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Uncle Joe's Make Over Diary

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,988
1,511
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First Name
Joe
With all that he did prior to visiting, how long was he at the store for? How did that compare with his expectations? How did he feel about that?
3.5 hrs.
Car was not ready when he arrived.
Presentation , q&a, Test drive took about 2 hours.
Negotiations ended in thirty minutes
F&I was about 45 mins (wait was 10 mins)


He was very pleased with the entire dealer experience. I'm sure he'll be giving them preference on his next car
 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,452
1,040
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First Name
Jeff
My Brother's Burnin' Gas Follow up...

...shopped car dealer sites (thinking about which dealer NOT to visit...
Joe, any chance we can get your brother to elaborate on ..
  1. shopped car dealer sites (thinking about which dealer NOT to visit)
What factors came into play when choosing what dealers NOT to visit??
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,988
1,511
113
First Name
Joe
...What factors came into play when choosing what dealers NOT to visit??
My brother's reply:
"The dealer I went to had a lot more of the model I wanted, so I had a lot to choose from... and their Dealer Reviews were the best in our area. The 2nd best dealer had about 1/2 as many to choose from and only had 3 stars".
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,988
1,511
113
First Name
Joe
...Are there any aspects of the buying process that he wishes he was able to complete online that he wasn't able to?
With all that he did prior to visiting, how long was he at the store for? How did that compare with his expectations? How did he feel about that?
My thoughts on "Transaction Time"... and WHEN shoppers give a s*** about it?


Bill,
I forgot to mention, in 99.9% of his shopping journey, never once did he mention any thing that connected to "time at dealership". It was not a significant concern to him. His expectations were set by past buying experiences. He knew what was coming and found it logical.

That being said... when the day before the dealer visit came, that's when TIME at dealership became important! (note: context is important here!) I watched him, his dealer visit was tomorrow, phone calls are coming in from work, he has ppl to see, places to go, new things to add to his schedule... he's got 100 balls in the air. He managed his schedule by moving "less important things" off the dealership visit day (note: he cut out visits to a 2nd dealer if dealer #1 screwed up!). What this means is to us is "the FULL dealership visit" was a critical part of the journey. Reducing the 'transaction time' never once entered his mind because he had too many open questions preceding it. Ultimately, he concluded that if he ran out of time, he'd take delivery another day.


My $0.02 on "Transaction Time"
10 years inside stores, reading a jillion emails, chats, phone calls, No where can I recall any organized presence of shoppers clamoring for a "get me out fast" solution.

Here's a study of >200 chat's I made. Not one request to improve the transaction time.
upload_2016-5-5_8-10-13.png


Why is "Transaction Time" Important?
From a shoppers POV, "Transaction Time" is your store's responsibility. They know it's complicated, they don't get pissed until they feel like you're wasting their time.

From my seat, fast Transaction Time does not have pre-sale wow factor... BUT, if your team can execute a fast Transaction Time, it's a nice closing tool and it'll be your 1st chance to wow your new customer (i.e. a branding opportunity).

From a management POV, It's a demonstration that your store is a team and it's highly organized and it's going to sell you more cars.

HTH
--Joe
 

BHavican

Refresher
Jan 11, 2013
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Bill
Thanks for all the feedback @JoePistell ! I was curious how that experience could relate to the discussions in the online buying thread.

I'm with you on your thoughts about transaction time. As long as they don't feel like their time isn't valued, I don't think it's a major concern of most buyers. Rather, when I've seen people frustrated with the time it takes to complete a deal it's because of an underlying issue that's really the cause of the stress. For example, the group that I've noticed complain the most about transaction time are people with credit issues. However it's not really that they're upset about their time, rather I believe it's the stress of the credit situation and not knowing that creates the frustration.
 
Mar 18, 2016
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Brad
Can you ask you brother what was the leading factor in choosing which dealer to submit a lead to. Was it strictly price? Also when he viewed the vehicle he wanted did he build out a virtual vehicle or were actual vehicles listed.
( We're working on a new UX and organic feedback like this is worth it's weight in gold!!!)
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,988
1,511
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First Name
Joe
Bill, awesome insight!

For example, the group that I've noticed complain the most about transaction time are people with credit issues. However it's not really that they're upset about their time, rather I believe it's the stress of the credit situation and not knowing that creates the frustration.


Vendors, this is what EMPATHY & NUANCE looks like. This is why you need SME's* like BIll on your side.

thnx Bill!
Joe


*Subject Matter Expert
 
Reactions: BHavican

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,988
1,511
113
First Name
Joe
wow. 1,100 likes.

TY DR community for putting up with my 'daily brain dump' ;-) Hope y'all find some insights you can profit from!
TY @Jeff Kershner for all your time and effort needed to make this happen for all of us!





For the archives:
upload_2016-5-9_10-54-10.png
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,988
1,511
113
First Name
Joe
Sunday morning coffee thoughts...

My wife's BFF is selling her house. We're chatting about who she'll pick for a listing agent. She tees up her vision with "I've got to sell this house for top dollar, I want an agent who's a hustler, a hard worker, a producer whose real aggressive". She rambles on and on. The more she talks, the more she's defining a great car sales rep.

As I reflect, I can't help but chuckle about how blind people are in our industry.

Everywhere we turn, we hear "Car Dealers are so mean". It's repeated so often, everyone thinks it's true. But, flip the coin and have that same person sell their car on their front lawn, a week later, the seller will say... "buyers are giving me stupid offers, they think I'm going to give the car away! They're so selfish!"

An Uncle Joe takeaway to all cube-dwelling techno-vendors.:unclejoe:
If your views of the automotive retailing universe are limited your cube-thoughts and an analytics dashboard, and from this body of research, you conclude that 'build it and they'll come' is what's needed, then whatever you're building will fall short. Get out of your cube, go work in a store. I did and it blew me away.

Work in a store? Ha! We all know you'll never do it, so, in the DR tradition, I wrote about it so that you may profit from it. Evil dealers and the slaughter of the innocents. It's very revealing.

"...I listened to the calls, the emails, the dialogue on the floor and at the desks. The consumer expects and wants a NEGOTIATED discount to purchase a vehicle. Many (but not all) shoppers are out for blood and will “bend the truth” (aka lie cheat and steal) to improve their position.

It didn’t take me long to realize the public perception of the evil dealer and the slaughter of the innocent buyer was totally an Urban Legend. The Internet has blown that into million pixels and has arguably tipped the scales in the buyer's favor."


Yes, I know this was written 15 yrs ago. Yes, things have changed... but they've changed iteratively. Today's car shoppers don't want carts, they want to make a decision that's best for them. The Internet has yet to deliver this solution. Once it has, then, a cart is the natural conclusion of the workflow*.

Tech can't drive change unless you deeply understand & solve your customer's needs.

Enjoy your Sunday!
-Joe

*evidence of this is seen everywhere in the dealership and in extremely low cart usage.
 

ruggles

Refresher
Nov 14, 2010
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David
RE: "P.S. I see his conclusion coming as clear as day. He is going to be another shopper that will tire from the fragmented shopping UX and abandon the internet and go to the dealer to fill in the gaps. I see this behavior everywhere I look. It’s why internet shoppers don’t want Digital Retailing …yet"

I also see his behaviour everywhere I look. I also expect your brother is in the top tier credit wise and doesn't have negative trade equity, and STILL he can't do what he wants online. Why should we want consumers to do be able to do everything online? Let's face it, while our industry touts "transparency," we have taken great pains to cultivate the perception of transparency over actual transparency. Do we think consumers buy it? Obviously not. In fact, it contributes to consumer skepticism. Even pretending not to negotiate is a strategy of negotiation. Our mission is to make gross profit so we can pay our people enough to retain them while paying overhead and leaving something left over for the dealer. Our mission is not to give consumers everything they want.

Part of the industry strategy began when auto OEMs figured out that rebates sold cars. Lenders regarded rebates as real cash down. Then trunk money got to become more pervasive so the OEMs shortened dealer markup as dealer gross profit now came from back of invoice money. The costs of this strategy came as OEMs increased invoice price to the dealer. Yes, all of this has been built in over time. It used to be that dealers paid of less at the bank when they sold a car than they collected. No more. Would consumers call this strategy "transparent?"

We currently provide so much information online that its like drinking from a fire hose for consumers. Even our own staff have difficulty understanding the "stair steps" and what's "stackable" and what's not.

I am also anxious to see how your brother's journey turns out. I expect the deal will go to whomever slows him down long enough to create a relationship of trust. Hasn't this always been the challenge?