Scenario 1—will people pay more for the privilege of buying a car with minimal interaction with sales personnel?  (and if so, what proportion?)  Keyboard interactions will allow the buyer to leave contact information, set an appointment for a test drive, apply for financing

  • Persona:  Techie Tom is 28 years old, lives in Oakland CA and is thinking about buying a car.  He is technically savvy.  Makes most purchases via online retailers.  Deals with his bank via his iPhone.  He is in the market for a car because he and his wife are expecting their first child.  He thinks he wants a mini-van.  He works 40 to 60 hours per week.  He uses ATMs rather than bank tellers because of the convenience and speed.  He frequently buys online.  He thinks he can find the best deal.  He’s distrustful of salespeople, and especially of car salespeople.
  • Day in the Life (before):  TTom spends (20?) hours searching for a car, beginning several months before each purchase.  He consults over 20 sources.  He narrows down to a make and model, then price shops, all on-line.  He doesn’t want to “waste time” talking price with a salesman, he knows what he wants and he knows from the web what the price will be.  He knows the dealer needs to make a profit, he’s keyed in on dealer invoice.  If he can buy near that, and get what he wants, he’s OK.
  • Day in the Life (after):  Spent 20 hours searching, deciding on a make and model and price shopping.  The KBB website (and maybe the AutoTrader website as well) sent TTom to a dealer lot.  The dealer has keyStickers in the cars on the lot.  The keySticker displays the price, TTom can touch the sticker and view KBB price information for that specific model, with its specific options, including dealer invoice. The color isn’t quite what he expected.  The keySticker directs him to vehicles in the colors that he wants to see.  He finds the car that he wants.  While price is important, he values his time.  He’s willing to pay a bit more not to have to “hassle” with a salesperson.  He uses the keyboard to request a test drive.  He gives his credit information, his contact information and the day and time he wants to return.  He asks the dealership to have the paperwork prepared for a sale.  He thinks he has saved valuable time, maybe paid a little more than he could have “haggled” for, but is glad he didn’t have to.  The dealer nails this buyer and at the same time cuts his selling costs and moves this car faster.

Scenario 2—will continuing their search experience on the dealer’s lot help a buyer close a purchase?  Can keyStickers help them find that bargain (and help the dealer get rid of a slow mover).

  • Persona: Mommy Maureen is the mother of three.  MMo visits stores when she sees sales or promotions. She usually purchases items that are on special and is the first to notice when prices are raised. She welcomes eco-friendly and family-friendly alternatives to traditional products.  She’s concerned with safety.  She expects to pay several thousand dollars more for an eco-friendly car. 
  • Day in the Life (before):  MMo will spend many hours on the web, price shopping extensively.  She will figure out what she wants, the deal she wants.  She will run head-on into the price discrepancy.  When she arrives at the dealer, she finds that she can’t buy the car at the price quoted online.  She starts to realize that the seeming transparency of pricing on the Internet is somewhat of an illusion.  This frustrates her, it seems that the dealer doesn’t value the time she has spent searching.  She wants to buy a car quickly, with a minimum of “hassle”.  In quoting prices on the Internet, the dealer is simply trying to match the lowest quotes from other dealers, some of which are deliberately gaming the system by quoting below the price they can actually offer.  This slows down her decision-making, delays the dealer’s sale, increased the dealer’s cost of sales.  The odds are she will go home, do more searching and try again at another dealer.
  • Day in the Life (after):  Same situation with keyStickers in the cars.  The KBB website sends her to a specific car on a dealer lot.  That car is prepared for her—her KBB log-in works on the car!  All her search history on the KBB website can be leveraged to show her other vehicles (note:  only vehicles on that same dealer’s lot), it will already know what other colors she had searched for, etc.  It will help her select the right vehicle, if it’s during dealer hours it will “introduce” her to someone who can set up a test drive, if not then make an appt/reservation to fit her calendar.  Smooth transition into the dealer’s sales process.  Possibility of moving her to a more expensive car—remember she is looking for a “deal” rather than the lowest price.  The dealer benefits by closing more deals and reducing sales effort. 

Scenario 3—will adding social network interactions help sell cars?  A buyer can “follow” a car.  If the price changes, gets a tweet.  If someone else takes it on a test drive, also a tweet…

  • Persona:  genX buyer, looking for a Chevy Cruize…

Scenario 4—add on-line chat?  Manned by a remote sales staffer, someone who knows that specific make, knows all the details and can carry on an intelligent electronic conversation.  Authorized to agree on price and close the sale, subject of course to the credit information checking out if it’s after hours.  All the buyer needs to do is return to the lot, sign the papers and drive off.

  • Persona:  Businessman Bob is a business professional.  He trades his car sometimes as often as yearly, prices don’t seem to faze him. He usually buys the same model, is always in a hurry to get back to work and gets agitated when things take too long. 
  • Day in the Life (before): Here we describe how BBob buys a car today.  Scene or situation, focused on the moment of frustration.  What is the desired outcome?  Attempted approaches.  Interfering factors.  Economic consequences.
  • Day in the Life (after):  Replay the scenario with the new technology in place.  Enabling technology.  How does BBob use the new technology?  What are the economic rewards?   
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