A positive car buying experience is more important to customers than price.
That is according to a recent survey from Roadster, which provides car buying and leasing commerce solutions.
And according to the survey, that positive experience is also more important than price in other industries. Roadster’s survey covered sectors such as grocery, apparel and cable, and overall, shoppers become more loyal when retailers offer a great customer experience, free shipping and easy returns.
But in the automotive industry specifically, men and women said that dealing with one person from start to finish, transparent pricing and having the inventory they are looking for contribute to a better shopping experience.
Fifty-two percent of respondents ranked a positive car buying experience as more important to them than price. In fact, 85% of men and 81% of women said they would pay up to 10% more to experience a fast, transparent and painless car purchasing process. Nineteen percent of women and 15% of men would be willing to pay 20% more for that positive customer experience.
The survey also showed some areas where the auto industry needs some work. Men and women had similar views when ranking the industries with the worst shopping experiences. The cable industry (22% of men and 18% of women) ranked as having the worst shopping experience, with the automobile industry coming as second-worst (13% of men and 18% of women). Those two also ranked as the two industries in most need of modernization.
In answering the survey question of what went wrong during their last car buying experience, consumers who had purchased or leased a car in the past year listed the following issues: 29% reported a feeling of being upsold on services and products that they did not want, 28% said the process was inefficient and took too much time and 24% reported a lack of transparent pricing available.
But Roadster, which conducted the study in partnership with Survata, did report some good news: 87% of respondents said they had a positive car shopping experience.
Roadster noted that NPS scores for automotive retail have declined since 2016, stating that its study shows the auto industry is “impacted by the perceived modernization of other industries.” The lack of a positive customer experience in the automotive industry compared to other industries has driven customer satisfaction for the auto industry down over time.
“At Roadster, we’ve always put a premium on creating car buying and selling solutions that deliver a great customer experience,” said Roadster chief executive officer Andy Moss, in a news release. “And it’s clear from the results of our study that car shoppers are not only ready for it, but are willing to even pay more to ensure it. We are proud to be at the forefront of change in the industry and to be deploying solutions that will finally make car shopping as easy and as positive as shopping for anything else.”