Turning Trust Points into Touch Points

Touch points

As shown in Babcox’s December 2023 edition of AutoSuccess Magazine

In retail automotive, every interaction with a customer is a touch point. From small talk to budget discussions to making the sale, every exchange is an opportunity to establish trust, to turn that
initial touch point into a “trust point.”

Let’s imagine for a moment that you own a produce stand at a farmers market. You sell the freshest vegetables, your staff is incredibly knowledgeable on all things produce, your signage is
thorough and informative, and every customer you’ve served has been thrilled with their experience. However, you only accept cash and checks as payment. You have done all the hard work in establishing trust points by offering supreme customer service at every turn. But you lose an opportunity to establish even more trust when you don’t allow customers to pay by credit card or Tap-2-Pay. People feel secure using their credit cards, they feel like they’ll be protected from getting cheated out of their hard-earned money.

And often equally as important to them is the convenience of a credit card. By not offering them that option, you’re standing in your own way. No matter how outstanding your product is, if you
have to turn away a customer because they don’t carry cash in their pockets, it is a wasted opportunity.

The same idea applies to working in a dealership. Critical interactions are the foundation of building trust with customers. These interactions can be digital or in-person but what they all have in common is that they deliver on a promise to give customers the best experience possible every time. When you, as a dealer, decide that every touch point should become a “trust point,” every interaction with customers is an opportunity to build a trusting and long-lasting business relationship. So just like the farmers market example, even something as simple as allowing a customer to pay with a credit card makes a huge difference. Paying with a credit card makes a customer feel safe because they feel protected if they need a refund or exchange. Safety is currency. In business and life in general, people return to places where they feel safe.

Building trust points doesn’t start and stop with easy payment methods. It can be applied to every single facet of the customer experience. From easily selecting an appointment time that is both available and accurate to sending high-quality photos and videos of a vehicle, each small interaction slowly builds the foundation of a solid, mutually beneficial partnership between you and the customer.

Most importantly, when you string together a series of trust points, you quickly leapfrog your competition by making a series of small interactions easier and creating a completely superior and unique customer experience. It all boils down to trust. If you have that with a customer, everything else will fall into place.

Matt Bateman – VP Marketing