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Forget me not! The customer experience

There has never been a better time to review your customer experience journey given the continuous changes we’ve all seen over the past 16 months.

We all strive to create loyal customers and when better to start creating them, than during new registration periods when you have lots of new customers (hopefully). With the unprecedented times we have seen with lockdowns, an increase in online selling, the boom in the used car market and the chip shortage, it’s easy for standard processes to go a little awry and corners start to get cut as we try to sell and deliver as much as we can. However, it’s important to remind ourselves that the customer experience must remain in front of mind at all times – both quiet and busy.

The recent buoyant used car market has had a positive impact on retailers in helping them exceed their sales targets. Whilst a huge positive, for some this has been at the detriment of the all important CSI score. Whilst sales may be easier currently due to the unprecedented demand, it is still crucial to be conscious of the importance of providing an outstanding service to customers, helping build loyalty and good recommendations through word of mouth creating future sales.

With that in mind, we wanted to share some recommendations to help keep up with the demand whilst delivering a positive customer experience. I made a video about mapping the customer journey (below) and one of the key messages is how important communication is throughout the various stages.

There’s no question about it – at CitNOW we love video! Video is a really effective way to communicate with customers, clearly and with as much personalisation as you can add, right from the first point of contact. It helps with creating that vital first impression, to confirming a test drive and even with the handover, if completed virtually.

We launched live video last year, giving the choice of live or pre-recorded video, to introduce yourself to customers and establish an emotional connection by showcasing a friendly face who they can trust. It has been very well used and while customers can now visit the showroom in person, why not try using live video to reduce the number of visits, saving that all important visit for the delight of collecting their car.

Throughout the entire vehicle purchasing and ownership journey, we have found that video can be used to delight and excite the customer. Rather than sending a generic walkaround video during the enquiry stage, make the customer feel listened to by personalising the content based on their specific vehicle requirements. Video is a great way to highlight the key areas of a vehicle that the customer is interested in, which will help you to secure the sale. When the customer books an appointment at the showroom, create a lasting impression by sending a video to confirm the date and time with a short introduction on how to find the dealership and what they need to do when they arrive – reducing the number of ‘no-shows’ in turn making your team more efficient.

In a report carried out by us at the end of 2020, we discovered that 84% of customers found video to be a valuable part of their customer journey. CitNOW creates a level of personalised communications in vehicle sales that help customers feel familiar with your dealership before they even step inside the showroom, customers want it and it only takes a minute (I’m sure there’s a song in that!).

Creating a positive customer experience is about more than just the sale itself. By making a strong impression, customers are much more likely to return in the future for servicing, repair work and new vehicles, and to recommend your dealership to others.

Whilst the demand for used cars is currently at a high, let’s not take any business for granted and ensure we maintain a top level of customer service. Keep building up your customer engagement by providing the best experience possible at each stage of the customer journey.

Now is the time to ensure that your sales team is aware of best practices in customer communications so that good habits can form, and you are ready for when the demand starts to slow down. When it comes to best practice, have a range of webinars dedicated to learning just this – view the full list of webinars that you can book online.