Dealerships let down by the dealers

Car buyers are almost always satisfied by dealers, but customers remain less happy with the quality of dealer staff, new research has revealed.

The finding comes from a unique deep dive into the experiences of car buyers just revealed by Autovia.

Every aspect of the buying experience is examined in Autovia’s ‘Driver Power’ research, which is drawn from the reports of up to 60,000 participants a year, and dealer staff appear to be the weakest link in an otherwise almost universally satisfying process.

Dealer efforts to overcome the challenges of the pandemic have been especially successful, with the quality of virtual tours to demonstrate a vehicle and contactless handover of the car consistently beating expectations.

Investment in the quality and comfort of showrooms has also paid off, with customers typically rating their dealer’s premises as better than expected.

But, among the thousands of customers who bought a car from a traditional dealer over the past two years, criticisms of staff accounted for three out of four areas in which expectations were not met.

Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief of Autovia, said: “Dealers will be concerned to see some aspects of their work failing to completely delight customers. But it’s not all bad news for dealers, who have had the most challenging period in memory with lockdown closures and unprecedented supply constraints. Our analysis reveals only a small gap between the customer’s experience and expectations in each case where dealers apparently fall short. So perhaps a customer verdict of doing well, but could do better, is only to be expected.”