Change in the automotive industry and specifically the development of new vehicles is happening at lightning speed. The industry is spending millions on the development of new technologies such as electric vehicles and autonomous driving all to ensure the automotive sector evolves with customer demands. It is these demands and expectations which put the automotive sector at the forefront of modern technology development and design.
Whilst the design and development of the car as we currently know it is reaching new boundaries every day, I would like to pose some questions for thought…
- Does the service and experience provided to each customer through the retailers during the purchasing and/or servicing of their vehicle support industry-leading technologies and products?
- Does each purchase and service experience using industry leading techniques and technology to support the customer and the experience created?
Please let me elaborate;
The world as we know it is moving at a rapid pace. Our work environments and family structures are evolving in ways that are perhaps more significant than ever before. We all live in communities connected by social media and the internet. This is dictating consumer behaviour, raising expectations but most importantly changing the way we view our daily lives and the interactions we have.
I am expecting before the reading of this article you have already checked your e-mails, logged on to various social media apps, made a few personal and or business calls. This on the move connectivity and the evolving technology behind it is an expectation of the world we now live in today. It is these expectations which are causing boundaries to be pushed across all industries.
This should be the major driving force to innovate the experience provided to each customer, just like manufacturers are doing in the design and development of new vehicles. If you think back to your last retailer experience, did it fit your expectations? Was it modern and innovative? How different was it from your last retailer visit?
The introduction of various modern technologies such as tablet apps have helped improve the service provided, for example silent salesman next to cars in the showroom, online car configurators and video viewing systems like electronic vehicle health checks all increase the interaction and experience each consumer feels but are these technologies new and innovative or are they just new basics of good customer service and experience?
I can’t help but think that whilst manufacturers are commissioning millions to ensure their latest vehicles have the latest technologies they are forgetting one major factor. The experience that customer receives from the retailer ensures the customer develops a love for their vehicle and the brand in which they have purchased.
Two recent discussions with friends spring to mind, they told me they still face basic “old school” issues on their recent visits to a retailer:
When buying a new car they faced a lengthy period going through what seemed like irrelevant paperwork document after document, none of which they read or were given the time to read. My friend stated this was the same process they experience when buying their previous car 7 years ago.
On dropping off their vehicle for a service visit they were notified they would receive updates throughout the day on the progress of their vehicle, without going into detail the updates did not occur and they found themselves calling the retailer for an update.
Whilst both these experiences are hopefully few and far between and not representative of most retailers, I’m sure some of you have been there at least once? This prompts me to ask, Why is technology not used to ensure basic customer service errors like these do not happen? Plus, How much has the retailer experience really changed compared to the vehicles themselves, let say over the past 10 years?
Whilst the answer to this article is much bigger than this page. I do hope I have got you thinking about the service that is provided to either your customers or how you as a customer view the service provided to you.
It is my belief that the service provided to the customer during their experience within the retailers in both sales and customer service should also match those of their newly developed vehicle. It should be revolutionary, industry-leading, customised and always challenging the status quo. One day I hope the service provided will be just that!
If you have any questions or need help with your business please feel free to send me an e-mail.
Thank you for reading.