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Car Technology Affecting Buyers' Decisions

Advanced car technology features are becoming the new norm in the automotive industry, however, not everyone is on board just yet. Mainly due to concerns about dependability, some drivers are wary of just how effective these features are working, according to a new survey from J.D. Power.

Perhaps because of the large influx of new safety, security and wireless car capabilities, automakers may have been too quick to get these technologies installed without spending enough time figuring out all of the kinks. As a result, drivers' satisfaction rates decline when there are problems with their in-car technology and there aren't adequate resources available to correct them.

The survey found car dealers particularly can do more to help drivers still grappling with getting their car features to work properly. For instance, poor wireless connectivity or malfunctioning voice recognition systems are key areas where drivers want better results, yet feel they aren't getting the help they need.

"Technology issues with vehicles are viewed as significant problems by owners, and they typically don't go away after the honeymoon period of vehicle ownership is over," said Vice President of U.S. Automotive at J.D. Power Renee Stephens. "Owners clearly want the latest technology in their vehicles, and they are particularly critical when it doesn't work."

Putting in the work

With the expansion of car technology already occurring, vehicles of the future will only become more connected and contain better assistance features. That's why it's important for automakers to not only work on future product offerings, but current customer service as well.

The J.D. Power survey indicated roughly 57 percent of buyers have no intention of purchasing a similar car model if there have been three or more problems with their current car features. This means automakers should focus on greater service now to win over customers in the future.

The Boston Globe noted luxury car dealers are upping the ante and including a host of new services to woo customers, which could be a good sign for the relationship between drivers and dealers.

When luxury car drivers bring their vehicles into the shop for maintenance, dealers are in some cases treating them to massages, manicures, paid meals and other VIP perks. Also, some dealers are picking up drivers from their homes and hauling in the vehicles in need of repair themselves.

"If we can deliver value and speed - plus the experience - and the price difference is minimal, then the client comes back for everything, which is what we want," said Bernie Moreno, Mercedes-Benz dealer, according to the Globe. "We want them to get used to coming here for anything that has to do with their car."

Winning over customers

Though technology has a habit of breaking down over time and drivers can sometimes struggle to keep up with advanced features, it may be up to automakers and dealers to fill the void. In the process, they are likely to sell more cars and generate more repeat visits.

For drivers interested in the latest tech features, speak with insurers to see how much money can be saved on auto discounts.

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