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Connected Cars Can Boost Retention

CitNOW chief executive Alistair Horsburgh

Advertisement feature from CitNOW

Connected cars can boost retention

By Alistair Horsburgh, CEO, CitNOW

The volume of data produced by vehicles is immense, but also currently underused. The race is on to harness the information to further improve motorists’ lives and open additional revenue streams.

Not surprisingly, connectivity and digitisation was identified as the number one automotive trend in the 20th KPMG Global Automotive Executive Survey (GAES). Increased digitisation and connectivity provide the opportunity for manufacturers and their partners to provide customers with timely, relevant and personal communications.

Capitalising on their direct connection with motorists via the vehicle’s systems offers OEMs and their network numerous opportunities to forge stronger relationships with customers such as tracking mileage and alerting the driver and dealer when a vehicle is due a service. Analytics such as how the car is driven – country roads rather than motorways or vice versa, means aftersales promotions can be tailored to individual driving styles.

This will be especially important for franchises. An SMMT report found independent dealerships were meeting the aftercare needs of 64% of the 30 million vehicles on the road – and were set to net 70% of the market by 2022.

Meanwhile, research from Accenture reveals almost half of motorists would rather avoid visiting a workshop in person. Nearly three-quarters (74%) are willing to pay for a so-called ‘invisible service’, whereby the entire process is managed remotely via websites or apps.

Far from diluting the customer relationship, if the process is smooth, efficient and convenient, such services will boost retention and loyalty. Using video keeps the customer informed at every stage of the car’s journey to and through the workshop, as well as at different times during the car ownership cycle, such as when a finance agreement ends. Retailers could also meet consumer demand for information about servicing and maintenance – with apps, guides and videos increasing engagement minus the hard sell.

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