Independent dealers should put service before sales to gain advantage

The Car People, one of the largest independent dealer chains, has explained to readers of Automotive Management Online about the importance of customer service over sales numbers in the independent dealership market.

Unlike franchise dealerships, independent dealerships don't have manufacturer-led sales targets to hit and can offer a much more tailored, personal approach to customer service as a result. This is a best way to keep customer comings back year after year and car purchase after car purchase, explains The Car People.

Independent dealers have the freedom to run their dealerships as they wish and offer the very best customer service experience for their valued clients. However, part of this process is taking out comprehensive new and used car dealership insurance.

The Car People explained that the key to keeping customers on side is to create a pressure-free, professional environment where buyers feel they can discuss their needs thoroughly without the feeling their sales associate will try to sell them a car and extra products that might not be right for their needs.

Key areas where independent dealers can gain customer confidence, is in negotiating part-exchange deals, sorting financing and insurance for buyers and providing advice on extra products that may improve the car or the experience or the owner.

They added that the first contact from the car buyer is now usually made online and some details will already have been taken by the time they come into the showroom. “As a result, the role of the sales adviser’s job when dealing with customers face-to-face has changed," explained Jonathan Allbones, director of sales at The Car People.