When a potential customer visits your dealership in-store or online, they’re comparing each step of their experience.

Shoppers have expectations for your dealership that are based largely on previous interactions with other retailers.


Matching your customers’ expectations and delivering an exceptional experience at your store or on your website can significantly strengthen customer relationships and increase your sales. Each customer has their own set of expectations based on their unique experiences, but we’ve identified three common expectations shoppers have for dealers like you – and how your team can make good on these expectations to convert shoppers into customers.


Personalized Marketing

If you subscribe to a mailing list or newsletter from brands you enjoy, you’ve probably experienced the power of personalized messaging. Many popular brands create targeted emails and ad campaigns that are customized to a shopper’s interests or previous purchases. Maybe you, like most shoppers, appreciate this customized messaging and engage with it much more than generic messages. After all, 71% of consumers report feeling frustrated when presented with an impersonal marketing message that doesn’t relate to their interests or shopping behaviors (1).

So how can you customize your marketing to your customers’ expectations? Personalize the message to their preferences. If you’re sending out marketing emails, tailor your messages according to how recently shoppers had made a purchase. Customers who purchased from you recently should receive a different message than those who made a purchase years ago. For your online ad and social media campaigns, you can target your ads based on interests and demographics and run very specific campaigns. For example, if you’re running a promotion on a part or service, you can advertise to people who have purchased a major unit. Similarly, if you’re looking to sell more of a particular brand or just got a new shipment, get in front of shoppers who have shown interest in these units. When you align your marketing with consumers’ interests, you’ll see a much better response from your customer base.


In-Depth Product Information

Imagine you’re shopping for a new vacuum cleaner and you start searching the popular e-commerce sites. You scroll through hundreds of results that claim to match your search specifications, but when you click on an especially promising option, you find there’s no product information. There’s no mention of whether it cleans pet hair, if it comes with a warranty or how many settings it offers. Mostly likely, you would shake your head and move on to the next search result. Your online leads will do the same way if your site doesn’t offer the level of detailed product information that they’ve come to expect from e-commerce websites. If they can’t find product details that answer their questions, they’ll move on to a different dealer site.

Keep shoppers on your website by maintaining valuable, up-to-date product information, such as a detailed description of the unit with specs and any other information a customer would want to know if they were standing in your dealership. Considering enlisting a tool that automatically imports OEM product data to keep your listings current without needing to update them one by one.


Exceptional Customer Service

While not every brand can match major retailers in terms of sending shoppers flowers or providing free shipping on replacement parts and returns, any business can go above and beyond to serve their customers. Great service gets shoppers talking about your business. While you may not have flowers to send, you can provide shoppers with personalized offers on significant occasions such as birthdays and one-year anniversaries of a unit purchase. Personalized outreach makes shoppers feel valued and provides a great incentive for them to return to your dealership.

You can also use your online presence to enhance your customer service. Make sure you’re responding to all online reviews, both glowing and not so much, to show anyone who’s considering your brand that you care about your customers. Give shout outs to your customers on your social media pages by sharing their testimonials or their pictures with their new unit purchases. Consumers like to feel appreciated and valued, and highlighting them on your own platforms can greatly strengthen the relationship.


Meeting customers’ expectations is a crucial part of your overall marketing efforts because it provides exceptional experiences that drive sales and keep shoppers coming back.


Need to upgrade your digital platform to fulfill customers’ expectations? Connect with ARI today!


(1) Forbes