Study: Customer Treatment Trumps Price When Buying a Car

Study: Customer Treatment Trumps Price When Buying a Car

This might be an obvious piece of information, but it’s always nice to have proof – a recent study shows that when buying a new vehicle, dealer treatment is a major reason why consumers choose to buy from a specific dealer over another.

The J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study analyzed the new-vehicle purchase experience and found that 52 percent of new-car buyers reported the main reason behind picking one car dealer over another was how they were treated. The study also found that only 38 percent of buyers said vehicle price was the reason for selecting a particular dealer. This information shows that incentives and specials don’t move cars off the lot – it’s customer satisfaction.

Here are a few other interesting findings found in the report

  • In the new-vehicle buying process, negotiating the deal takes the longest time (53 minutes on average) after selecting the vehicle.
  • About 60 percent of new-vehicle buyers visit more than one dealership during the shopping process.
  • Although many dealers are rejected for not having the type of vehicle that buyers wanted to purchase, a significant percentage of buyers (18 percent) end their showroom visit mainly due to poor customer treatment by the dealership salespeople.
  • A majority (79 percent) of new-vehicle buyers use the Internet during their shopping process. Nearly one-fourth (24 percent) of buyers in 2010 submitted an online request for quote to a dealer, and were, on average, more satisfied with the negotiation process and price paid.

[Source: J.D. Power]