Online Car Sales: The Digital Customer Journey in the Automotive Industry
Exciting times lie ahead for the automotive industry. In addition to connectivity, autonomous driving and e-mobility, the Corona pandemic has drawn the industry's attention to a new trend: online car sales.
“For many people, buying a car is a very personal and emotional thing, which has so far been strongly influenced by the direct, physical contact with the car dealer. Nowadays, also accelerated by the Corona pandemic, many customers prefer to make their purchases online, also to avoid personal contact. Now is the right time for car manufacturers and dealers to evolve their online sales processes and provide their customers with a seamless and personalized digital customer journey,” said Sarah Latsch, Vice President of Majorel’s Automotive Division. “Today, end customers are increasingly comfortable doing business online. Even after the pandemic, online sales in the automotive industry will remain an integral part of our daily lives”.
Use touchpoints, increase customer satisfaction
From the First Contact to Test Drive
The first two phases, in which it is important to raise attention and provide information, are comparatively easy for manufacturers and dealers to map online. To create added value for customers, it is important to offer them direct communication in these early phases of the purchase cycle. Social media, telephone, video telephony and live chat on the website are good contact channels to enable the customer to get in touch with the relevant contact person quickly and individually, thus increasing customer satisfaction right at the start of the customer journey. Once the customer has decided on a vehicle and enters the phase of configuration and selection consultation, it is still important to make the digital touchpoints customer-friendly. “Since the configuration phase is the key to a successful business deal, it is particularly important here to maintain contact with prospective customers, and ideally even to expand it,” says Emmerling. That’s why direct contact with the service center must also be possible during the configuration process, so that a customer service representative can provide support in selecting and adapting individual functions and components as required. It is necessary to merge online and offline during the test drive. While the planning, including making appointments and identifying the driver’s license, can take place online, the prospective buyer must carry out the test drive in person. If this is successful, the purchase can be completed conveniently and location-independently using digital solutions such as co-browsing, video telephony or digital signature.
What else is important in the individual phases and how the customer relationship can be continued online after the purchase is explained in a whitepaper from Majorel. You can download it here for free: