We all want two things – to sell more cars, and to create more happy customers. Unfortunately, we know there are parts of the used car buying process that may cause some friction between you and the customers, and they're not always comfortable discussing them. To solve this, we asked Canadians to tell us their top "pain points" when buying a used car, and what you can do to help improve it.
Pain Point #1: "I don’t know if the vehicle is in good shape."
The unique thing about pre-owned vehicles is that each one is different – no two units have the same history. For a buyer, understanding what’s happened to that specific unit is very important and you’re in a position to help them understand this information. Overcoming this possible frustration can be as simple as putting more focus on the benefits of buying a great unit compared to buying a great name. Addressing this pain point is a win-win, because you’re the only dealer with that specific car. If the customer understands the value in the unit, your vehicle will stand out from the competitors.
How to fix it: Dedicate more time and listing space to selling the condition of an individual unit, not just the car in general.
Pain Point #2: "What are these extra fees?"
The typical used car buyer spends more time researching cars online than they spend in the dealership, and an important part of online research is comparing prices. So, you can imagine the customers frustration when they think they’ve found the perfect car for them, only to learn that the listed price was missing some extra fees necessary to get the vehicle on the road. Even if you already have all-in pricing, make it clear to potential customers that the price they see online is the guaranteed all-in price. That way, they have the confidence to get off the couch and come buy from you. Transparency online creates trust with you and your store, and your website is an extension of your store.
How to fix it: Put an all-in pricing guarantee on your listings and reiterate it in your store.
Pain Point #3: "I'm tired of negotiating."
The challenge with negotiation is that most customers don’t like it but may feel that if they don’t negotiate, they’ll end up with a bad deal. The best way to alleviate this is to change the price conversation. Focus on justifying your price, instead of a free-for-all negotiation. After all, you've set a competitive price, and the customer liked that price enough to visit your dealership in the first place. The secret is to be transparent. Turn your screen around, ensure you’re starting with terms and sources the customer understands. If you start giving them information from a source they don’t recognize, they may not believe you; it's about maintaining trust and comfort. If the customer is determined to get something extra aim for mutually beneficial perks like a few free oil changes or car washes.
How to fix it: Change the conversation on price so it’s focused on justifying your list price and be sure to reference sources and tools consumers recognize.
Easy as 1-2-3
Used car buyers just want a smooth car buying process that is free of unexpected surprises or headaches. These pain points can be the difference between making a sale and having a customer walk away. If you plan for them before they even start, you'll have happier customers and increase your sales at the same time.