If you haven’t already noticed, human’s attention spans, in general, are decreasing. A deluge of short soundbites, marketing messages and social media has created a society that simply won’t listen… if you talk too long. Do you have a friend who, when they want to tell you a story, you immediately ask them how long it is? If so, I’m sure you understand.
According to a recent article on Search Engine Land, today’s consumers have become so used to receiving relevant information instantaneously that, when the online customer experience doesn’t deliver, they simply leave and don’t do business with the company. For example, the article shared that in July 2016, the average U.S. retail mobile site loaded in 6.9 seconds. Well today, 40 percent of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. Furthermore, 79 percent of shoppers dissatisfied with site performance say they’re less likely to purchase from the same site again. While that may seem harsh, it’s reality — and it’s probably only going to get worse.
For automotive retailers, the current trend is to take more of the buying experience online. This is evident in the start-ups vying to sell and deliver vehicles online direct-to-consumer, as well as in the larger traditional automotive vendors who are rolling out comprehensive ways for customers to complete more of the buying process online.
If the statistics from the Search Engine Land article hold up for the car dealership web experience (and there is no reason to expect that car buyers are any different from any other type of online buyer), then you would be wise to ensure that the customer experience on your website throughout the entire process is both fast and easy. Otherwise you risk losing the sale and any future business from that customer.
Customer loyalty cannot be earned from a customer that never existed. There are plenty of people searching through your dealership websites every day that you will never know existed. Ensuring the DIGITAL customer experience is great is in fact as important as, if not more important than insuring the customer’s physical experience is exceptional.
Your dealership will get more consumers on your digital lot (i.e. website) than in person. Imagine if a customer came onto your lot and was ignored for 30 minutes. That customer experience would probably not work out well for your dealership.
The problem is that the gap between business investments and technology adoption is currently quite significant – especially in our automotive industry. While many businesses believe they “should” adopt new technologies, according to the article, 66 percent of marketers have no plans to do so.
Start analyzing consumer behavior as far as what is working, what is not and what is needed (technology-wise). If you don’t, you risk losing sales and loyal customers who could bring you revenue for years.
In our era of 140-word count tweets, Facebook posts that lean towards shorter videos and brands that thrive on shorter marketing messages, it’s become a challenge for businesses to capture – and keep – the attention of the average consumer. Today’s customers have the attention span of a squirrel. If you don’t cater for the faster, almost instant gratification they demand, your customers will move onto a better experience at the competition.
Author: Michael Gorun
Michael Gorun is founder of Performance Loyalty Group, a technology-based owner retention and loyalty company. He has more than 25 years in operational service management positions for Ford, Nissan and General Motors. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.