Customer Experience for Automotive OEM and their Dealership
Business Practice- Customer Experience, Quantitative Relationship Based Experience Research
A superior offering not backed by sound customer experience management of the sales and after sales process results in negative WOM and poor translation of brand consideration into purchase in automotive. The core of the issue for our client lay in dealers reporting high experience scores through internal surveys, despite negative WOM, indicating the scores didn’t reflect on ground reality. The client’s ambitious goal was to be among the top 2 brands in terms of experience in every market over time. Creating an actionable programme that would drive change at the grass root level would support this goal.
An audit of the customer journey was conducted to review completeness of areas of measurement. Competitive survey results helped prioritize these across markets. Feedback interviews were undertaken through CATI with emphasis on obtaining the customer perspective along with managing the relationship. Unreachable customers were pushed online surveys as a value add to cover more customers and widen our complaint resolution process. Significant emphasis was placed on getting closer to the event by narrowing the gap between receipt of database and the interview.
Trainings were imparted to dealers and we participated in dealer events to create relevance of using the tool and highlight regular updates. Closing the loop services were provided to facilitate actionability and visibility at senior levels. Advanced quantitative tools were used to priorities areas of improvement, i.e. those with least effort/cost and maximum impact on experience. All information was provided via a portal for ease of access across dealers and their frontline staff. Dealer feedback on the tool and website were regularly obtained and incorporated.
As the experience improved, erstwhile customer delights became hygiene requirements, and these were identified for maintenance and new emerging delights were identified for prioritization. The measurement areas were thereby constantly updated to reflect evolving customer expectations.
The research helped gain the dealers’ trust which facilitated speedy implementation of the results and drove change in behavior of frontline staff. The metrics became a buzz word on the shop floor.
The client who was languishing at #4 in most markets over 3 years moved to #1 or #2 in all markets. They became the benchmark for customer experience in some markets. They lower health funnel scores improved and they dramatically improved sales over time.