How can your in-store experience match other “frictionless” on-line buying scenarios, while keeping the positive attributes of the retail shopping experience?

Think about how a customer interacts with your dealership. Start with the parking lot. I have often seen service vehicles parked in the front stalls. Maybe the employee is making a quick dash into the store, but it is the first instance of friction.

How long does it take your staff to greet a customer? Compare those first moments to entering a party alone when you are scanning for a friendly face. Make sure your customers/guests always quickly find a friendly face at your dealership.

The sales process is another step that can be fraught with friction. Consider using Bob Clements’ advice for doing walk-arounds, where you ask questions that a customer will most likely answer with a “yes.” Each “yes” smooths the path to purchase. (Learn more at

Moving down the sales path, from selecting a model to completing the financing, there are so many ways your team can discourage customers from buying.

However, don’t mistake reducing friction with limiting interaction with the customer. Amazon, for example, keeps engaging with the customer, such as with their daily deals, recommendations based on personal shopping trends and recommendations based on what other customers have purchased. You can adapt each one of those marketing techniques. They are also great conversation starters for follow-up phone calls and emails with customers.

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