A recent post from a frustrated would-be buyer on Kia-Forums.com speaks volumes.
“We got crazy news today … My PHEV EX+ ordered in October, that was supposed to arrive in February, that was first pushed back between May and July, is now pushed back again to October … [I will] probably cancel my order.”
The poster, who used the name Maxime Pare, did not respond to a request for an interview. But the message is clear: Buyer frustration poses a huge challenge to dealerships that can’t get vehicles as quickly as buyers want.
But proactive retailers are relying heavily on customer relationship management (CRM) and other tools to keep them up to date on their orders.
“We all have CRMs,” said Steve Chipman, CEO of Winnipeg-based Birchwood Automotive Group. Reaching into that CRM data, each of Birchwood’s stores conducts “follow-up Fridays,” during which every customer is updated by phone or text on the status of his or her order — even if there is no new development.
Many customers realize that high-demand electric vehicles, such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, are a year out, Chipman said.
“The customers have become aware [that certain models of] cars aren’t available,” he said. “The expectation of having an immediate vehicle is gone.”
‘BEST GUESS’ BEATS BAD PROMISE