According to a new study by AMCI Global, auto manufacturers and dealers still have a long way to go on the road to regaining consumer trust. On a scale of zero to 100, not one brand scored higher than 50 points, and the study had varied results regarding which was trusted more – the carmakers or their brand’s dealers.
AMCI’s 2017 Trusted Automotive Brand Study revealed that customers tend to trust Kia and Chrysler’s dealers more than the manufacturer, but Acura, Jeep and Suburu more than the brand’s dealers.
Trust in the automotive industry is critical because it lies at the heart of attracting new customers and building lasting relationships with existing customers. Other surveys have revealed that auto dealers have suffered in the area of trust for a number of years. For example, the Gallup survey that gauges professional honesty and ethics shows that in 1977, only 8 percent of people felt that car salespeople had high or very high honesty and ethics, while 47 percent rated the profession as having low or very low standards. In 2016, those numbers were almost identical at 9 and 46 percent, respectively.
Trust reveals the emotional side of customers. It tends to be represent a far more personal connection with people, instead of the machinery and technical systems that make up the car itself.Trust shows whether or not a customer feels valued and respected by a brand or dealership.
Trust shows whether or not a customer feels valued and respected by a brand or dealership. It’s especially important in an industry whose products are critical to public safety. As one researcher noted, “If you can’t trust your soap, you might get a rash. If you can’t trust your car, it’s matter of life and death.”
Let us know! What letter grade would you give your dealership for the way it builds trust with customers and potential customers?