Picking up a new car is magical. The new car smell. The technology. The enhanced performance. Brands and dealers that place an increased emphasis on the delivery (and do it well) increase the chances of a higher rating on their CX surveys. And when you think about it, it makes sense. It’s the last impression a customer has before they drive home and share their experience–hopefully positive–that they had at the dealership.
However, the bloom is still on the rose when the customer picks up the car. Even though they were shown how to pair their phone, operate the NAVI, or use voice commands, it doesn’t always stick. And if it doesn't stick, the result could be lower CX scores both on the brand’s internal program and on syndicated studies like JD Power. The technology may work as planned but if the customer doesn’t know how to use it, they think something is wrong with the car and offer up a poor score.
Flew back from NADA in Las Vegas on Sunday on Westjet 1117 (in case you’re reading Westjet). For what should have been a routine flight, the experience turned into a considerable delay resulting in an arrival in YYZ about 12:30 a.m.
In a touch of serendipity, I sat next to Sham Ahluwalia, an executive with General Motors who has a ton of experience in the world of CX. As the afternoon and evening unfolded, we dissected and discussed the way the airline handled the situation. A great learning exercise.
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. Yes—measuring how the customer feels is critical—but let’s start putting a little more emphasis on what our frontline people have to say, and doing it on an ongoing basis.
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 person—with 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have you ever considered your product a commodity?
Perhaps not—and we wouldn’t recommend that you do so.
But you must be prepared for customers who may. Like it or not, a mortgage is a mortgage, a car is a car and a hotel room is a hotel room, and your product is one of many.
Regardless of your sector—be it banking, retail, automotive, health care, or something else altogether—your customers make decisions about what they purchase for a variety of reasons. The product itself is increasingly just one of many influencers; the brand may contribute equal weight in the decision-making process.
More and more, aligned values and customer experience are key choice differentiators.
While you may not have played the board game Clue recently, there is compelling evidence that great consumer experience begins with an insight followed by clear and sometimes surprising action. An insight, in our opinion is a fact married to intuition. We used this insight to tackle the need for improved hospitality in the automotive sector and offer an experience that would lead to a higher rate of satisfaction and therefore greater advocacy.
In fact, loyalty increased by 17% for consumers who were completely satisfied with the service on their previous vehicle while under warranty, according to the Maritz New Vehicle Customer Survey.