The automotive customer experience is being redefined. Modern cars have advanced electronics, with built-in, voice-activated computers and high-speed connectivity. CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric) vehicles are expected to create new revenue opportunities for companies prepared to take advantage.

Reaching customers is different. Consumers are increasingly using the internet to shop for all products, including cars. In fact, there were approximately 1.92 billion digital buyers around the globe in 2019.

It’s all coming at a time when the growth rate in vehicle sales and auto parts is slowing. By eMarketer’s estimates, industry sales will decline 0.3% in 2020 and won’t reach the 3.2% 2018 growth again until 2023. This means dealerships must reinvent the automotive customer experience from the ground up.

Putting the Customer in the Driver’s Seat

Customers come first, and car manufacturers realize this. Cadillac retains its luxury brand status through more than just vehicle design. The company’s marketing team also focuses on world-class automotive customer experiences and ongoing engagement to keep word-of-mouth marketing going.

Your customers should feel valued and welcome, so Cadillac’s president sends a personal letter to new owners of its CT6 model. The company also runs exclusive VIP events for car enthusiasts to get hands-on experience with the brand in unforgettable ways. Cadillac also maintains an insight community to gather consumer opinions on an ongoing basis.

This combination of personalization and event marketing creates brand loyalty that crosses generational lines. It also shows that the company listens to customer feedback and incorporates it into its offerings. It’s keeping the brand competitive in an evolving market, and dealerships can adopt the following three lessons to put customers first.

1. Build a Community

Online communities and forums are the new paths to successful online marketing. These groups exist across social media platforms like Facebook, Reddit, and YouTube. They help like-minded individuals connect over a common interest. Creating or contributing to a community is a great way to build trust in your core audience.

2. Leverage Modern Technology

Internet of Things (IoT) and automation are officially here. It’s time to learn how digital tools of modern technology can be used to strengthen the automotive customer experience. For example, you can create contextual mobile ads that show your inventory to customers price-shopping at competitor’s lots.

3. Foster Ongoing Relationships

The customer relationship does not end at the sale. In fact, the markup on new cars is only 2-5%. Most dealership revenue comes after the customers’ agreement to purchase the vehicle.  Factory required maintenance, vehicle accessories, service contracts, and real value-added ancillary products that drive your customer back to your dealership.

Ongoing relationships with repeat customers not only lower customer acquisition costs, they typically lead to better employee retention while yielding higher margins for the dealership because happy customers and employees tend to lead to happy owners.

With these three pieces in place, your dealership will form stronger bonds and maintain positive customer relationships for years to come.

Contact The ACE Group today to learn how to upgrade your automotive customer experience today.