By now if you have been paying attention to any of the JD Power & Associates ratings for the past 20 years or Consumer Reports you might have heard that the Japanese Auto manufacturers do pretty well. In fact, each year for the past 20 years the top five have been dominated by Lexus, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Acura and Infiniti. To be a little more precise, Lexus has dominated the field even amongst their non-luxury counterparts for years as well in ratings such as initial and long term dependability.
If you have had your luxury vehicle serviced lately, you might have noticed a greater dependance on surveys. It should be no secret that dealerships and brands get rated based your individual scores on service now as well. Many brands/dealerships actually incentivize their employees based on these ratings. Some of the best dealerships, such as Sewell base a large part of their service departments compensation and many if not all of their employees on customer service indexing.
The evolution of purchasing a vehicle from a dealer or individual…how much has it changed?
I remember my freshman college roommate telling me that he was entering into the world wide web for the first time on his 300lb gateway computer and I did not know what the heck he was talking about. Later after what seemed a lifetime of computer modem sounds, 4,000 clicks and lots of frustration (not to mention occupying our ladies party line all night) he was finally on! So now what? What was he going to do on this “world wide web”? I asked him this question and he told me that eventually you would be able to buy goods and services online and have them shipped to you with the stroke of a key! I thought he was bananas.
This story was from a long time ago. If you are old enough to remember the introduction of the internet/web/world wide web then you might have felt the same way I did. In today’s world, we can buy almost everything online from insurance to stocks to clothing to groceries. We make our reservations online, blog and yes, we buy automobiles online also.
Have you ever purchased a vehicle online, sight unseen? Many have. I am one of them. I’ve purchased many cars online as well as had my customers purchase from me. I had a gentleman send me one text that he was buying my car then showed up with a bag of cash to purchase it and drove it home 30 minutes later. And no…he was not in the pharmaceutical industry! I’ve shipped a car to a customer who had never seen it before except for in photos and they were extremely happy.
So this begs, the question: What’s next in buying an automobile? Will you just tell your refrigerator to buy you a car and she will arrange payment and it will be in your garage as soon as you open the door? Will you be able to switch our cars like we change our undergarments? Perhaps so.
With the mass media of photos, the availability of records via carfax, autocheck and others in addition to the knowledge at your fingertips purchasing just about anything online can be a breeze—yes, even a car! There are countless businesses that appeal to the uninformed consumer about buying vehicles, car buyers, brokers and middlemen that all ease the transaction for the customer.
These days you can find out the vehicle’s complete service history, accident/flood/lemon law/buyback/salvage history take a virtual video tour around the car and even hear the engine roar just with a few clicks. When you are ready to purchase, you can even arrange financing, have the car shipped to you and even get a virtual walk through of the vehicle all online or via text, e-mail.
Stale popcorn, potential tire kickers listening to your personal situation, stained fabric chairs with balloons tied to them and a sales manager asking you “how can we get your business today” were all common mainstays of purchasing a car just yesterday. Not any more. Now it’s staring at your 27″ Apple LED monitor while drinking your Starbucks and petting your dog while you purchase a car like it was a pair of socks on eBay. With the thrill of spending all day in a financing office or the cheesy salesperson’s office waiting to find out if a dealer accepted your offer or you got approved for financing is gone-what senses are evoked when purchasing a new car now? What do consumers want to feel when buying a vehicle online? How does a text picture or e-mail picture replace running your finger across the hood of your potential new car?
The simple fact is that feeling that you received value, your expectations were met/exceeded, the quality and integrity of what you purchased online delivered in person and great communication are all senses that consumers need to feel when purchasing a vehicle online. If you are buying a vehicle and do not experience any of these feelings then perhaps you are buying at the wrong place? Value is in the eye of the beholder. Whether it’s in person or online consumer behavior really hasn’t changed, just the medium has in which we all use.
If you or a friend, loved one or co-worker or anyone you know may be looking for a new previously loved luxury automobile, let Luxury Car Source exceed your expectations and make it easy for you to find your next sweet ride!
Time Magazine says white has replaced silver as the # 1 car color for drivers. What’s your favorite color? Mine? Arrest-Me-Red! At least in a sports car. I think it varies for the kind of car you are buying…Red in a minivan or SUV? Maybe not!