How technology prevented a sale of a car
If you’ve gone to virtually any car dealer’s website in the last few years, as soon as you click on a car, you’ve seen the box that pops up asking if you need help. It’s more annoying than helpful.
I went onto a site the other day — specifically, www.centennialhyundailasvegas.com — and was looking at a Genesis G90. I got the pop-up, as per usual.
A person named Johnny asked if he could help. This time, I responded. Yes, I wrote. Do you still have the G90, and I posted the VIN and the stock number.
What is your name, he wrote. I gave my name, and immediately said, Do you still have this particular car?
Do you have a contact email, he replied, ignoring my question. I provided it, and asked, Do you still have this G90, again including the dealer stock number.
Can I get your phone number, he wrote, again ignoring my question. If he’d have said yes, I was going to immediately go over and look at the car.
I gave him my phone number, and this time, in all caps, I asked if he still had the car.
Still, he wouldn’t answer.
Are you going to finance or pay cash, he asked, again declining to answer.
At this point, I was exasperated and decided I was done communicating with this person and I closed the box.
I gave my name, email and phone number, which is very valuable information for a car dealer looking to sell me a car, and I couldn’t get an answer on whether the car I was interested in was still available.
Perhaps a better experience for the customer is to have him/her put his/her information in before there is a person on. At least that way, you have a connection with the customer and then can concentrate on being of service. But the way it happened at Centennial Hyundai, the technology made clear that what they needed to accomplish — to get my information — was far more important than what I needed to accomplish, which was to verify if the car was still available.
There has to be a better way, because customers are simply going to avoid sites that behave that way.
I sometimes wonder if those are real people. I’m with you Kevin – I already hate car shopping and that online experience makes it that much worse.