Don't use these words at the showroom

Dealer Terminology You Should Never Use Around Your Customers

Written By Eric Schlesinger

"It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say, 'It's as plain as the nose on your face.' But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?" ― I, Robot

Have you ever tried to look at your nose? You can’t because there’s a blind spot where your vision doesn’t reach. And that’s exactly what is happening with language when your staff uses dealership terminology around your customers. Your nose is the words you are using, words that aren’t apparent to you but stand out to others. You don’t see your nose, but your customers do.

What is Jargon?




  1. special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.

Jargon is the words and expressions you use every day on your website, in your chats, in your emails, in your phone calls, in your face-to-face conversations…that your customers really don’t understand, but you assume they do. Your staff is so acquainted with the meaning of these words that they do not realize that your customers, and people outside of your business, aren’t as familiar with the terms.

So, what dealership terminology do you use often that might be confusing to your customers?


Examples of Dealer Jargon That Should Be Avoided

Quick Lane vs. Express Service

“Quick Lane” is an obscure term. A “lane” could be anything, from a bowling lane to a street lane, and a “lane” isn’t something normally associated with the Service Department of a dealership by the customer.

“Express Service”, on the other hand, is much more direct. It mentions “service” which is what your department is all about, and it still uses a word that implies it is a faster-than-normal experience.

You want the terms you use to be in plain language so that no one has to guess what it means.


RO, APR, MSRP and Other Acronyms

RO, or Repair Order. APR or Annual Percentage Rate. MSRP, or Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. Customers aren’t always up-to-speed on what these acronyms mean - and you never know when it’s someone’s first time encountering an acronym until you’ve confused them! Therefore, it’s best not to use acronyms in conversation. Instead, use the full term with explanations (when needed) so that the customer knows exactly what you are talking about.

Let’s opt out of the “Lol, idk, my bff, Jill” kind of conversations. Use full words to communicate effectively and professionally.


ePrice vs. Internet Price

Using two words that mean exactly the same thing on the same page of your website should be a sin! DON’T do it! As a consumer, I have no idea if the Internet price is the ePrice, or if I’m going to get an entirely different price when I press that button. But either way - I'M CONFUSED! And that’s never good when your aim is to get your shoppers to do something on your site.

Don’t be indecisive with your words. Pick ONE!

If you absolutely have to use the tactic of giving one price and then making shoppers click to possibly get a better one - then use Price vs. Internet Price. Better yet, just give them the price and use a button like “Schedule a Test Drive”.


Dealers, only you can end the madness and create clarity for your customers using plain language. Stop using dealer jargon today!


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