#autobond: The Importance of the Front Line

Posted by Chris Travell

Mar 31, 2016 4:25:16 PM

I’ve been involved in measuring the customer experience (CX) for over 20 years. It’s critical to get the voice of the customer to understand where a brand, dealer, salesperson, service advisor etc is strong or weak so they can improve. I get that in spades. However, over that time one of the areas that has been noticeably absent from the public discourse on this stuff is measuring the employee CX on an ongoing basis. This is odd because these individuals are absolutely critical in delivering the brand experience. They’re on the frontline so wouldn’t we want to hear regularly what they have to say so we can continuously improve?

My observation has been that the employee survey is done about once a year. Tick that box.  

My call today is to incorporate measuring employee CX into your overall CX strategy. Yesmeasuring how the customer feels is criticalbut let’s start putting a little more emphasis on what our frontline people have to say, and doing it on an ongoing basis.

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Topics: Customer Experience, #autobond

#autobond: Fuel Efficiency, 2016 Forecast, and the Connected Car—In Conversation with Dennis DesRosiers

Posted by Chris Travell

Mar 23, 2016 11:47:59 AM

Dennis DesRosiers is the leading automotive analyst in the country. Even though he is often controversial, he never fails to provide insight and the proverbial "something to think about."

In this week’s #autobond, Dennis talks about fuel efficiency, his sales forecast for 2016 (and potential concerns), and the connected car and what it means to a small southwestern Ontario town.

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Topics: #autobond

#autobond: Jim Kenzie on Technology, Distracted Driving, and Electric Cars

Posted by Chris Travell

Mar 10, 2016 12:12:25 PM

Jim Kenzie has been one of Canada’s leading automotive journalists for the last quarter century, and currently serves as the Toronto Star Wheels' chief automotive reviewer. As an engineer and race driver, he has considerable experience and expertise when it comes to all things automotive. He's known for his strong views, which make him entertainingif not controversial. 

I had a chance to spend some time with Jim to get his thoughts on technology, distracted driving, and electric cars. Do you agree with him? 

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Topics: #autobond

#autobond: Differentiating Lexus in the Hyper-Competitive Luxury Market

Posted by Chris Travell

Mar 3, 2016 2:22:00 PM

At the recent Canadian International Autoshow in Toronto, I had a chance to talk to Jennifer Barron, the new Director of Lexus in Canada. Jennifer is a very interesting personwith Lexus since 1990, she has played an instrumental role in designing the brand’s customer experience. Now, things have come full circle and she’s running the place.

Jennifer talks about what differentiates Lexus in the crowded luxury market and what it will take to compete in 2016 and beyond.

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Topics: Customer Experience, #autobond

#autobond: Changing Customer Expectations in the Automotive Industry

Posted by Chris Travell

Feb 25, 2016 11:00:23 AM

At the recent Canadian International Autoshow, I had a chance to speak with Cyril Dimitris, Toyota Canada’s new Vice President of Sales. The former Director of Lexus and Scion Divisions (among several other previous positions with Toyota), Cyril brings years of automotive brand expertise and deep understanding of the automotive customer to his new role.

In our conversation, Cyril talks about changing customer expectations, how Toyota is adapting, the U Squared concept, and the recent decision to nix the Gen-Y oriented Scion brand. 

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Topics: Customer Experience, #autobond

#autobond: Making Goal Setting Work in 2016

Posted by Chris Travell

Feb 10, 2016 12:42:18 PM

I get worried sometimes when I hear manufacturers talk about their goals. Obviously everybody in the dealer network needs to know where the goal posts are, but sometimes the goals can be so unrealistic that they are actually setting dealers up for failure. Is it reasonable, for example, that a brand will jump up 15 spots on JDPA or NVCS? Maybe not, especially when few resources, aka – money and management expertise, are dedicated to achieving the goal.

Here’s a few more thoughts about goal setting in 2016. Let’s be practical about this. 

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Topics: Customer Experience, #autobond

#autobond: Twitter and Unearthing Not-So-Hidden Opportunities

Posted by Chris Travell

Jan 28, 2016 3:00:25 PM

At the recent Automotive News World Congress in Detroit Robert Pietsch, Director Sales, Auto and Tech at Twitter, quoted some statistics which I found fascinating. 140,000 people per day tweet that they are going car shopping and most mention the brands they’re looking at. However, only about 5 percent receive a response back from the brand.

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Topics: Brand Loyalty, Customer Experience, #autobond

#autobond: 3 Musts for Automotive Loyalty

Posted by Chris Travell

Jan 21, 2016 11:12:00 AM

Live from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show! 

In the first installment of our automotive blog series #autobond, Chris Travell talks about three things that you should consider for building brand loyalty in 2016.

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Topics: Brand Loyalty, Customer Experience, Live Brand Experiences, #autobond

10 Steps to Loyalty Program Executional Excellence

Posted by Richard Schenker

Jan 19, 2016 2:24:00 PM

In many cases, the distance between the offices of marketing and the operations staff is too far. When it comes to loyalty programs, Marketers can fall into the trap of missing executional realities—including the ability to turn front-line staff into evangelical brand ambassadors.

Neglecting to include front-line representatives and other key stakeholders early in the loyalty program design process can lead to poor promotional execution of campaigns, unchecked accountability and other issues. There also can be a lack of clarity and continuity of expectations, especially with new hires. Then, as competing business priorities arise, the program becomes little more than a sideshow over time.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Our recent Loyalty360/Bond Brand Loyalty webinar, “Measure Twice, Cut Once—Get it Right From the Start!” provided a case study of a leading North American retailer whose loyalty program has set an industry gold standard. It’s not just that enrollment goals for the entire first year were met within the first month. It’s also that front-line staff were and continue to be enthusiastic participants themselves, continuing to create excitement, share tips and engender loyalty with customers. 

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Topics: Loyalty Program, Retail

Nest Thermostats Turns Old Loyalty Mechanics New Again

Posted by Sean Claessen

Jan 12, 2016 11:00:23 AM

A funny thing is happening in the loyalty industry. Consider the average North American consumer is enrolled in a record 13 formal programs that include typical features like monetary rebates, points and discounts to lock members in and keep them coming back. Now consider that actual participation in those programs (that is, customers engaging and making purchases) shrank 14% from the previous year, according to the 2015 Bond Loyalty Report.

The widespread availability of these programs is outpacing consumer demand. This oversupply is creating a growing sense of customer indifference toward the most potent mechanisms that differentiate a brand.

Funny, right? Not so much.

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Topics: Brand Loyalty, Loyalty Program