FRIENDLY, helpful advice - rather than being sold to - is overwhelmingly the most important experience car buyers seek from a dealer, according to exclusive new research.
Two out of three motorists told the online car supermarket buyacar.co.uk that friendly advice rather than sales is the key to buying a car with confidence.
More than 400 motorists* were quizzed on their most recent car buying experiences and how they want to be treated when choosing or financing a car - and their emphatic verdict was 'help and advise us - don't sell to us'.
Asked to rank their preferred experience, ranging from being advised and helped to find the right deal to just receiving a sales pitch, a clear majority of 69.4% of buyers demand advice only. Just one in ten prefer to be persuaded to choose what the salesperson wants them to buy and 20.4% are happy with an equal mix of the two.
And the approachability and friendliness of staff turns out to be hugely important to boosting the confidence of car buyers too, according to buyacar's findings.
More than one in three buyers rank 'friendliness and approachability' as the most important quality in the people they buy from, with 70.2% rating it as important or very important.
Just three of those interviewed said they were unconcerned with the friendliness of their car supplier, while the remaining 8.2% ranked friendliness and approachability as only 'somewhat important'.
Car-buyers also overwhelmingly want to feel that they are being helped to choose the best deal. Asked how important it is to feel helped, a massive 95% described it as significantly important to them.
Buyacar conducted the research with customers who have bought from every kind of car supplier, ranging from traditional dealers to online-only car sales specialists, as part of its mission to help motorists to enjoy the car-buying experience more.
The research also revealed that the traditional motor industry has some way to go before its customers feel fully relaxed and confident in the car-buying experience, largely due to the typical traditional emphasis on selling rather than advising.
Asked how they typically feel when they buy a car, less than half of the 402 motorists questioned say they enjoy the experience and one in four positively dislike buying cars. A further 31.1% have no feeling one way or the other.
Andy Oldham, Chief Executive of buyacar.co.uk, believes the industry has long been too focused on selling rather than helping motorists through the often confusing array of options, which range from which type of car is best for the customer to what type of finance deal will best suit their circumstances.
He said: "Typically the feedback we receive from our own customers is about how much they enjoyed the experience, which is often just as important to them as being pleased with the car that they bought.
"But it is clear from our research that buying a car is still not universally enjoyed, when less than half of motorists say they are happy with the experience.
"We believe that everyone should enjoy the experience of buying a car and that confidence is the magic ingredient.
"When you are making a major purchase, like a car, confidence is best encouraged by trusted advisors, who are friendly, respectful and approachable, rather than salespeople who can seem pushy or even target-driven.
"Our research emphatically shows that almost everyone wants to feel helped and advised by friendly and approachable expert people, rather than feeling that someone is selling to them.
"That is why, on our own newly designed website, you see photographs of people rather than the cars that are available to buy. It might seem revolutionary for a car supermarket like us to focus on smiling faces rather than shiny cars, but it makes perfect sense in the light of our latest research."
*Article Source www.buyacar.co.uk