Automakers Struggle with Brand Loyalty

By Staff Writer January 10, 2022

 

Automakers must strengthen relationships with their dealers to improve customer experiences, boost sales and increase consumer loyalty, according to a new report from Accenture.

The report, “A Customer Experience Reboot: Pivoting Toward the Automotive Industry’s Future Success,” is based on a survey of 7,500 car owners and more than 200 car dealers across six countries in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, as well as on interviews with industry executives and insiders.

According to the report, automakers often provide a fragmented brand experience, with consumers experiencing low engagement and satisfaction, particularly in the post-purchase stage. The challenge for automakers is to provide the same level of ease and personalized experiences consumers are used to from other industries. This is particularly important given that nearly half (47%) of customers said they would consider switching auto brands after one fails to deliver a relevant customer experience.

Further, the research found that drivers now consider several other factors aside from the vehicles themselves as critical to a positive customer experience, including: dealer/workshop/repair shop network and accessibility; staff expertise; data privacy and protection; and sustainability and responsibility. The disconnect between consumers’ concerns with practical, everyday considerations such as repairs and maintenance puts the industry’s sales model at risk.

The key enabler of delivering a better customer experience, according to the report, is better customer insights. However, the dealers, not the automakers, have the greatest interactions with — and therefore the best insights of — the customer. To address this issue automakers must enhance their collaboration with dealers, making them more of a partner.

“The customer experience was designed by auto manufacturers but because they don’t have full access to the end customer the way the dealers do, there is still room for significant improvement,” said Axel Schmidt, senior managing director and global automotive industry lead at Accenture. “To do this, automakers should not only listen to and follow the data, but also change the entire dynamic with their dealers by putting them on more of an equal footing.”

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Last modified on Thursday, 13 January 2022 18:12