The way we all live has changed drastically in 2020, and the way in which we buy and sell goods and services is no exception. The shift to more digitised shopping experiences has been happening for a while, but has been accelerated considerably as a result of the pandemic.
The automotive industry has perhaps felt the impact of this more than most. Car buying has traditionally been a mostly physical endeavour, so retailers have had to adapt quickly to digitise their customer experiences. Video has proven to be a very effective way of making that happen.
In this article, we’ll explain how you can approach mapping out your customer journey, and some touchpoints in your customer experience where video can help you connect with your prospects. We’ll also look at why journey mapping is so important, and the drawbacks of not taking advantage of video’s potential.
First things first
Do you know what your customer journey truly looks like? In this ever changing world we need to think about the full experience they have – and in this immediate situation, a journey where customers cannot physically visit you.
The customer will still go through four main stages: research, enquiry, purchase, and ownership. But it’s important to think about all the channels they will touch, ensuring where possible that you continue creating emotional connections and positive impressions at each opportunity.
Watch the below video for tips on mapping and developing your customer journey for a more engaging, seamless online experience.
Using video throughout the sales process
With video, the only limit is your imagination, but there are four key applications that should make up the cornerstones of your digital engagements with customers:
- Personalised vehicle tours: responding to an enquiry with a personalised video walkaround is a great way to help you stand out from the crowd – while at the same time, satisfying your customer’s desire for personalised, human, albeit contactless interaction. What’s more, through video, you also benefit from the opportunity to build rapport and trust with the customer, which is perhaps even more important these days, especially if the customer is buying online.
- ‘Delighter videos’: these are videos where you can demonstrate how you’re going the extra mile to deliver the highest-quality service to the customer. Examples would include introducing the dealership, showcasing COVID-related safety restrictions, or showing the car being prepared prior to the collection date. Think of these as the extra, unexpected videos that might put a smile on the customer’s face.
- Hands-free handovers: what better way to introduce a customer to their purchase than to give them their own bespoke handover experience? Well, these days that’s a little harder than usual. Unless of course, you use video. Handover videos cover all of the things you might discuss during a physical handover, such as extra features they’ve specced and how in-car technology systems work. They play a key role in building up customer’s excitement, and confidence that they’ve made the right choice with their purchase. So while they need to be contactless, the handover is still a very important part of the customer experience.
- Delivery support: if the car is being delivered, video can be deployed to help keep customers informed and smooth out the delivery process. Delivery support videos can either be recorded and sent pre-delivery, to include timings and delivery driver details, or post-delivery as a follow-up to help ensure the customer is satisfied.
The perils of losing touch
Creating these videos, even if they’re personalised to individual customers, takes minimal effort and no more time than a follow-up phone call or email would do. Not only is it worth the endeavour, it’s absolutely critical to connect with customers in the current climate.
Physical routes to purchasing are largely unavailable to customers (and completely so in the case of lockdowns), so digital means are the only ones available for information and interaction. Those who use video as part of a wider, more integrated solution (such as the ability for customers to create finance quotes using CitNOW’s iVendi integration) will be even better-placed. This is because in the world we all now live, the more information a customer can access digitally, and on a self-serve basis, the more likely they are to buy.
Customers are also likely to get a taste for these more convenient, digital interactions with retailers. The expectation of receiving them may therefore outlast the pandemic. Meaning investment in your digital channels now, will not only help you through the current disruption, but also in years ahead.
To get more detailed advice on how you can make click-and-collect work for your dealership, and on how you can best connect with customers throughout the pandemic, register for one of our free webinars.
We’ve also got a wealth of tips and advice on our How2CitNOW video series on YouTube.