10 August 2023 by Curtis Hutchinson

Franchised dealers urged to review sales processes ahead of likely boost to September plate-change.

Dealers need to review their new car sales processes to maximise on what could be the biggest September plate-change since 2019.

JudgeService believes the widely reported improvements in new vehicle supply will see a return to pre-Covid sales volumes for the new 73-plate.

However, its newly published State of the Nation: The Big Squeeze study reveals that some franchised dealers already stand a higher chance of winning incremental new car sales than others by having processes in place which address the changing needs of customers, many of whom will be making their first major purchase since the start of the cost of living crisis.

“We’ve seen how improved supply has powered the growth of the new car market for the last 12 months as strong order books have been fulfilled ahead of the debut of the 73-plate,” said Neil Addley, managing director of JudgeService.

“However, we’re advising dealers to take nothing for granted with our data pinpointing areas which need to be reviewed and updated to maximise their sales opportunities,” he said.

JudgeService’s data found that 40% of customers are more likely to buy a car if they have been introduced to a manager, compared with just 28% in 2019.

“The squeezed consumer is even more demanding than before the hike in inflation and interest rates. In the past, in many dealerships, the salesperson vanished to 'discuss the deal' with their manager. This can leave the customer feeling excluded from a critical part of the process. This disconnect can negatively impact the overall experience and potentially deter customers from buying.

“However, a simple introduction to the manager helps remove some of the unwanted mystique. The role of a manager in the car buying process should now be more than just supervisory. Their introduction to the customer builds trust, establishes credibility, encourages accountability, and provides a reassuring personal touch,” said Addley.

JudgeService also advises dealers to keep their new stock fully up to date online, as 54% of consumers say they look at dealer websites to check on new car deals and availability.

Addley also believes there is an opportunity for dealers to incentivise sales staff to focus on part-exchanges as nearly two-thirds (62%) of buyers prefer to trade-in and purchase their new car from the same dealer.

“Dealers need to be generous with valuations for part-exchange, not just to clinch the deal but because they are a good source of retail stock. Salespeople need to be encouraged to think about buying stock and be incentivised to do so, otherwise, customers will go elsewhere,” he said.

JudgeService’s State of the Nation: The Big Squeeze survey polled the views of 6,524 car buyers to identify consumer trends impacting the franchised dealer sector.

Further details and comments available from Neil Addley on 07795 665927 or neil@judgeservice.com.

About JudgeService

Launched in 2011 by Neil Addley, JudgeService is the UK’s only customer review platform developed exclusively for the car retailing sector. By ensuring all reviews are verified and genuine, JudgeService builds a solid foundation of trust and respect between customers and sellers enabling car retailers to actively manage their online reputations.

JudgeService shares granular insight reports with dealers to help them identify opportunities to improve customer satisfaction levels, with many achieving 100% recommendation scores.

Based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, JudgeService has published over 1 million customer reviews and is used by over 1,000 franchised, independent and car supermarket sites across the UK.

Issued by Curtis Hutchinson Communications

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