Now that the U.S. automobile industry has strongly emerged from the depths of the recent Great Recession, it is time for more car dealers to improve their physical facilities and ambience.
Audi of America has gotten the message and hired Continuum to do a dealership design makeover. As Bob Parks reports for Businessweek:
“In September 2012, Audi of America President Scott Keogh began visiting dealers around the country, telling them he attributed the low numbers partly to the dealership experience, and that he wanted to focus on customer service. The dealerships ranked second to last in the U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index. Audis routinely win accolades for their seamlessly updated mapping and telematics packages, yet in car showrooms, young, affluent buyers entering a dealership have been greeted with a Bunn drip coffee machine and a crackling PA system.”
“If Audi doesn’t solve the dealership disconnect, the company’s rise could be a blip. A 2012 study from consumer marketing analyst Maritz Research found that the average car dealership could sell as many as 217 additional cars per year by improving customer service. So last year, Ramsey went shopping among the small number of design firms in the world that specialize in so-called service design, which emphasizes not just the aesthetics of a product but the actual process of buying it. He found just two in the U.S. and two abroad, and tapped Newton (Mass.)-based Continuum to make over Audi dealerships.”
Click the image to learn more about Audi’s dealership resign; and click here to view a Businessweek slide show on the evolution of car selling.
Photo by Mark Mahaney for BusinessWeek