Significant technological advances in the digital ecosystem are providing rich opportunities for automotive businesses to create new revenue models and increase customer engagement.
This is thanks largely to the rise of the omnichannel experience, and it has resulted in three global trends that are having a big impact on automotive:
Big data and cloud computing can now be leveraged to make automotive retail more agile. Customer reviews, website interactions and buyer behaviour can now be used to great effect with the right technology and support.
The connected customer. Car buyers now have the latest vehicle data and pricing at their fingertips. It means they’re more informed than ever before and can choose a variety of ways in which to engage with dealers.
New retail methods. Consumers are increasingly expecting home delivery, personalised shopping experiences and branded boutique shopping. And those expectations are now creeping into automotive.
What is omnichannel?
The modern automotive customer expects continuity across the channels through which they interact with brands. There are so many channels, in fact, that automotive businesses need to get smart about the way they manage them and maximise their ability to drive new leads.
This is what sits at the heart of omnichannel. If your dealership can retain a consistent, high quality, seamless interaction with a customer over social media, phone, in-person visits and via your website, you’re omnichannel-capable.
Get it right, and you’ll stand a far greater chance of thriving in the digital economy.
Here are some simple ways you can begin adopting an omnichannel approach in your business.
1. Keep the brand experience consistent in the showroom
Despite omnichannel focusing heavily on digital, the in-store retail experience still plays a massive role.
This is why dealerships need to continue optimising their footprint by adopting new mobility trends and multi-brand showrooms.
The brand customers experience on digital should continue seamlessly in the dealership visit. Flexible test drives, unique & engaging in-store experiences and staff training that enables every team member to provide a consistent customer journey are vital.
2. Upskilling the sales team
An omnichannel approach can’t work without the right sales team.
Modern automotive sales teams need to be highly skilled in managing digital and phone leads, and even integrating the sales and finance manager roles.
In doing so, the customer experience becomes tighter, no matter which way they choose to interact with your business.
3. Joining up the purchasing process. From multichannel to omnichannel.
Imagine if you were a car buyer and, on entering the dealership, the team already knew who you were, the research you’d carried out and details about your requirements.
All of this from just a few simple online enquiries, virtual car configurations and interactions on social media. This not only results in a shorter overall sales process, but also far better connection between brand and customer. Omnichannel is not just about utilising all available communication channels but making sure the brand experience there stays consistent and engaging.
By adopting omnichannel marketing technology, while nurturing your leads with techniques such as perpetual marketing, you can put customer data at the fingertips of your sales team and ensure all interactions with the business are captured and leveraged to maximum effect.
4. Adopting a truly digital sales workplace
For your omnichannel approach to be successful, you need technology. Principally, a system that can equips your sales team with a workflow-based approach.
Automotive sales workflows enable triggers to be placed at strategic points during the customer journey. So, whether customers interact with your brand via phone, on social media, dealership visit or as a result of a brochure download on your website, the sales team can jump in at just the right time with just the right message, while dealership management is kept updated in real time.
Omnichannel becomes reality when technology blends automation with a workflow-based approach.
According to a study by McKinsey Center for Future Mobility (a division of McKinsey & Co), companies who don’t innovate could be put in jeopardy. Success, they say, will lie in creating a personalised Omnichannel sales approach.
Are you ready to offer your customers a seamless car buying experience?