Automotive customer service becomes a relationship-based consumer experience
Dealers should prepare now for a new mobility
Tomorrow, dealers may have to master car-sharing, autonomous fleet sales, and other innovations. As they brace for change in every aspect of the customer sales journey–from the automotive customer experience to automotive customer service–dealers should focus on seven key moments. These critical moments define the sales experience for today’s customers and provide dealers with a foundation to build strong customer relationships in the new world of mobility.
Waiting for “automotive retail 2.0”
For now, car dealers still work predominantly under the traditional ownership model—in an environment that’s colored by wired consumers’ enhanced information and power. As long as the standard model endures, it’s up to dealers to refine it, even as they help usher in the next model. The way to promote both outcomes is to enhance the customer experience at every step, from the automotive customer experience to automotive customer service.
Read the full supplement "Examining the evolving mobility ecosystem" here.
The seven key moments in a customer’s sales journey
Tomorrow, dealers might have to master car-sharing, autonomous fleet sales, and other innovations. The future vision for today, however, is the direct-to-consumer sale.
The seven key moments in a customer’s sales journey–from the automotive customer experience to automotive customer service–are the foundations of that new strategy. Once those moments are defined, companies need to think about the processes, environment, and people involved in each one, so each element adds value that customers appreciate instead of turning them away.
- The digital experience
- Coming into the dealership
- Talking to salespeople
- The test drive
- Negotiation and purchase
- Vehicle delivery
- Service and the ongoing relationship
Timeless principles will enable the pivot to new mobility
These seven critical moments define the sales experience for the customers retailers will serve today. These are where investments of time and resources are likely to pay off most quickly.
As the standard bought-and-sold car begins to cede space to new approaches that treat mobility itself as the commodity, these seven turning points in the traditional process won’t be the entire answer to building consumer relationships—but they are an indispensable place to start—and begin to shift the dealer to think about the entire customer experience.
In these new models, dealers will need to carve out a role as a mobility manager. Already there are opportunities for the provision of shared fleets and keeping them on the road—and with well-positioned, suburban lots dealers can provide these emerging mobility management services.
The habit of seeing the relationship through the customer’s eyes and making it as pleasant as possible is a habit that will follow retailers into whatever future the automotive retail industry holds in store.