. My wife promptly inspected the choices to determine which model was best for her. Finished with them. I did get a business card, but he did not get our information. No follow up at all.
Moving along I assured my wife that that type of behavior died out of the automotive business 10+ years ago... How wrong was I...
Figuring to have an ace in the hole, we went to a very large dealer who has a pro-active DM system in place... (idea being that with automated follow up they could not miss). The sales rep was polite but did nothing to sell us a vehicle or obtain any information from us... (no e-mail) We even drove their vehicle... it was later on a Saturday afternoon, must be the reason for this one time oversight, right? That must be it... But what about the phone call from home? Systems are in place to monitor and follow up with their auto populating ILM tool with our publicly listed phone number correct? Not a word. No follow up... In the spirit of trying to be a good sport with this dealer I called twice the next morning... Second time I did get a follow up call (after I left my number, different from home) with some basic information about the vehicle. No further contact after that.
Remarkable. My thought on this is that Digital Marketing has entered the dealerships, but it is not part of the fabric of their processes and systems. The human factor in each of these cases made it possible to route around the system / automation and lose an excellent opportunity with a local customer on a vehicle dealers today are eager to sell.
I hope to spread the word of our experience to other automotive professionals to make a positive impression... Is your DM solution engrained in your sales organization's day to day sales process?
What are your DM experiences / feedback?