Everyone likes doing business with someone they know, like, and trust. Doing business with car dealers is certainly no exception. After all, the purchase of your vehicle, whether new or used, is not the end of the relationship between seller and buyer in this case; it is likely the beginning, especially if you like having your car serviced at this same dealership. But how do you choose the right dealer to help you form this important relationship?
Be Willing to Research
Unlike years ago, there is no shortage of information regarding various car dealers. So be sure to look up the various options in your local area. This means looking online as well as talking with your family, friends, and neighbors. See which most of the others around you recommend. The bottom line here is that you can find out just about everything on any dealer you like.
Do not just settle for someone because they have a convenient location. Even after you have narrowed your choice down to just a few potential dealers, start by contacting them. See how they respond to your phone calls and emails. Part of choosing the place that is right for you will be feeling comfortable talking with the sales and service staff.
Reading Dealer Reviews
Dealer reviews can be good sources of information when evaluating car dealers. They can provide a lot of information about what it is actually like to do business with a particular dealer. In addition to the review, also find out how long each dealer has been in business. This should give you an idea of stability as well as overall reputation in the community, since a business that uses deceptive practices is not likely to stick around for a long time.
On the flip side of this, be more careful with brand new car businesses. A place that has only been open for less than 12 months should demand extra special investigation. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau in order to see if there are any customer complaints registered.
Focus on the Customer Service
You should also be looking into the customer service offered by the various car dealers. Actually go and check out each physical location. See how their customer service actually is. In other words, does the staff treat you with respect? That should be the main thing to consider. If you can’t answer this question affirmatively, it’s probably a sign to run away fast.
Good businesses, those focused on taking care of their customers, will also take pride in their facility. A clean and well-maintained showroom (along with waiting rooms and other sections) is a great sign that the company really does focus on the little things as well as the big things.
There are also a number of additional sources that can provide great information. For example, JD Power has a number of great reports. Consumer Reports magazine also gives a lot of solid information, although this will be more specific to individual car makes and models rather than actual dealerships.
The bottom line is that you should only choose car dealers that will be focused on helping you, rather than focused on simply making a sale.