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Pre-visit communications critical for car sales: report

Hu Yumo
Buyers who rejected a brand in pre-visit communications with dealers increased to 19 percent in 2020, up from 4 percent in 2017, according to J.D. Power.
Hu Yumo

Pre-visit communications between car buyers and dealers are critical for automakers to win sales, according to a report released by consulting firm J.D. Power on Thursday.

Car buyers who rejected a brand in pre-visit communications with dealers increased to 19 percent in 2020, up from 4 percent in 2017, according to a study by J.D. Power.

Concerns about products are the main reason for customer loss in the pre-visit phases. The concern are features of the model and vehicle appearance not meeting expectations.

The study, fielded from November 2019 through April 2020, is based on 23,151 responses of vehicle owners from 70 cities across China.

"Customers are likely to make less-informed decisions if they do not have hands-on experience with vehicles," said Eileen Ren, vice president of digital customer experience at J.D. Power China. 

"That is why dealers need to help customers get a better understanding of the vehicle in pre-visit communications by asking their requirements and inviting them to take a test drive, to prevent them from making hasty decisions," Ren said.

The study also finds that the purchase experience is vital to customer purchase decisions. In 2020, five factors matter most for potential car buyers, namely, purchase experience, vehicle quality, brand, design and price.

The report also noted that car buyers' satisfaction with domestic brands in China is improving consistently.

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