Car buyers rate the positive attitude of salespeople as the most valued part of vehicle transactions, while dealers failing to keep in contact with customers after selling them a car is their biggest grievance, according to new research from JudgeService.

The dealer customer review platform polled the views of 30,217 car buyers between January and May asking them to identify the 10 highs and lows of their purchasing experiences. All respondents had bought a car within the last 12 months.

Other high points for buyers included the positive attitude of sales people during handover, adherence to social distancing measures and the presentation of the dealer’s facilities; evidence of the importance of people skills and safety measures during car transactions conducted both before and after retailing restrictions were lifted in April.

While the biggest turn offs after failure to keep in touch included disappointment with the mechanical preparation of cars, the attitude of dealer staff during handover, dissatisfaction with the vehicles and the cleanliness of car interiors and exteriors.

Top 10 High Points of Buying a Car

1. Attitude of salesperson

2. Attitude during handover

3. Social distancing measures

4. Presentation of site

5. Satisfaction with vehicle

6. Explanation of paperwork

7. Choice of vehicles

8. Mechanical preparation

9. Car interior & exterior cleanliness

10. Explanation of finance packages

Top 10 Low Points of Buying a Car

1. No contact after delivery

2. Mechanical preparation

3. Attitude during handover

4. Satisfaction with vehicle

5. Car interior and exterior cleanliness

6. Attitude of salesperson

7. Explanation of paperwork

8. Explanation of finance packages

9. Presentation of site

10. Choice of vehicles

“Our research shows just how easy it is for dealers to win and lose the respect of buyers and this will continue to separate the top performers from the under achievers,” said Neil Addley, managing director of JudgeService.

“It’s encouraging to see how some sales staff are delivering excellent customer services, especially during the lockdown restrictions. Buying a car is a major purchase for most people, which is why the salesperson is such an important part of their experience. Getting it right means retailers will be rewarded by customers becoming promoters when talking to family and friends,” said Addley.

“On the flip side there is a huge opportunity to build relationships by addressing the failure of some dealers to keep in touch with customers after their purchase. There’s a basic rule in car retailing that buyers should be contacted within the first three days of a purchase and then after three weeks; this ensures any issues are rectified. It’s also good practice to keep in touch at three monthly intervals afterwards as that builds relationships and can prompt referrals.

“Customers really do appreciate a phone call to see how they’re getting on with their new purchase. It’s such an easy win but too many dealers are continuing to score own goals by failing to do so,” said Addley.