They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. When it comes to the remarkable journey your Carvana vehicle takes from the moment it is acquired by us, to the moment it is delivered to your door, the points that plot its incredible course are both numerous and meticulously executed. At Carvana, transparency lies at the heart of everything we do, and we believe you deserve an up close and personal view of the important steps that lead to the completion of a Carvana purchase.
Our multi-part series called “The Carvana Odyssey” serves to reveal just how much energy, effort, and passion goes in to providing you with your Carvana purchase by offering an in-depth and behind-the-scenes look at the processes and people that make the new way to buy a car possible. The Carvana Odyssey reaches its conclusion with us taking a closer look at customer deliveries and pick ups. To help bring clarity to this unique Carvana differentiator, we spoke with Casey, a Carvana Customer Advocate who works out of our Car Vending Machine location in Frisco, Texas, as well as a couple real-life Carvana customers who provided their own personal insight into their Carvana car buying experience.
PART VI: DELIVERING THE NEW WAY TO BUY A CAR
The winding path that first began with Carvana’s car buying team reaches its climatic end with the members of Carvana’s Outside Advocate team. The task of delivering these positive, long-lasting experiences starts early, as a typical day for Casey begins around 7:00 a.m.
“It’s important to get in early, particularly on days where we’re especially busy,” says Casey. “I like to give myself an hour before my first delivery just to get prepared and organized. That time is usually used to put together delivery packets with enough buffer time left over to drive to the delivery location.
“Time management becomes pretty important,” Casey continued. “Especially on days where you know you’re going to be criss-crossing town a bunch, but you learn to adjust. Each day is different in a lot of ways, but the type of schedule you keep in terms of deliveries is very similar from day-to-day.”
Once organized and ready to hit the road, an Outside Advocate like Casey will give the customer receiving the delivery a call to let them know they are en route.
“We do that just to confirm everything with them,” says Casey. “When you order a car online, it can be a little jarring to have someone just show up at your front door with a vehicle, so we just try to give the customer a little bit of a heads up.”
In addition to confirming the customer’s delivery location, the Advocate also reminds the customer to have their insurance information and driver’s license on hand at the time of delivery.
Delivering vehicles, however, isn’t the only job carried out by a Carvana Outside Advocate. Outside Advocates also play a prominent role when Carvana customers visit the Vending Machine to pick up their brand new purchases. Yet, despite the obvious procedural differences between deliveries and pick ups, Casey says nothing changes for the Advocates when it comes to ensuring customers have a great experience.
“Obviously you don’t have to load up a hauler or take the time to drive if a customer is picking up at the Vending Machine, so that’s kind of convenient for the Advocates,” says Casey. “But the big thing with pick ups is we really try to make the customer’s experience a memorable one when they come to the Vending Machine.
“Customers come to the Vending Machine to get away from the dealerships. They don’t want a car dropped off at their house; they want something different. We try to bring a lot of positive energy to those situations, we have snacks out for the customers, and of course we want to have all their paperwork ready to go so they can get in and out without any hassle.”
BECOMING AN ADVOCATE
The process of becoming an Outside Advocate is one that consists of thorough and purposeful training. The near month-long training process strives to not only effectively integrate Advocates with other members of their team, but also reinforce the values and procedures necessary for doing the job. For Casey, the training experience he received was especially impactful.
“Training was actually really cool,” said Casey. “Honestly, it was probably the best training experience I’ve ever had at any company. After getting hired on, they flew us down to Houston where we all stayed together at this big house. It was cool because we all basically lived and worked together for a week. We learned all the computer processes, how to process paperwork, and things like that.
“Once I came back to Dallas, that’s where I received more of the hands-on training with the driving, going on actual deliveries, and what not. It takes about four weeks to get all the way through training before you start going out on your own.”
Learning all the different nuances associated with the job was arguably the most challenging element of the training process for Casey, but he admitted that at least for him personally, the rewarding aspects of his job far outweigh whatever hurdles that needed to be cleared before becoming a full-fledged Advocate.
“I think one of the more rewarding things for me is seeing how ecstatic some customers get when we come deliver their vehicle,” says Casey.
“That part is awesome. A lot times customers will purchase a car as a gift for someone’s birthday or something like that, so being able to bring customers something that will make them happy makes all the difference.”
THE CUSTOMER STAMP OF APPROVAL
While members of the Outside Advocate team do their best to go the extra mile for Carvana customers, there’s only one way to find out whether their intended efforts are hitting the mark in a meaningful way – by going straight to the source. After interviewing a number of real-life Carvana customers who had completed purchases, the feedback we received as it pertains to the Carvana car buying experience was overwhelmingly positive.
For Frank, a Carvana customer living in Florida, the moment when his vehicle arrived at his home was the moment he realized that Carvana was not an ordinary auto retailer.
“The excitement you get when you get the car delivered to your house is spectacular,” said Frank. “I was so excited, I had the dog outside…all that stuff. And the people delivering the car are great people. They’re very knowledgable. They go through the paperwork with you, they want to make sure you’re satisfied.
“The moment that stood out to me was when they delivered my Pathfinder to my house. When they delivered it to my house, Nicole [the Outside Advocate] showed up with my car and gave me a little bag. In the bag, she had stuff for my dog, Mr. Chubby. They made the experience feel special.”
Not even the most hardened car salespeople are reluctant to see what Carvana has to offer. Willie, a Carvana customer from Charlotte, has been selling used vehicles for a local dealership for the past 14 years, but decided to give Carvana a try after a member of his family raved about their positive car buying experience.
“Being in the automobile industry, [Carvana’s car buying process] stuck out like a sore thumb, so I said, ‘Well, I’m gonna try ‘em,’ because I was in the market for another car anyway,” said Willie. “I gave you guys a call and went online and it was all gravy for me.
“After my purchase was complete, one of your Customer Advocates emailed me asking about my experience. I told them it’s going to really suck to be a car salesman with you guys around. This is something new and fresh. You guys will go down in history for changing the way people purchase and receive their vehicles.”