Automobile manufacturers were one of the first industries to use e-commerce effectively. No longer did you have to go to the dealership to view the models, colors and all of the various options. You could now assemble the car of your dreams yourself! In today’s world, there are probably very few car buyers who don’t first peruse the manufacturer’s site to compare various models and their associated features and prices.
I know when I take the time to build a car on an on-line site; I’m a serious buyer. Not only am I serious, I’m excited too. There are not too many purchases that provide as much satisfaction as getting into your new car and taking off for your first drive around town.
Recently, one of my friends, Jim, was in the market to purchase a new car. Jim went on two different sites. After building his dream car on each site, he hit the “send” button and within 2 hours received emails from both companies.
The first response informed my friend that Larry, from ABC dealership, would be in touch with him within 24 hours to help him execute his purchase and to answer any questions he might have. Within 4 hours, Larry did call Jim and he and Larry instantly connected via the telephone. Jim made an appointment the following day to see Larry in person. It ended up that Larry and Jim knew many of the same folks in town – Jim signed the paperwork and within a few days had his new car.
The second company informed Jim that the sales representative at his local dealership, Matthew, was on vacation for a week and would contact him upon his return. Jim was really baffled. He had built his customized car. He was ready to buy. He just wasn’t 100 percent sure which model might work best for his family. He could not believe the email message he received. You mean to say, that in the interim, that there was no one else at the dealership that could fill in for Matthew and contact Jim by phone?
I don’t get it. Car companies spend millions of dollars to seek out random buyers, updating their sites with the latest technology and then use zero common sense to finalize the sale. Just as a side note, the salesperson who was on vacation never contacted my friend Jim, at all.
Are you and your salespeople using common sense?