If you’re debating whether your shop should offer customers fewer touchpoints going forward or instead go all-in on having deeper relationships, you’re looking at the situation the wrong way, an expert advised.
It doesn’t have to be an either/or scenario, said J.D. Ney, automotive practice lead at J.D. Power Canada. You can offer both.
“It’s not a [debate between] ‘conduct your customer experience handling process one way or the other’ [where] you have to choose,” he said on a recent episode of AutoServiceWorld Conversations. “It’s really an ‘and’ equation.
“And you might argue the majority of your customers still want this traditional high-touch, high-communication service experience. But there is this other group that is looking for something a little bit more seamless.”
He recommended taking a few steps back from the customer experience of your shop and pinpoint areas of friction. Then close those gaps.
“And increasingly, those gaps are being closed by technology aids, like online service scheduling or having the ability of your advisors to communicate with the customer via text message [or] remote payment, for instance,” Ney explained. “So I pay my service bill before I even get back to the shop to pick up my vehicle.”
That said, the customer who prefers the lower touch and more convenient option still may need to speak with the service advisor. So the shop needs to be able to meet that request and expand on the customer experience, should the client choose to.
“It’s not just about having two distinct processes [where] one is ‘You can’t talk to us,’ and the other is much more traditional and touchy-feely,” Ney said. “It’s about allowing your customers to choose their own adventure and having an equally satisfying service occasion, regardless of the method they choose, or frankly, how often they kind of bounce back and forth between the two.”
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