Weekly focus: The latest in automotive customer service
This week, we look at the latest trends in automotive customer service – why auto dealerships need to embrace technology to speed ahead of competitors and how Renault is using Instagram to appeal to the younger generation.
Social media is key to driving sales …
How people shop for cars has changed over the past decade, with consumers increasingly turning to social media to find their ride of choice.
In fact, consumer intelligence firm Resonate has found that social media is now the first pit stop for the majority of people looking to buy a new car, with 60 per cent spending more than 20 hours, and a quarter spending more than 40 hours, swiping through social networks to find the perfect model.
The research also found that Reddit, Instagram and LinkedIn are now the social networks of choice when it comes to buying a car. Buyers’ core values of self-fulfillment, achievement and knowledge, are apparently reflected in the content on these platforms.
Mastering these channels will be key for auto manufacturers and dealerships looking to attract new business but it can be tricky to get right. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with our 10 tips for automotive brands on how to supercharge your social media customer service.
… but traditional dealerships aren’t on the scrapheap
A recent study by Ernst & Young says that more than a quarter of car buyers worldwide still consider a dealership and its salespeople a crucial part of the purchasing process, and 58 per cent said they would choose a traditional dealership over any other channel when buying a car.
However, the report does highlight that only 20 per cent of dealerships plan to invest in their digital presence in the next few years. This is a worrying sign when they need to embrace technology in customer services more than ever to remain competitive.
Steps such as making information and materials easily accessible through video, chat and text message will support customers when researching products, while 3-D and virtual reality technology can bring the driving experience to life from the comfort of their own homes.
When it comes to purchasing a car, people will always want to try before they buy, but those dealers who ensure that the customer experience across all channels is a great one, will speed ahead of their competitors.
Read the article here.
Speak to the salesman – via Facebook
Chatbots have revolutionized the way that firms offer customer service, with the technology providing support and solving simple issues on a day-to-day basis. But now Renault Italy has shifted the capabilities of the chatbot up a gear by using it to sell cars.
The chatbot salesman – a man in a fetching red suit – features in a series of Instagram videos to launch its new Captur SUV, which is only available to buy via Facebook Messenger.
He helps the characters in the animation to buy one of the 100 limited edition SUVs available. Viewers can then connect with the chatbot via Facebook Messenger to pre-order the Japanese-inspired vehicle.
This is a savvy move by Renault to engage with the younger generation, with the brand recognizing that the mobile platforms are an effective way to build relationships with and drive sales among Gen Z’ers and Millennials.
Renault apparently received two orders via the bot within 24 hours and, if this test continues to be successful, we could see more companies selling big-ticket items to the tech-savvy generation in this way.
How the car is turning into a tech hub
Gone are the days when your car was there just to take you from A to B, with the rise of connected vehicles meaning that manufactures are now looking at new technologies that make them comfier, more entertaining and more productive places to be.
Volkswagen has announced that it is partnering with Microsoft Azure to make sure its cars address the evolving needs of modern drivers, developing a new program that allows consumers to switch seamlessly between in-car and home digital services.
The new cloud platform – which will be called The Volkswagen Automotive Cloud – will allow people to access a range of extra-value services, such as music streaming and conference calls, even when they’re on the road. The new platform will also work alongside Microsoft’s IOT program, PowerBi and Skype, so people can stay connected wherever they are.
Read the article here.
Author: Editorial team Future. Customer.