Digital has fundamentally changed how we buy and maintain our cars. From researching the next vehicle to comparing prices, booking test drives and servicing online. The list is pretty endless...and yet digital continues to transform our customer experience.
Interestingly, automotive retailers have long been told the digital revolution has led to less forecourt and showroom visits, but latest research actually revealed the opposite is happening. A report from industry analysts, the ICDP in the 2019 edition of its European Car Distribution Handbook, found digital customers were far more engaged in the sales process and as a result visited dealers on a higher number of occasions.
Tech and integration is essential if retailers are to continue to appeal to customers, according to a report from McKinsey which advises looking to companies such as Airbnb, Amazon, and Uber for digital tech inspiration where the digital consumer experience continually evolves.
The complexities of the automotive industry mean it has been slower than other sectors to adapt to new consumer expectations, resulting in what are now typically considered to be outdated customer experiences, particularly among younger generations.
The McKinsey report highlights some quick wins for dealers to improve the customer experience including instant responses to customer feedback rather than just relying on follow-up forms and empowering employees to deliver ‘surprise and delight’ customer moments or react quickly to issues when they are raised.
Identifying the various touchpoints on the customer journey and making sure you are there to make it more convenient, efficient and enjoyable is key. It means evaluating the customer experience at different points of the car buying or servicing journey, not just waiting until the end, and ensuring that interventions are made at critical points.
Digitising more of the journey can boost customer experience even more, as well as providing analytics and insights to continually improve the service provided.
Digitising booking processes and providing modern, mobile communication channels can allow Aftersales departments to free up their service advisors and offer more engaging and convenient service visits.