In stores, shoppers try to avoid long lines and ignorant salespeople. Translation for online retailers: A successful web site requires the ability to quickly provide customers the specific information they seek.
For many auto financiers, that goal is not yet reality. And in a business as research-prone as car shopping — last year, 75% of new-vehicle buyers researched their purchases online, according to a J.D. Power and Associates survey of 27,901 consumers — poor online service could mark the difference between gaining and losing new customers.
An Auto Finance News reporter recently posed as a potential car buyer in a “mystery shopper” survey of the nation’s top 20 auto financiers. The request was simple: “I’m interested in buying a car. How would I go about getting a loan?”
Lenders’ sites were graded on the ease of finding contact links and completing the forms; responses were scored on speed, personalization, usefulness, and resourcefulness. The premise: The customer experience for gleaning the information necessary to secure auto financing should be quick and easy.