Here at MTI we are continuingly fascinated with how quickly things move on in the car business. Not only through innovative new products and upgrades in spec and technology but also in the way car buyers are being looked after and how cars are promoted in dealerships.
Say what you like about the “we will buy any car” operations of this world but – unlike a few years ago for sure – they certainly provide a viable alternative for buyers looking to upgrade their cars. We also now see that buyers can gather information on products, financial solutions and make comparisons before even having to make any contact whatsoever with a dealer.
Moving to the next step however is likely to be even more customer centric.
For example whilst waiting to collect a car from a BMW dealer recently I was intrigued to see a sales exec with a camera phone making his own video of a car on his forecourt, adding his own commentary whilst doing so. I asked him why he is doing this and he explained that he was making a “real life” video for a customer from the other side of the country. The prospective car buyer was really interested in the car but was reluctant to commit to a long journey and such a big decision without seeing the car “in the flesh” as it were. This way he could ask the sales exec in real time about different features and any light defects, if any, the car had so he was better able to make an informed judgment.
The quality of the video was fantastic and the commentary was real and not from some glossy ad voiceover. It therefore showed the car exactly as it was and according to the sales guy with so many customers looking to buy cars nationally it was a great way of taking them over that next step and as close as they could get without actually being there.
Yet another innovation to go with multi image pictures and showreels and with dealers investing as much as possible into presenting their cars for sale and showing them in the best light possible, the customer in the comfort of their homes or office can see real life real time videos of a car before deciding on whether to move to the all-important next step.
Not long from now this kind of hands on virtual selling is likely to become the norm.