Handover: Just the beginning of the journey

Once the deal for a new car is done, your customer needs to know you still care. You do care, don’t you?

Show your customer you still care even, after the sale.

Once the deal for a new car is done, your customer needs to know you still care. You do care, don’t you? Because your new customer will be hugely disappointed if he has a poor experience the moment he hands over his cash. He’ll be on Twitter using words like sloppy, disagreeable and malodorous before he’s even out the door. (You’d be surprised how many insults one can squeeze into 140 characters.)

On the other hand, give him a great experience and he’ll sing your praises online like you are the Elton John of auto dealers: Superb, fabulous, pitch-perfect.

This is why it’s more important than ever to get the handover experience right.

Start by making sure you schedule enough time for the handover appointment. This is your customer’s wedding day with his new car, so don’t skimp on the trumpets and flowers (so to speak). He deserves to feel special. Walk around his chosen vehicle and just admire it with him. Then talk through the car and features; of course you’ll have all the documentation ready for him, like new warranty inclusions to customer and the owner’s manual. Point out the tool kit and spare wheel and all the bells and whistles. Then complete the vehicle acceptance and profile form.

The right technology here can really help make sure there are no hiccups or awkward delays. Create a checklist in your DMS and then use it to make sure that every step in your process is followed. (You don’t want to forget something simple, like organising the road tax!) Make sure you know all his electronic contact info and ask how he prefers to be contacted. By phone? Email? Text?

Speaking of which, don’t forget that the handover can be a perfect social media moment. Can you offer to take a smart phone photo of your customer at the wheel of his new car? A photo he just might send to friends or post on Facebook? Or can you take one of your own and ask his permission to post it to the world from your dealership account?

OK, it’s all done: your customer drives off to happily-ever-after and you close the door. Your job is done, right?

On the contrary! It’s only just beginning. Your challenge now is to bring this new customer into your aftersales cycle and turn him into a long-term advocate for your dealership.

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