How to Build Trust and Credibility in the Digital Age of Auto Sales

Building trust and credibility in the digital age of auto sales is one of the main determinants of success. Today, half of a consumer’s decision to repurchase or recommend an automotive brand or dealer revolves around trust. Although dealerships and car salespeople have historically faced skepticism, earning trust is achievable with the right approach.

Embracing a well-executed digital auto sales experience can contribute to consumer confidence. By building strong relationships and grounding the digital sales process in trust, dealerships can benefit car buyers and their business goals. Here are five ways to master the art of virtual selling through trust and credibility with Lotlinx.

Transparency is King To Sales

Today’s buyers are savvy, and they demand honesty. Did you know that according to a Cox Automotive study, 86% of car shoppers research vehicles online before stepping foot in a dealership? That means first impressions are made on your website and online interactions.

Also, Adtaxi’s inaugural Auto Shopping in America survey revealed that 96% of respondents find dealer websites useful, with 91% of vehicle shoppers surfing the internet—45% having done so both before and after visiting a dealership.

Here are some tips on how to build that trust with your customers:

  • Be upfront about pricing: Nobody enjoys hidden fees or surprise markups. Display the total price breakdown, including taxes and any potential add-on costs.
  • Show vehicle history: Provide detailed information about the car’s past, including mileage, service records, and any repairs. This builds confidence and empowers the buyer to make informed decisions, enhancing credibility in car buying.
  • Use high-quality visuals: Invest in professional photos and clear, 360-degree vehicle views. Don’t shy away from showcasing any minor imperfections.

Don’t Just Sell Your Story, Tell Your Story.

People buy from people they trust, and trust comes from authenticity. Use online platforms to share genuine stories about your dealership, team, and happy customers. Content like behind-the-scenes videos, customer testimonials, and even a day-in-the-life of a sales professional can humanize your brand.

Remember, storytelling isn’t just about past victories but also shows your continuous commitment to customer satisfaction. Use your smartphones and social media to your advantage (think Instagram reels, TikToks, YouTube shorts, etc.) to get the message across in an easily digestible way.

Put Good Customer Service on a Pedestal

Forget trophies; the real winners in auto sales are those who prioritize impeccable customer service. Responsive and proactive communication is everything. Answer questions ASAP, follow up on leads, and be there to guide your customers through the purchasing process. Even if a sale doesn’t happen immediately, leaving a positive, professional impression will keep you front of mind for future considerations.

Tip: Lotlinx AI directs high-intent shoppers to the dealership’s website. These are potential buyers who are actively looking for specific vehicles. Engage with these shoppers through chat or personalized interactions to spurn successful sales conversions. See the product sheet here.

Keep the Conversation Going

Building relationships online doesn’t end with a sale. Maintain connections through follow-up emails, service reminders, and invitations to dealership events. Use methods like personalized interactions, such as sending customers an email celebrating their first year with their car. Your genuine interest in their needs—even after the sale—is what transforms satisfied customers into loyal ones. This approach is key to auto dealer profitability.

Embrace the Digital Tools of the Trade

A plethora of digital tools exist to enhance your credibility, from customer relationship management (CRM) systems to social media analytics. These tools provide personalized experiences, track interactions, and measure success. Implementing live chat on your website or integrating AI to answer common questions can also demonstrate your commitment to exceptional service.

Tip: Lotlinx VIN Manager (VMX) is a free browser extension that provides VIN-level recommendations. It helps you determine the perfect time to promote (boost) your vehicles based on Lotlinx’s proprietary data set of real-time market pricing, shopper demand, and shopper engagement. VMX delivers these recommendations right to your desktop, making optimizing your marketing efforts easier. See the VMX product sheet here.

At Lotlinx, we know that the Digital Age is complicated. So, we act smarter for a better online car buying experience. Get transparency at your fingertips with AI analytics and 24/7 access to your dealership’s VIN performance metrics, getting real-time insights and omnichannel reporting on a single strategic platform. Contact us today to request a demo.

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