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4 lessons we can learn from a negative customer experience

Carol Fairchild, having worked in the industry for over 20 years and in her current role of Chief Customer Officer at CitNOW, has high expectations – like most of us. We are a passionate bunch at CitNOW and we really believe in our vision to transform the way the automotive industry communicates.

Carol recently purchased a new family car and her experience was far from great. With just a few small changes to the process and sales team’s actions however, the outcome could have been much more positive.

This article is far from a finger pointing exercise – more so a reminder of some simple practices to give the customer the best experience every time they engage with you.

Let’s start with the story, which you can read here.

So, where could it have been different?

Enquiry stage

Video has many uses in the customer journey, but the one we see by far the most is the ‘enquiry follow up’. This is where a customer has reached out to you and instead of solely corresponding on email or phone, you create a ‘CitNOW’ to give them an introduction to the car they have enquired about. There are many benefits – it is often unexpected, it boosts customer engagement, and it is the first introduction to you, the sales person, and the dealership – allowing you to start creating an emotional connection with the customer. The average rating for CitNOW Sales videos is 4.9 out of 5, demonstrating that they really are a well received communication tool.

Appointment confirmation

It was interesting to read that Carol had to confirm the appointment with the retailer prior to visiting. Putting the customer at the centre, the sales contact should confirm the appointment with the customer by email or phone at a minimum. Want to go better than that? Send a video to confirm the time and date and a short introduction on how to find the dealership and what they need to do when they arrive – perhaps pointing out where your desk is. You are likely to delight and excite the customer with this, so why would they go elsewhere?

Part exchange

With used cars at a shortage, and to allow your site to benefit from customers who have a good used car to part exchange, it is a great time to utilise an online tool such as Tootle. Keeping the transaction auditable and providing an accurate part exchange valuation is easy and efficient with a digital tool – and means it can be used remotely as well as with the customer on site. Simply get them to create an account while you are on hand to guide them through the online process.

Customer delight

We have written many articles on customer delight – it’s where you can really add value and where using CitNOW can very much come into its own within the customer journey. It can create a long-lasting impression, whether the customer has come to you directly or via an OEM enquiry – and it could make the difference in where the customer goes for their aftersales business. In short:

Keep the comms going

A video to explain what happens post contract signing, a thank you video, a video of the car arriving on the transporter or a keeping in touch video – all would have added to that extra ‘sparkle’

The handover!

This is very different today due to the current pandemic – and with increased remote ordering and delivery, a video handover should be as standard as the ‘enquiry follow up’ video. You handle the cars every day, and how they work is second nature – but put yourself in the shoes of your customers. They won’t know the workings of the dashboard, how to use all the features, and let’s face it – we are all time poor. Who would want to spend hours reading through a manual?

They say a video is worth 1.8 million words, so a handover video is the perfect way to complete the customer experience. Send the video either before or just after the car arrives with them, so they will look forward to trying out all the things you have shown. It also gives the customer a guide to refer back to easily if they forget how to use something.

A personalised video does not replace the vehicle manual, or course, so we aren’t proposing you go through every single detail – but just some of the key points, like in this example video:

For more on creating a stand-out customer experience, watch Carol’s video on mapping and elevating your customer journey. You can also register for one of our free webinars or explore the tips and advice available in our How2CitNOW video series on YouTube.