The automotive industry is going through a transition – consumers have more reasons than ever to forego car ownership due to shared mobility and the increasing popularity of ride-sharing apps. While autonomous vehicles, connectivity, electrification, and shared mobility (ACES) will open new economic opportunities in the automobile industry, legacy car dealers will find it increasingly difficult to sell cars in the coming years.
According to a research report by Accenture, the market for privately owned cars is expected to shrink dramatically. By 2030, revenues from manufacturing and selling vehicles will be only marginally higher than what they are today, and that profits from car sales will even shrink slightly (from €126 billion to €122 billion). The rate of car ownership is expected to go down because of 2 main reasons:
- Rise in popularity of ride-sharing apps and shared mobility
- Shift in view of car ownership amongst Millennials
The growing disconnect between consumers and automotive companies
According to McKinsey, millennials will represent more than 45% of the potential car-buying cohort in 2025, making them the largest new-car-purchasing demographic. The growth of ride-sharing companies and the ease of service they offer has created a shift in view of car ownership among Millennials.
Thanks to consumer-tech companies like Amazon, Airbnb, Uber and Ola, consumers now expect a seamless customer experience. The time has come for companies in the automotive industry to adopt a similar model by keeping customers at the heart of their business. The car dealers/franchises should be able to provide an end-to-end customer experience from pre-sale to after sale support to stay competitive under these market conditions. To do this, companies should:
- Build authentic customer relationships
Dealers should be able to reclaim customer conversations, understand their preferences and adapt to their needs.
- Deliver unforgettable customer service
Dealers should get ahead of their game and offer proactive support to consumers by anticipating what they need. Companies should also be able to provide personalized omnichannel communication and 24/7 support services.
A case for better customer service
The greatest disconnect between consumers and companies lies in after-sale support. Consumers spend just about 15 hours buying a new car as compared to about 50 hours having it serviced during the time of ownership. A survey by McKinsey states that customers considered the service experience more influential than the last buying experience when purchasing their next car. Delivering exceptional after-sales support and keeping the customer engaged is key to building customer loyalty and keep them from looking at other dealers.
Analyst firm IDC estimates that manufacturers who successfully use service-quality measures to enhance the customer experience will have 20% more aftermarket revenue than their peers.
Digitizing Operations and Customer Experience
Due to the size of operations and costs involved, car companies have not yet digitized their operations. There are also very few customer service solutions that are built specifically for the automotive industry.
Smartify 365, built on top of the robust Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer engagement platform, helps automotive companies to deliver exceptional customer service and increase operational efficiency. Using a customer service management system like Smartify 365 will help automotive companies to:
- Streamline customer service
Manage customer service requests efficiently through a structured approach for handling service request, ticket management and resolution tracking.
- Build customer relationships
Exceed customer expectations by offering proactive and personalized support with the help of comprehensive customer views.
- Get a unified view of business operations
Connect people, processes, and customer service data to make intelligent decisions supported by analytics and AI.
- Drive operational efficiency through data-driven reporting
Get a bird’s eye view of all operations through intuitive dashboards which will help them improve efficiency and reduce costs.
The customer is now firmly in the driver’s seat. With the disruption of the automotive industry by ride-sharing apps and shared mobility services, consumers now view car ownership as less of a necessity. Automotive companies should let go of legacy sales and customer service models and offer consumer-tech like experiences to their customers to stay competitive under the new market conditions.
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