One of the things dealers constantly have to battle with is the consumer trust factor. Historically, some auto dealerships have kept information away from consumers. So, as is human nature, consumers then thought these dealers had something to hide.
To add to this issue of trust, in many dense markets, dealers participate in a fierce race to the bottom — promising deep discounts on vehicles through their advertising… but then do a bait and switch. It’s not uncommon to hear a complaint from a customer that was given one price on the phone or online, just to discover a significant price change once they arrive at the store. Perhaps this was due a failure to qualify for a rebate, so was not exactly deceptive advertising. But, ultimately, it’s the consumer’s perception that matters.
The same trust factor presents itself when it comes to converting leads on dealership’s websites. Customers are afraid to fill out forms because they believe that, rather than fulfilling the promise on the form (i.e.: get a price), they will be barraged with e-mails and phone calls constantly. And, in many cases, that is exactly what happens — the customer never gets what the form promised – a price. Many first responses from a dealership to a lead simply ask the customer when they can come in. Why would a customer want to come into your store if your first response to them was perceived as unhelpful?
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