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How can marketers improve customer experience management within the Automotive Industry?

  • Jed Mole

    Jed Mole

Created at October 20th, 2015

How can marketers improve customer experience management within the Automotive Industry?

It can be difficult for automotive brands to remain connected to customers beyond making an initial sale. With touchpoints few and far between, making the most of the auto customer journey requires a mindshift towards a connected and holistic view of the automotive customer.

But how can the automotive customer experience be improved?

Automotive Customer Connectivity across all channels

There’s a natural desire, when buying a car, to embark on a lengthy period of data gathering. People don’t want to make poor decisions. So they spend a long time browsing, looking at ads and asking questions. This means there are more opportunities for them to be immersed in a connected customer experience.

Still, most automotive companies struggle to keep a customer beyond one or two models. Someone might have a BMW for a bit and then try a Mercedes; so naturally Ford (for example) would want to know when a customer is starting to give off signals of wanting to buy (such as browsing on its website, increased levels of interaction with customer services, and any mention of being happy with customer service levels). The whole experience should be built on every single touchpoint the customer will have across the whole enterprise.

Marketing now needs to be instantly relevant to the target customer and this relevance has to translate into content. You might say that if content is king, the content strategy is the kingmaker.

When it comes to audience segmentation, most automotive companies have got more segments than they are able to treat separately. This information needs to be related to the “real” customer journey, not just the journey the marketer would like them to take.

Enhancing the Automotive Customer Experience With Connected Data

It can be very difficult for automotive manufacturers to introduce any additional value to the ownership of a car, once it’s been sold. However, connected car data plus knowledge of the individual customer should give the ability to create better relationships with the customer about what they do with the product. Connected data provides a way of adding value to the ownership experience.

The digital footprint that people leave when they’re browsing the internet and using social media, pales into insignificance compared with the digital data available when the customer is actually in the car. With today’s connected cars, and the data they potentially create, automotive manufacturers are able to understand how, where and when a car is being driven. But many are not fully grasping the value of this yet.

Mini, for example, has the ability to use data in ways that improve the customer experience for automotive (by determining speed and safety of driving and setting the dashboard accordingly). This data can then be downloaded at the end of every week to show both the driver and the manufacturer how the car is being used.

The car purchasing and ownership process is no longer thought of as linear. It’s now considered cyclical but still, too often, two-dimensional. Connected car data turns that two-dimensional ownership into a three-dimensional model and this is where we need to be to really improve the management of the automotive customer experience.