Delivering a New Vehicle is Special. Make it Memorable!
The delivery is an important moment of truth that solidifies the customer’s feelings about their vehicle purchase.
It significantly impacts their comprehension of features and benefits, the overall enjoyment they will experience, and how they ultimately value working together with you and your dealership.
The delivery is so important that we have created some best practices that can help you provide the ultimate customer experience – and make your next one– a delivery to remember!
Start with Meaningful Communication
A delivery to remember starts with open and honest communication to the customer and managing their expectations.
This first step is largely dependent on the logistics of the vehicle purchased.
What do we mean by logistics? This refers to the steps necessary to delivery the vehicle.
Typically there are usually three possible scenarios. It could be a factory-order, a dealer trade, or it could be in-stock and each scenario requires communication to ensure the customer receives the best-possible experience.
Determine Proper Timing
For a factory-order, you will need to determine an approximate timeframe to anticipate the delivery and stay in touch on a regular basis to provide any updates to the customer.
Many factors can impact a factory-order delivery date – manufacturing and weather delays included – but even if disappointed with a delay, your customer will appreciate any information you can provide along the way.
Provide Updates and the Delivery Date
A dealer trade is obviously faster than a factory-order, but it still may require time to coordinate, so you need to communicate to your customer what is involved and that a firm delivery date cannot be determined until the vehicle is physically at your dealership.
So stay in touch, provide updates, and in the meantime, you can work on all the pre-delivery steps that will be necessary for when it does arrive.
What do we mean by pre-delivery steps? Well, when the factory order or dealer trade arrives, or if it’s an in-stock vehicle, these steps are all the components that you need to plan out and prepare before the actual delivery takes place.
Communication is again a big part of the pre-delivery as you will need to communicate to the customer what happens during the delivery process including the paperwork required, a comprehensive dealership tour, an introduction to service, and a detailed walkaround presentation.
These are just some of the items that can occur, and that your customer should know about beforehand.
A vital pre-delivery item is of course, the vehicle, and for you to ensure it’s ready for delivery.
Are there any accessories that have been ordered, and if so, are they installed? If not, find out why, and if it is due to a back-order, you need to communicate this to the customer prior to their arrival.
They may be disappointed but better to find out in advance than at the dealership.
Also in terms of the vehicle, is it detailed and ready for the delivery? Check for any small scratches, dents or stone chips that could possibly be corrected before the customer arrives.
Factor In the Necessary Timing
Of course, you will need to set up the delivery date and time, and also the amount of time necessary.
The amount of time will be dependent on a couple of factors. The customer’s familiarity with the vehicle will be one, as a repeat purchaser of a similar model will likely require less time than a new customer who has never owned one before.
The type of vehicle purchased also plays a factor, as a base model will likely require less time to explain than a fully-loaded one. And speaking of features you will need to determine and communicate what you will be explaining.
Find Out What Features Are Important to the Customer
You need to balance the features the customer deems important such as the entertainment system, with other significant features they may not be fully aware of.
Safety features are a good example of this, as most people are concerned with safety, but with all the new technology advances, some safety features can be difficult to understand in their operation, so a full explanation may be necessary.
In fact, features such as pre-collision systems or lane departure alert, if not explained properly can even cause confusion and dissatisfaction when they activate, and the customer is not prepared for it.
The key is to discuss the features you need to cover with the customer ahead of time so that they are prepared to understand, appreciate, and value what is being presented at delivery.
A great way to communicate some of this information is with video, so consider sending any feature videos you may have to your customer before delivery.
This way they can view it, gain some understanding, and bring up any questions they may have at the time of the delivery.
Contact Customers the Day of the Delivery
On the day of delivery, or the night before if it’s first-thing in the morning, it’s important to contact the customer before their scheduled time to ensure nothing has changed in terms of their availability.
Being too early, or late doesn’t help either one of you so it’s best to check ahead of time.
And speaking of time, even if you have double-checked with the customer, it’s best to leave yourself free for a ½ hour before, and a ½ hour after the scheduled delivery time in case they arrive early, or if the delivery happens to run a little later than planned.
Again, it is always better to plan ahead for any last-minute changes.
In terms of the paperwork, ensure that it’s prepared, organized and even areas for signatures are highlighted to make it easy for the customer to understand.
Make the Delivery Experience Memorable
You have done a lot of pre-delivery work by now, but there is one last factor that you need to focus on and that is to make the delivery something special.
You may deliver a vehicle every day, but for your customer, this event may only happen every few years. For most people, a vehicle is the second biggest purchase they will ever make, so do what you can and plan to make it memorable.
Whether it be balloons tied to the vehicle, a car cover to build up the excitement, a picture of the customer and their family with their new vehicle…even a small gift such as a pen or car mug, will all help to make the delivery special.
Talk to your manager and plan together to create a unique experience.
And speaking of your manager, management introductions are important at the delivery. A greeting by your sales or service manager, and if possible, even by the dealer principal, will be a nice touch that will help the customer feel special and part of the family.
Check with your managers’ schedules daily, and encourage them to be available for an introduction when your customer arrives.
Important Efforts to Continue After Delivery
In terms of preparing for a delivery, always realize that the customer excitement level will be at an all-time high and as a result, you need to make all the efforts that happen after-the-sale, just as important as your efforts were leading up to the sale.
Some salespeople just want to get through the delivery and move on the next sale, but you need to always keep in mind how important the delivery is toward the customer’s experience, their satisfaction, and ultimately their repeat and referral business.
So, in terms of the pre-delivery, ensure you communicate any important information to the customer to keep them informed and updated regardless if it’s a factory order, a dealer trade or an in-stock vehicle.
Prepare them for what happens during the delivery and manage their expectations in terms of the content to be covered, as well as the time necessary.
In regard to time, ensure you allocate enough time to do a needs-based walk around that includes an explanation of all-important feature – especially safety features.
Ensure the paperwork is prepared and the vehicle is looking its best.
And lastly, plan to make the delivery something special for the customer, something they will truly remember, not only for themselves, but also so they will tell their friends and family.
Thanks for reading, and always make it a goal to be even better tomorrow than you were today.