20 Feb 2018
There’s endless content and conversation on customer retention in the automotive industry. This is why it’s so surprising that there’s still core issues here. As we all know, retention depends on customer experience as the experience determines customer satisfaction.
I read an article the other day that discussed that more customer touchpoints leads to more complexity. I agree to a certain extent. I think that simplicity and ease of communication is key, however as a dealer you need a range of communication techniques and touchpoints to be available to your customers. Too many touchpoints will confuse the customer, but choice and flexibility of touchpoints is important and essential to personalisation. This is especially the case in this day and age, customers expect you to be prepared to address any of their needs with a multi-channel, flexible, digitally-focussed experience online and in the showroom.
However, none of these things will lead to satisfaction and retention of the modern customer unless you take advantage of data.
Data is hard to obtain, and it’s going to get harder with the introduction of the new GDPR in May of 2018. Having said that, dealers are still not fully utilising data they already have that was freely volunteered by their customers. By using and analysing the data you currently have, you will get a lot of insight to predict customer behaviour and anticipate future customer needs.
Data is one thing, but analysing and pulling insight to make intelligent, informed assumptions is another. Data can give you the ability to stay one step ahead of the customer and predict how they will behave based upon past actions, preferences and lifestyle data. This is the answer to customer retention in 2018. Dealers aren’t using the wealth of information they are given to its full potential.
For example, customers may have filled in a questionnaire answering specific questions, but did you take note of their address or place of work? You could use that information when they ask for a test drive or need a courtesy car and ask them what would be easier- to bring the car to their home in X or their workplace in Y. Joining the dots between the data that is available to you takes a bit more time but is the cherry on top when it comes to customer service. Simply, big data gives body to your CRM system and gives you a complete understanding of your customer, and the actions you should take with each one.