- The dealership promises to have a deal completed in less than two hours.
- This promise applies to customers who shop remotely or in person.
- Since it started implementing the two-hour promise, sales and customer satisfaction scores have increased.
PHOENIX — A common complaint about the car buying process involves the time it takes to finish a deal. According to J.D. Power and Associates, the average car sale takes nearly 4.5 to hours to complete.
The dealerships promise customers that a deal will be completed in less than two hours. If a deal takes longer than two hours, the customer gets a $100 American Express gift card right on the spot.
Some recent staffing shake-ups between the two stores created an opportunity to alter how deals were normally done.
"Our stores have made some changes, and we hope the changes make shopping easier for our customers. The two-hour promise is just one of the steps we're taking," says Steve Sisson, general sales manager at Camelback Lincoln.
Combined, Camelback Ford and Camelback Lincoln complete about 400 deals per month. With that many sales, effective use of time makes sense. It also can create more deals.
According to Sisson, the new program has been a benefit for both the customers and dealership employees. "Since implementing the two-hour promise, we've seen a jump in our customer service scores," he says. "On top of that, we've also gotten more customer referrals, and that leads to more sales for the sales team."
Here's how the program works: After a walk-in customer has picked out a car or truck and worked out a deal, the dealership promises to have the customer finished with the process within two hours. This includes final paperwork preparation, the finance and insurance process and the vehicle delivery.
Some customers have selected a vehicle before coming to the dealership. Those customers are able to call or e-mail the store and work out a deal remotely. All that's left to do is schedule an appointment to complete the paperwork and pick up the car. The customer will be finished with the paperwork and delivery in two hours or less.
"We're not going to rush a customer into making a choice. It takes time to pick out a car, test-drive it and go over options. Once that is done and we agree on numbers, the clock starts," explains Sisson.
In an industry that has been known for drawn-out paperwork processes and long waiting times in showrooms, the idea of a two-hour deal will likely appeal to many buyers.
"We know people don't want to spend all day at a car dealership. So we do our best to get them with their new car as soon as possible," Sisson says.
Edmunds says: It's no secret that car shoppers are looking to get a good deal and save some money. A smart dealer will go one step further and offer to save the car shopper time, too.