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The Automotive Customer Experience Is Changing. Here’s How Your Brand Should Adapt

There was a time when the automotive customer experience was fairly straightforward. Customers would shop around for a vehicle, buy one, and then rarely interact with that brand again outside of service stops. However, as customer experiences have grown more complex, so too have their expectations, meaning that a formerly simple set of interactions have grown into their own ecosystem of multiple journeys and touchpoints.

What follows is a set of simple steps that your automotive brand can take to adapt to this changing landscape, enabling you to stay a step ahead of both the competition and your own customers’ expectations (any organization that can anticipate what its customers might want before even they know will be a winner in its vertical).

How to Adapt to the New Automotive Customer Experience

  1. Understanding Customer Frustrations and Delights
  2. Directing Frontline Training Efforts
  3. Predicting Happy and Unhappy Customers
  4. Identifying Moments That Matter

Step #1: Understanding Customer Frustrations and Delights

This tip may seem obvious, but bear with us, because there’s a more productive way of going about understanding customer experience sentiments than waiting to react to a bad Yelp review. Customer experience (CX) orthodoxy tells us that it’s just fine to address problems and delights as they occur in real time, but “fine” doesn’t take your brand to the top. What does is having designed your program around concrete financial goals, listening to the audiences most pertinent to those goals, and then directing investments only toward the areas that matter most to them. Why spend big on a piece of your program if it does nothing to solve CX challenges?

Step #2: Directing Frontline Training Efforts

Once you understand what about your customer experience delights or frustrates your clientele the most, you can have a much easier time deciding how and when to train employees accordingly. This is a huge step toward achieving Experience Improvement (XI) because your training efforts are coming from a proactive, informed place that you’ve established in our first step. Empowering your employees to better address problems will also boost their morale and investment in their work, which correlates directly with happier customers.

Step #3: Predicting Happy and Unhappy Customers

This step takes some time to get to, but like we said earlier, being able to future-proof your customer experience and anticipate what your customers will want or reject is a total game-changer. This knowledge can only be built up after taking time to understand your customers as people and training your employees to respond with that mentality. Of course, reaching this step is not a one-and-done; it takes constant proactivity to future-proof your experience, but your bottom line will be stronger and your clientele will thank you for the work.

Step #4: Identifying the Moments that Matter

Being able to spot the moments that matter in your customer experience is the culmination of everything we’ve talked about so far: gearing your program toward spotting problem areas, training employees to proactively tackle brand shortcomings in their interactions with customers, and gaining an understanding of what customers will want down the road. Identifying the moments that matter is crucial to creating a truly customer-centric culture and building a foundation of powerful human stories to take your brand to the top. After all, the best brand experiences aren’t built on just the best tech or consultation; they’re built on the best and most human connections.

Want to learn more about the evolution of the automotive customer experience and how your experience program can help you get ahead? Check out our latest eBook here!

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