Five Ways to Build Customer Trust at Your Dealership

Trust is the cornerstone of any successful business, but in the automotive world, gaining customer trust should be a top priority. Failure to earn trust will cost you customers! Customers need to feel confident that they made the right decision by purchasing a vehicle from you. We have compiled a list of the five best practices in automotive to build trust and sell more vehicles.

1. Transparency in Pricing

One of the biggest concerns for car buyers is the fear of hidden costs and deceptive pricing practices. To build trust, pricing transparency is a must across all advertising mediums. Clearly displaying the price of the vehicle, any additional fees, and available financing options are the main features every customer expects.

Customers expect detailed price breakdowns and clear explanations for each component being offered. Using a no-haggle pricing policy can further enhance the customer experience, provide transparency, and remove perceived stressful negotiations. Transparent pricing builds trust and sets the foundation for long-term loyal relationships.

2. Honest Advertising

Advertising is a powerful tool, but it must be used responsibly. Over-promising and under-delivering is a surefire way to lose customer trust. You should ensure that all advertisements are honest and accurately represent the vehicles and services offered. The FTC CARS rule requires dealers to clearly disclose the offering price – the actual price anyone can pay to get the car, excluding only required government charges. Before they visit the dealership and throughout the transaction, customers have the right to know the drive-off-the-lot price.

This includes providing clear and truthful information about vehicle features, performance, and condition. If a car is advertised as “certified pre-owned,” it should meet all the standards of that certification. Avoiding hear-say claims and focusing on factual, verifiable information will help in establishing a reputation for honesty and integrity.

3. Providing Comprehensive Vehicle History Reports

For used car sales, providing comprehensive vehicle history reports is essential. Customers want to know the background of the vehicle they are considering, including any past accidents, repairs, or service records.

Offering free access to detailed vehicle history reports from reputable sources like CARFAX or AutoCheck shows that the dealership has nothing to hide and is committed to full disclosure. This practice not only helps customers make informed decisions but also reinforces the dealership’s reputation for honesty and transparency.

4. Exceptional Customer Service

Outstanding customer service is a necessity in building trust. This begins from the moment a potential customer walks into the dealership and continues throughout the entire buying process and beyond. The repeat Service customer starts with a solid Sales customer.

Your dealership staff should be trained to be courteous, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in helping customers find the right vehicle for their needs. A customer-centric approach, where you prioritize the customer’s needs and concerns, can significantly enhance trust.

Having a set follow-up routine is equally important. Regularly checking in with customers after the sale to ensure they are satisfied with their purchase, and addressing any issues promptly, demonstrates that the dealership cares about their customers’ long-term satisfaction.

5. Maintaining Clean Data in the CRM System

A clean and well-maintained Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is critical for building trust. Accurate, up-to-date customer information allows for personalized communication and ensures that customers feel valued and understood. Regularly update your CRM system to reflect the latest customer interactions, preferences, and feedback. This means removing duplicate records, correcting inaccuracies, and ensuring that all customer data is complete and current.

A reliable CRM system enables you to track customer history, anticipate needs, and provide tailored services, enhancing the overall customer experience. For example, timely reminders for scheduled maintenance or special offers on vehicles that match a customer’s interest can make customers feel appreciated and increase their loyalty. Moreover, a clean CRM system ensures compliance with data protection regulations, further building customer trust. By showing a commitment to safeguarding personal information, you will demonstrate your respect for customer privacy and your dedication to ethical business practices.

Customers are more likely to return for future purchases and recommend your dealership to others when they feel confident and satisfied with their experience. Trust is not built overnight, but with consistent effort and a commitment to integrity, you can establish lasting, trust-based relationships with every customer that walks into your dealership.


Michael White

About Michael White About Michael White


Michael White

About Michael White

Michael White, Sales Engineer at Autosoft DMS, has been with Autosoft for over six years as a Sales Engineer, demonstrating…