Best PracticesDealership Marketing

“Say ‘Consumer Experience’ ONE MORE TIME!”

If you attended DrivingSales Executive Summit this year you were likely saying this to yourself by the end of the conference.

The vast majority of keynote presenters this year mentioned the disparity between traditional retail automotive and the consumer’s perception of a satisfying consumer experience.

More than one of the keynotes said the 5 letter swear word that is sure to “electrify” a crowd of dealers and get them just a little “charged up.” It was quite a “jolt!” (Those of you that aren’t “plugged in” may not be getting the reference; that swear word starts with T and ends with esla. )

Disruption is on the horizon, but let’s be honest, it has been lurking just around the corner for many years. What do Ebay, Tesla, TrueCar, Carmax, and the interwebs in general all have in common? They all took turns as the posterchild for retail automotive’s inevitable end of days. All signified the end of an era in some circles and brought with them a lot of unnecessary hand-wringing…

Check out this snippet from a recent eMarketer survey:

When marketing executives in North America were asked to rank the most important attributes of customer centricity, having a senior management team committed to understanding the needs and behaviors of the customer market landed in the No. 1 spot. Functional alignment and support of a holistic customer experience strategy came next.

However, 35% of marketing execs called out a lack of alignment, saying that their heads of operations and line-of-business leaders as well as their finance, marketing, sales, point-of-sales and customer service teams were not focused around a customer experience strategy. Just 12% said their core teams were strongly aligned.

– See more at: Want to Improve the Customer Experience? Get Aligned – eMarketer

As an industry we are in good company. 75% of Marketing Executives cross industry that were polled by eMarketer do not have a formal Customer Experience Management Strategy currently in place. They also said that the factors that lead to a customer-centric focus were a senior management team that committed to understanding the needs and behaviors of customers followed by the functional alignment of a holistic customer experience strategy. In simplistic terms, a customer experience focus begins at the top of the organization and is driven down to all employees in every department.

It appears that true disruption from a negative perception of consumer experience in retail automotive won’t come from an external force, it will be ushered in by lack of internal alignment to a common consumer-centric process.


Do you have a formal Customer Experience Management Strategy in place?

Is it holistic and truly driven from the top down? If not, are you actively working to define one?

Join this discussion already happening in the forums!

Ryan Leslie VP of Sales CarStory LinkedIn “The way to a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” ― Socrates