That new car smell. The smooth driving experience. The process of learning to use technology advancements. Buying a new car is an exciting process that can bring about a variety of emotions.
Customers may feel thrilled to have a new ride while also concerned something may happen to the car. They could be grateful for the updated features but anxious about the financial commitment. They might be proud of the purchase but also curious if they’ll feel the investment was worthwhile down the line.
It truly is a mixed bag when a lot of money is spent at one time. But it doesn’t have to be so up and down. Creating an atmosphere of confidence will go a long way with car-buying customers. Here are a few ways to improve their experience and be your borrower’s first choice.
1. Be Upfront About Finances
Naturally, one of the biggest parts of buying a car is securing the financing to do so. The stereotype that car-buying is a shadowy business is something you’ll want to avoid as much as possible. If people feel uncomfortable, it can lead them to walk away with their business. And that hurts your bottom line.
A car is a big purchase and can require a few steps to ensure the funds are there, so be as transparent as possible with customers. Lay out the financial obligations required as soon as a vehicle is decided on. Verify with your client that the cost and their budget align, too.
Make a point to highlight the aspects people often overlook. Take time to explain steps and terms like income verification, credit history, interest rates, monthly payment, and required fees. While these may seem small, anything that feels hidden has the potential to make customers feel like they’ve been taken advantage of. It could make a difference in how they feel about the current transaction and who they trust to provide a loan. It could also impact where they take their business next time.
2. Take a Human Approach
Many people complain about the transactional and sometimes pushy nature of buying a car. While it is a sale and a transaction is part of the deal, remember that a human is making the purchase. People don’t want to feel like a number, they want a true customer experience.
This doesn’t have to derail your lending approach. Simple habits like smiling, communicating clearly, and offering helpful tools to customers can ensure they understand the process. If they have questions, answer them. If you don’t know the answer, admit that. Then, find someone who does or take the time to research the answer. Most clients will appreciate the honesty over hollow answers.
People want to feel reassured that the big purchase they’re about to make is the right one. Support and kindness can go a long way in instilling confidence. Although these seem like small adjustments, they can change the tonality of their experience and leave a lasting impression.
3. Understand your Customer
You’ll have some clients who know exactly what they want when they walk in. They’re dead set on a make, model, and price they’re willing to pay. They may even have an exactly dollar amount set for a monthly payment. However, others may have a rough idea but are looking for a good deal.
Regardless of which customer walks in, be prepared to get to know them and ensure they get what they want and need. Sure, the decked-out pick-up truck has a great look to it and can be handy for outdoorsmen. But does your apartment-living, gas mileage-conscious customer need that? And can they afford the loan payment?
Of course, that isn’t to say you should talk someone out of a vehicle they want and can afford. However, it isn’t a bad call to focus the car search for things that fully align with their needs. While financing the vehicle they’re purchasing is the goal, having a happy customer is paramount.
4. Explain the Total Cost of the Vehicle
Cars are more than just their sticker price, but that may not be something everyone knows. From insurance costs to gas mileage and routine maintenance, cars are assets requiring regular investments for years to come. However, for those unaware of all the costs of car ownership, budgets can be disrupted pretty easily.
Go over legal requirements in your state when discussing financing, notably what the minimum insurance coverage required is. Also chat through costs like taxes, the eventual title process, and the expected annual maintenance amount. Reminders about the frequency of services like oil changes, tire rotations, and filter replacements can also be helpful.
While there’s no way to detail every potential cost associated with a car purchase, covering as many as possible is key. Customers will appreciate the information and can use the resources available to figure out how to fit additional expenses into their budget. Being transparent and as helpful as possible provides value to your customer. That alone can make you a top contender.
Car shoppers are looking for a few things when they make a purchase. They want a vehicle that fits their needs, aligns with their budget, and checks off a few of their wants. They don’t want a muddled financing process with hidden costs around every corner and pushy salespeople.
Remember that transparency is the way to go. Walk your customer through their purchase and focus on being kind throughout the experience. Ultimately, how they feel about the car, their buying experience, and the ease of financing they got will keep them coming back.