Managing customers across a range of channels in the motor industry

The relationship between consumers and their cars is changing:  middle-aged buyers are increasingly concerned with environmental friendliness and younger generations see their car as something they use rather than own.

So, developing customer loyalty has never been more important. With 80% of consumers using multiple devices to research a vehicle purchase and 52% visiting the dealer’s website, it is vital that dealers provide a coherent, engaging and, above all, useful customer experience.

By showing a connected and coherent approach to the customer experience across multiple channels, dealers can ensure they remain front of mind for buyers at every stage of their car ownership journey and vitally, throughout the journey leading to purchasing a new vehicle. This way dealers can ensure that when the car is changed they will be the first port of call.

From a channel point of view, though, the customer journey is rarely linear with the same person sometimes preferring to browse online, but to call up their dealer with direct questions.

Joined-up customer experience ensures that the dealership can – for example – say thank you by sending discount vouchers by email after a service or an aftermarket purchase.

It ensures that the dealer never fails to recognise the loyalty of the customer that regularly returns to the dealer for additional purchases.  Such apparent ignorance of customer value alienates them; 60% of consumers report that they have not completed an intended purchase based on a poor customer service experience.

So, having a 360 degree view of customer interactions puts a dealer well ahead of the competition. If the customer is upgrading to the new model, a wealth of information about how responsive the customer is to different communication channels probably already exists within the business, but it needs to be made accessible with the right technology.

Dealerships need to ensure they find partners to help them analyse and leverage this information ensuring that when the consumer reaches out – be it over the phone or email or SMS – agents are provided with up-to-date information on what the customer is contacting them about, whether they have been in touch already via social media or email for example and if this is an escalation.

This type of understanding truly puts a dealership in a position to respond rapidly, respond relevantly, grow loyalty, and win more business.

Graham Ede,  Yonder Digital Group