COSTA MESA, Calif. — Showroom sales processes can drive future customer loyalty, but higher satisfaction in online and shopping factors can often close a sale, according to J.D. Power’s latest U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study.
The 2019 study is based on responses from 28,867 buyers who purchased or leased a new vehicle in April or May. Analysts measured customer satisfaction with the selling dealer as well as satisfaction with brands and dealerships that were shopped but ultimately rejected.
Porsche ranks highest in sales satisfaction among luxury brands, achieving a score of 827. This is the second consecutive year — and the fourth time since 2015 — that Porsche has ranked highest. Mercedes-Benz (825) ranks second and Infiniti (821) third.
Buick achieved a score of 795, ranking highest among mass market brands for the third time in four years. GMC (791) ranks second and Mini (790) ranks third.
“If a new-vehicle shopper isn’t satisfied with the dealer website or facilities, they aren’t going any further in the sales funnel.”
Lower satisfaction related to dealership website, inventory and the facility itself is common among brands with lower close rates that perform below segment average in these factors, noted Chris Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at J.D. Power.
“While digital retail is on the rise, shoppers aren’t quite ready to adopt an Amazon-like business model when it comes to purchasing a vehicle; they still want to view inventory in-person and often rely on salespeople to explain how the vehicle technology works,” Sutton said. “In fact, 90% of buyers still visit their selling dealership during the shopping process. The key for dealers is to ensure they don’t lose the sale before a customer even steps foot on their lot.
“If a new-vehicle shopper isn’t satisfied with the dealer website or facilities, they aren’t going any further in the sales funnel, and that sale is lost before a dealer can demonstrate how well it does everything else,” he added. “Brands with the highest close-rate percentages are successfully delivering the experiences vehicle shoppers want.”
To review the study in its entirety, click here.