Clear, personalized and timely communication delivered across the right channel is key to delivering a great experience.

They want you to remember their name. And it also wouldn’t hurt to know why they’re standing in your service drive, awaiting an advisor to check them in. Today’s customers want you to know as much as is necessary to provide the best experience possible.

 

In fact, according to global consulting giant PwC’s recently released “The Future of CX,” 63% of US consumers surveyed said they’d share more information with a company that offers a great experience. The payoffs for success are tangible: vendors get up to a 16% price premium on products and services, plus increased customer trust and loyalty. In return, among U.S. consumers, there’s a sharp increase in willingness to give up personal data to improve their experience.

Technology that Works Will Improve Human Interaction

There’s a catch to that great experience: humans. In the digital age of automation and connectivity, PwC found that customers most value human interaction with technology that aids the process. Not as a replacement. Survey respondents were wary of automation alone, for example, and preferred technology to assist humans with being faster and more helpful. The same survey found that over 70% wanted speed, convenience, and friendliness from their customer experience.

According to global consulting giant PwC’s recently released “The Future of CX,” 63% of US consumers surveyed said they’d share more information with a company that offers a great experience.

At the center of it all is communications. Do you think it’s enough to activate a bot? If so, think again: only 3% of U.S. consumers want their experiences to be as automated as possible. A majority, in fact, disagree with the idea that when technology becomes advanced enough, there will be no need for people involved with customer experience.

With that in mind, it’s all about reaching customers on their terms. Impressing consumers today requires delivering the right message at the right time via the right channel, all while making the process as transparent as possible.

Communication Drives the Automotive Service Experience

Getting the work done right has an obvious impact on loyalty, but there’s more to it. In their annual Customer Service Index study, J.D. Power highlighted the point.

“The quality of work—doing the job right the first time—can noticeably affect customer satisfaction and loyalty, but it shouldn’t be viewed in a vacuum,” said Chris Sutton, vice president, U.S. automotive retail practice at J.D. Power. “Proactive communication with the customer, especially while the car is being serviced, is one element that has a direct influence on loyalty.”

Communication is particularly critical in the service drive. Why? Because people flat-out don’t like getting their vehicle serviced. According to surveys from J.D. Power and others, people delay getting service done for three reasons:

  • Inconvenient with uncertain timing
  • Lack of price confidence in parts and labor charges
  • Missed messages and unclear communication across channels customers don’t prefer
  • The inability to easily schedule online service appointments

What makes the findings more relevant is the generational shift currently occurring across retail, and especially the automotive business. With Millennials supplanting Baby Boomers as the primary market force — and the emergence of Generation Z as drivers – service advisors and managers face a new reality based on the following trends:

Texting is king of communication: According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans regularly text. Closer to home, the recent J.D. Power U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study found that of customers contacted via text, 67% said they “definitely will” return for paid service. The study also found that the growth in texting preference has increased 3-6% across all generational categories since 2015.

Service customers value quality and penalize dealerships who don’t get it right the first time: Satisfaction drops considerably when service work is not completed correctly the first time and a return visit is required.

Integrated technology must be a part of the experience: Just as in the PwC Study, J.D. Power found that technology was a vital conduit for improved communications. Using the right technology throughout the process increased satisfaction by almost 10%.   

Dealership service customers are savvy, value quality over price and prioritize clear, relevant communication above all. They’re sensitive to changes in price and delivery promises and expect an open dialogue via text at all times.

Retention Starts with Timely, and Real-Time, Communication

Service employees know what dealership customers want because it’s the same thing they want when they get their vehicles serviced: proactive and helpful human communication via the right digital channel. Dealer-FX built Customer Connect to meet this need by expanding the capabilities of the BDC (Business Development Center). Unlike any other BDC product on the market, it links directly to service advisors through the Dealer-FX Service Dashboard. BDC agents get access to real-time, shop-floor information so they can keep customers up-to-date without waiting for call-backs. Customer Connect frees advisors to spend time serving customers in the dealership rather than answering calls. Customer Connect lets BDC agents do the following:

  • Provide vehicle status updates and adjusted promise times
  • Engage in text conversations with both customers and advisors
  • Provide information about outstanding recalls and software updates
  • Make and change service appointments
  • Answer questions about factory and dealer recommended maintenance

As dealers increasingly utilize BDCs to interface with customers, Customer Connect gives agents valuable new capabilities to improve the customer experience by optimizing all inbound and outbound communication. It channels communications via text, phone, and email, aligning message delivery with customer preferences to provide a frictionless experience across all touch points.