Transparency about recalls and reconditioning key to consumer trust, says new survey

When asked about their priorities when choosing who to buy a car from, 92 per cent of shoppers said that transparency was their top concern, according to a new survey commissioned by AutoAp, Inc., and Rapid Recon. The survey of 1,000 shoppers who intend to buy within three years, found that retailers’ transparency is a “critical part of building and maintaining trust in the sales and service process”. Being made aware of all safety recalls is a big part of this, according to respondents.

“For dealers to be even more successful, it is essential that they embrace innovative ways to provide critical information to customers leading up to and at the point of sale,” said Brad Preble, CARR Auto Group’s President. “Safety recall management systems can significantly strengthen customer relationships and help close more sales. If a dealer can remedy a known recall before they sell, it increases their likelihood to close the sale.”

The survey sought to measure several key attributes including how highly consumers value transparency, how much they trust auto dealers, and how vehicle safety recalls can impact the vehicle sales process.

The survey, called “Consumer Transparency Expectations,” found that consumers still trust automobile dealerships—new car dealers scored 80 per cent when consumers were asked to rate trust, while transparency rated 92 per cent, with 100 per cent being “extremely important”.

The survey also found that dealerships who do not disclose vehicles with open safety recalls will lose customer trust, future sales and potential referrals.

Approximately 20-25 per cent of all vehicles on the road have one or more open safety recalls. These vehicles are often sold, unknowingly to both the dealer and the customer, because of errors and delays in the vehicle recall ecosystem. Without an automated vehicle recall management system, it’s difficult to stay on top of—let alone ahead of—safety recalls.

“Dealer Transparency is required for consumer trust. It’s simple: Dealers who work to win and maintain trust sell more,” said Mark Paul, CEO of AutoAp, Inc. “Disclosing vehicle safety recalls is a critical element of transparency.”

The survey also shows that consumers are overwhelmingly more likely to purchase vehicles from dealerships with an automated process to identify and manage vehicle safety recalls versus one that does not (95 per cent versus five per cent).

A reconditioning ‘Seal of Approval’ is also likely to help auto dealers close more sales, according to the survey.

“The data speaks for itself. Customers value trust and transparency, especially when making a big purchase. Dealers who offer reconditioning reports give their customers peace of mind and build loyal relationships for future sales,” said Dennis McGinn, CEO of Rapid Recon. “Dealers need to encourage transparency during the sale process. A simple report detailing a used car’s recon report can be the extra detail that earns you a lifetime customer.”

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