David Morton, Sales & Solutions Director, Arvato CRM Solutions
The automotive industry is investing huge resources in becoming more environmentally sustainable.
It can’t afford not to.
Not only do brands recognise their responsibility to do their part in the fight against climate change, but they’re also on a deadline to adapt to new legislation and they need to meet demand from increasingly environmentally conscious consumers.
While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, customer experience has a critical part to play in brand’s contributions to a more sustainable future.
Supporting the electric vehicle (EV) transition
More and more customers are ready to shift to EVs. A recent poll we conducted with 1,000 UK drivers2 found that half (48%) planned for their next car to be non plug-in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or full-electric.
As drivers start using new EV technology, they’ll have new questions and challenges.
This shone through in those we polled. Of the drivers who were switching from a petrol or diesel vehicle to a hybrid or electric, nearly three-quarters (71%) had worries about changing – from understanding range (40%) to finding the right charging infrastructure (40%) and knowing how to maintain it (25%).
Through communication and strong customer experience, brands can help allay these worries, encouraging drivers along on the EV journey, while also, crucially, fostering loyalty.
But to get this right, they need to be able to offer personalised service, quickly and consistently, across drivers’ channels of choice.
This is essential for vehicle issues – a driver stuck at a charging station or stranded on the side of the road, simply can’t afford to wait for a brand to identify their customer profile or sit through a list of impersonal solutions.
The key to delivering this will be the effective gathering and processing of customer and vehicle data – information that’s increasingly available as brands produce more connected cars.
At Arvato CRM Solutions, our platforms use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to collate and analyse data continually from every touchpoint, including vehicles, to create a 360-degree driver view.
This is the foundation that drives personalised communication. With this database in place, agents have a complete, real-time picture of the driver and the vehicle on a single platform, allowing them to quickly respond to queries with tailored, relevant support.
The 360-degree customer view can also be applied to self-service tools, such as chatbots and intelligent voice recognition, to deliver personalised options for customers who’d prefer not to have to speak to a human team member.
And, in combination with advanced customer service platforms, it can be deployed consistently across channels – from social media to phone – meaning customers receive the same level of seamless service, however they choose to get in touch.
Improving driving experience
Facilitating EV uptake is just one area where automotive brands can use CX to contribute to a greener future.
Through proactive, personalised communication, brands – from manufacturers to leasing companies – can also help customers with internal combustion engine (ICE) cars and EVs drive and maintain them in a more environmentally friendly way.
This could be using vehicle data to calculate the optimum time for servicing and proactively contacting customers on their channel of choice, to book in visits to a garage or remind them of upcoming maintenance dates. This reduces the chance of mechanical issues that may increase a vehicle’s environmental performance being left to linger and grow.
Or, it could mean using driver and customer data to incentivise and reward more environmentally conscious driving habits.
For example, a manufacturer could offer discounted vehicle upgrades for drivers that are consistently seen to select and follow the most fuel-efficient routes on sat-navs, while a leasing provider could offer discounts on monthly rates for the same.
The road ahead
Some of these steps may be small contributions in the grand scheme of environmental measures but are all valuable ones.
Investing in improving customer experience propositions so that brands can effectively gather and act on customer and vehicle data will be a must. Done well, it won’t just be good for the planet, but for relationships with drivers too.
For more information on how our experts can help deliver the CX that will help drive sustainability measures, contact us today by emailing: CRMSE@arvato.co.uk.
- Survey of 1,000 UK drivers conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Arvato, November 2022.