Are you thinking point-of-sale or all the points that lead to the sale?

If you’re thinking of just point-of-sale, you may be hurting your bottom line.

It’s all about the customer experience, the customer journey and the customer satisfaction.

It’s no longer about browsing multiple dealerships, test driving cars and haggling with a salesperson (which customers hate – to put it in perspective, a Gallup poll found 9 percent of respondents found car salesmen honest and ethical; members of congress got 8 percent) –  it’s the sum of every customer experience leading up to the purchase.

“Whether they’re shopping for a simple razor or looking to spend $50,000 on a vehicle, consumers have come to expect an easy, personalized and informative shopping experience,” a Perq Digital Book states.

Customers will conduct so much research along that journey that when they enter your dealership, their sale is yours to lose.

And so, the sales cycle begins in any number of ways. A car buyer may seek recommendations, start Googling types of vehicles they want or seek out a car based on make. They may even casually browse with no intention of purchasing a vehicle at all.

With the help of location-based algorithms or search keywords, they may end up on your website. Just type Ford into a search engine and dealerships in a 20-mile radius are likely to pop up; and you could be one of them. When the customer clicks on your website, what do they see?

For most, dealer websites are internet versions of that salesperson they want to avoid. Prices and deals and pictures. Oh, and lead generation forms. Customers have no problem giving up information as long as they see a benefit in doing so. Unfortunately, many do not, so they see these forms as nothing more than a nuisance; therefore, the experience is thwarted by creating a poor impression and thus little-to-no value for the lead.

The customer’s research will most likely lead them to your website long before they consider entering your showroom. Your website can provide them with clear, useful information to guide their decision-making other than a long list of features (don’t all vehicles have AM/FM radio?) and prices (isn’t that part of the dreaded haggling process?). Will that really persuade them to visit your showroom?

The key is providing useful tools and information to help the car buyer make their decision. To be memorable, you have to show you’re ahead of the competition.

  • Excellent Pictures

Having quality photos of your inventory helps you and your vehicles stand out compared with other dealerships. Poor pictures can reduce the perceived value, condition and quality of the vehicle.

  • Vehicle Descriptions

When a customer views a vehicle on your website, are they bombarded with features or is there a captivating description of what driving the vehicle is like? Does the customer feel the smooth performance and luxurious, leather seating? Or are they just reading “Leather Seats” and “AWD 6-Speed Automatic”?

  • Home Page

Why should a customer bring their business to you? A scrolling carousel of lease deals won’t differentiate one dealer from another. Awards, commitment to service and listing other benefits will help a car buyer see why your dealership is different.


The best way to be memorable is to be present. If someone bought a vehicle from you, interact with them in a way that adds to the experience because if you expect them to return in five or six years to buy their next car, then you’re wishful thinking – and losing a lot of potential after-sales revenue as well.

A customer’s journey into purchasing their next vehicle should be never-ending. If there is no interaction after delivery, you will need to reacquire the customer as if you never had them in the first place.

Through OneClick Loyalty, we make it easy for you to digitally engage with the car buyer. They learn the benefits of service through your dealership, get advice on keeping their car running smoothly and receive the right messages at the right time so that they are receptive.

With only a handful of positive interactions, you build an enjoyable experience that your customers will associate with your dealership. And, when it’s time to purchase or lease again, they will naturally feel compelled to make the journey back through your showroom doors.

Proactive, positive engagement and a resourceful and responsive website will help pave the way for retention.