The motor retail industry needs to rethink customer service if it is to reach the levels consumers now appreciate from the world’s online giants.
The findings of the latest Capgemini Cars Online Trend Study put great emphasis on what Capgemini calls ‘dialogue management’.
They reveal that customers may appreciate being contacted proactively for customer services purposes, but only with the right message at the right time, and they are willing to share their personal data in return for a better customer service experience providing dealers and manufacturers are transparent on what the data is used for.
The report states: “Until now, the industry has either aimed its campaigns at all customers or relied on segmentation and selection of target groups. Today, however, we need to be able to target individuals, and make the right offer at the right time via the right contact channel.
"Automotive manufacturers therefore need to make sure they include dealers in this dialogue. To avoid contacting customers separately in an uncoordinated way, OEMs and dealers are already working to establish a collaborative three-way dialogue.
“To be able to do so, they need to integrate their customer data, often stored in silos. This data sharing also opens the door to a huge personalisation potential, as the customer view becomes more complete.”
The study found the keywords customers strongly associates with customer service from their automobile brand were ‘politeness’, ‘competence’ and ‘service performance’.
However, with digital leaders such as Amazon they associated ‘speed’, ‘service quality’, ‘multi-channel’, ‘proactiveness’, ‘simplicity’ and ‘goodwill’.
The report recommends that carmakers create a central strategic unit to manage customer dialogue, able to provide global guidelines, tools, technology and processes to be implemented locally in a way tyhat matches market-specific needs and preferences.
"A new governance model should always aim to shift organisations from product centricity to customer centricity. This means putting the customer, instead of products and services, at the centre of all customer service strategies, concepts and processes.
"To do so, a close collaboration between OEMs, dealerships and third parties will be needed - this is the only way to create a seamless customer experience," states the report.