Recap: Driving Breakthrough Customer Experience in Automotive
Jason Bradshaw, Chief Experience & Innovation Officer, CarExpert was joined by Brigid Archibald, Managing Director Asia Pacific and Japan and Adam Marks, Head of Digital Asia Pacific and Japan, both from Qualtrics, in a discussion on the reshaping of the automotive industry.
Their comprehensive discussion covered a multitude of topics including; the significant pressures on the industry at large, driving success in this new paradigm with best practice customer experience programs, the evolving necessity of digital channels, and the intersection of customer experience and employee engagement in the sector.
The session can be watched in its entirety from the on-demand library at the link below.
Concentrate on opportunities to delight people
Whether it’s the Great Resignation, rising costs of components, shipping delays or supply shortages, the automotive industry has been exposed to multiple disruptions which have wide-ranging implications on the customer.
By focusing on the touch points where memories can be created and experiences shared, we can define how both customers and employees think about a brand. Long wait periods for the delivery of cars is causing disappointment for customers and leads to difficulty keeping dealership sales reps motivated. Brands are now embracing experience management to create agile systems of action to overcome these problems and continue to focus on service at all levels.
If we remember that it is people at the end of the day who are doing the work and buying our products then it becomes so much easier to focus on how we can serve them today.
– Jason Bradshaw, Chief Experience & Innovation Officer, CarExpert
Consider acceleration of digital experiences
Research from Qualtrics’ customer CarSales found that consumers used to take 2.7 months to research before purchasing a car, whereas they now spend up to 7 months to consider before buying. With a plethora of digital resources offering reviews, product configurators and other tools online, digital is changing how consumers interact with brands and make decisions.
Today’s auto buyer has never bee more informed largely due to the usage of digital channels before entering a dealership. This is changing the conversations held on sales room floors. As brands modify their approach to create the sales model of the future it is likely to include digitisation of the end-to-end experience, well past the point where a customer receives the keys to their new vehicle.
What I think we are going to see play out is the car buying journey from discovery and purchase all the way to delivery follow the same trajectory as the research phase which will all begin through digital… where there is a huge experience gap at the moment.
– Adam Marks, Head of Digital Asia Pacific and Japan, Qualtrics
Listen across all channels to identify improvements
Large pools of actionable customer data await brands who collect and connect all their touchpoints from mobile apps, social media, websites, surveys, dealer management systems and call centres. By visualising buyer journeys, opportunities are created both to foster loyalty and resolve problematic touchpoints.
Resolutions to experience gaps can be made easily, with the first step being having the technology and capability to discover where they exist and then quickly following with action. Identifying where consumers are experiencing friction points and hearing about them in a consumer’s own words makes closing gaps in experience far more effective.
Some obvious key touch points for seeking consumer feedback in automotive include the time of ordering a car, at delivery and during handover, and of course service. But, the consensus is that for brands who are genuinely experience focussed, agile and often unstructured ways to receive feedback must exist for customers to provide their feedback at any time – when and how it is most convenient for the customer. By receiving real-time commentary, early warnings on new or worsening issues can be identified, removing blind spots in the feedback loop.
Start with your employees
Best in breed customer experience begins with employees. By making it easier for employees to provide the right information to customers, they can deliver an experience that meets customer needs and in turn feel more engaged in and proud of their jobs. By improving the lives of employees and showing them what great looks like, while reinforcing the voice of the consumer, the overall experience with your brand will be optimised.
At the end of the day, a strong culture of improvement backed by incentivising the behaviours that you value most will drive improvement across the entire experience with your brand. Small and consistent adjustments lead to the advocacy and action necessary to adapt in the disrupted automotive market and will create lasting memories for the people we serve.