After the new car smell wears off, and the honeymoon period is over, car buyers are left with their car-buying experience, both good and bad. Ensuring that experience is a positive one is the key to a happy customer, a repeat customer, and great word of mouth.
“A good experience creates loyal customers, and being there for every step of the customer car-buying process has never been more important,” says Frankie Russo, CEO and founder of 360 AUTO , a MarTech company that specializes in Customer Experience technology for the automotive industry.
360 AUTO’s centerpiece, the 360CXM, is a customer experience technology for Automotive Dealers with a focus on Identifying, scoring and targeting In-Market car buyers for marketing, equity mining, digital retailing, and attribution purposes.
Russo says that making that experience memorable in a digital retailing world is crucial for dealers and that a positive experience rests on “enriched tailored moments”.
Russo adds that by enriching the data in the dealer’s CXM and CRM, sales teams can have better, more personalized, 1 on 1 conversations with consumers and customers via text, video messaging, phone and in person at the dealership. By Using the data we know about prospects and existing customers, dealers can now create highly personalized automated marketing messages about their existing vehicle with upgrade and finance offers unique to that person’s interests and buying power. Enriching tailored moments online by dynamically creating personalized website experiences unique to the individual consumer using the data we know about prospects and existing customers greatly increases each consumers customer experience.
And the scope of Customer experience management, or CXM, is not just marketers, but the entire business, says Russo. Studies show that car buyers are spending less time shopping for cars, making decisions more quickly, which makes every single customer interaction that much more important. In a 2019 survey by Cox Automotive, customers were in the market for a car for roughly 90 days, compared to almost 120 days just two years earlier.
“Every employee, from the top to the bottom, has a role in CXM. Each employee has a chance to meet or exceed expectations as they all play a part in designing and reacting to customer interactions. The hope, obviously, is that each interaction leads to greater customer satisfaction and brand loyalty,” Russo says.
Because customers are making more decisions ahead of time, by the time they arrive at the dealership, many of them are ready to buy , according to recent surveys.
Nowadays, when customers walk through a dealership’s front door they come armed with more information than they have ever had before, which changes that key interaction between salesman and customer, Russo says.
Customers know more now and they expect to be treated as such. So, today’s salesman should serve as more of a consultant. Customers want honesty and transparency throughout the customer experience journey.
So how do you develop a customer experience journey that people will actually remember and tell their friends about?
Russo, whose companies have garnered national attention over the last 20 years, including Inc. 500 recognition, says it starts with better data, highly customized engagement, and a consistent quality approach throughout the process.
“It starts with empowering your dealership’s sales and BDC teams with more enriched data around each conquest and retention prospect to build better relationships through customized experiences,” he says.
Then, he adds, engaging with the right buyers at the right time by utilizing and applying that enriched data is critical. “Using that next-level data to engage potential customers with automated, highly customized one-to-one messages on all digital media platforms will increase your dealership’s lot visits, sales, and market share, Russo says.
It’s all about elevating the path to purchase by bringing the customer experience full circle through consistency in every step of the car-buying process in a digital retailing world, he says.View PDF
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