Dealership Product Specialists Improve Customer Satisfaction with Sales Process
By Jeff Youngs, November 13, 2014
A critical element in the sales process is a salesperson's ability to completely understand their customer's needs. According to the results of the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study,SM that occurs 86% of the time.
While that result reflects favorably on salesperson performance, there is room for improvement. Increasingly, and in an effort to better understand customer needs, dealerships are hiring dedicated product specialists to explain and demonstrate the advanced technology on modern vehicles. The upshot, according to the 2014 SSI Study, is that sales satisfaction is slightly higher among customers who work with both types of dealership personnel, compared to working with only a salesperson.
"With such tech-heavy vehicles today, introducing product specialists into the sales process helps improve the delivery process and customer understanding of how to operate key features," said Chris Sutton, vice president of the automotive retail practice at J.D. Power.
Additionally, the study finds that customer satisfaction is higher when salespeople use a computer or tablet to communicate price and payment information during negotiations than when they present this information in printed form, verbal quotes, or handwritten figures. The 2014 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study finds that dealerships are increasingly using such technology for this purpose. According to the study, the use of a computer or tablet by dealer personnel has increased to 22% this year from 18% in 2013.
The study also finds that among Mass Market brands, Mini ranks highest in sales satisfaction, followed closely by Buick and Chevrolet. Among Premium brands, Mercedes-Benz ranks highest in sales satisfaction, followed by Infiniti and Jaguar.
Findings of the 2014 Sales Satisfaction Index Study are based upon 29,805 survey responses from consumers who purchased or leased their new vehicle in April or May 2014.
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