Luxury car buyers in India are \u201cdeeply involved in the pre-purchase shopping process,\u201d according to the JD Power 2018 India Sales Satisfaction Index (Luxury) study, released this week. The proactiveness of these buyers to be better informed requires dealership staff to be more prepared in interacting with these customers. More than one-fourth (28%) of luxury car buyers shopped around for other models before making a purchase decision, with 65% of them using the internet as one of their key information sources, the study noted, which is based on responses from 250 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle from September 2017 through August 2018. Further, 49% of luxury car buyers contacted the dealer directly prior to their first physical visit of the dealership and 52% compared prices of the same model across dealerships. \u201cStrengthened engagement during the shopping process from luxury car buyers brings with it the need to transform the role of the traditional sales consultant from being solely transactional to one of being advisory,\u201d said Kaustav Roy, regional director, Automotive Practice, JD Power. \u201cDealerships that are able to drive this change among their teams will likely be able to create a more engaging experience, thereby influencing word-of-mouth recommendations and brand loyalty.\u201d The study found that recommendations play a big role in purchase decision. \u201cNearly two-thirds (61%) of buyers rely on friends and family as their primary source of information while deciding on the vehicle brand or model to purchase,\u201d it noted. In addition, a majority (83%) of buyers indicated their sales consultant used a digital device. Clear communication is crucial, too. The study added that with more than one-fourth of customers experiencing problems across specific issues\u2014such as clarity on pricing, paperwork and additional item purchases\u2014dealerships need to train their staff to provide clear and correct information regarding such topics. Study rankings It ranked Mercedes-Benz the highest in sales satisfaction, with a score of 903. BMW was ranked the second with 900, while Audi was ranked the third with 888. This shows how sales satisfaction plays a big role in purchase, as the three Germans brands were ranked exactly the same in overall sales numbers in India (2017 calendar year).