Globalization and economic development in the past decade or so have significantly improved the purchasing capacity of people. One of the industries which have benefitted from this changing trend is the automobile sector. Owning a vehicle has become a necessity for a major section of the population today as opposed to a decade ago. This increased demand for vehicles has also given a boost to ancillary industries. All this has further increased the competition within the automobile industry. Since consumers now have more options, they are in a position to demand a lot more from the automobile industry. One of these is high customer service expectations. The automobile manufacturers and dealers are facing various challenges in this respect.
Let us try to look at some ways in which having a Call Center Solution can help the automobile players overcome these challenges.
1. Pre-Purchase Consideration
Buying a car is a big deal. After all, it’s a high-value commodity that requires careful consideration. Customers usually browse through multiple options, do some research, take test drives, etc before making the purchase. One of the most common ways of doing that is by surfing the manufacturer’s website, checking some review websites, or booking an online test drive on the dealership’s web page. In all of these situations having a proactive live chat will help to answer any quick questions that the consumer might have. Additionally, publishing the FAQs on the website will further answer some of the consumer questions. This will reduce the call volume that the agents have to encounter on a daily basis as well as reduce the consumer’s efforts to seek answers to their questions.
2. The Actual Purchase
Now that the consumer has researched and shortlisted a vehicle, they buy it. But most consumers do not pay for the automobile upfront. They usually make a down payment and get financing for the rest of the amount in the form of an automobile loan. The customers are supposed to make monthly payments on these to keep the vehicle. For a dealership, it is important to make sure that the customers do not miss out on these payments. Additionally, this gives them an opportunity to cross-sell as well because in case of big dealerships, they usually offer the whole package – financing options, any add-on fittings and/or after-sales services. So, having an integrated system i.e. in-house/third-party DMS syncing with CRM and any other third-party system that might be required on the dealership’s end. Providing the whole package increases the chances of sustaining a long-term relationship with the customer.
3. After Sales Services
The job of the dealership is not done once the automobile is sold. To be honest it just starts. To provide a delightful customer service experience, it is important to take care of every touch point throughout the customer’s journey. Even after the purchase is made. Following are some of the ways in which a dealership or automobile manufacturer can use a call center software for after-sales services:
- Lead Management: Dealerships maintain the record of all the automobiles that they have sold. By integrating the Call center software with a Dealership Management System (DMS) the dealerships can easily manage and use this data. For instance, a customer who has recently purchased a car from the dealership calls in and requests to update his email id. The call center agent will simply enter the registered mobile number and all the customer details with a pop-up with the help of computer telephony integration (CTI). Now the agent can edit the information and it will be saved in real-time. Thus, improving the response time and resolution rate.
- Payment Reminders: Dealerships would want the customers to make the EMI payments on time as it affects their cash flows. That’s where a call center software comes into the picture. You can set automated payment reminders across multiple channels such as call, email, or SMS. This will be beneficial in two ways a) timely payments and b) the customers will appreciate the brand taking care of them.
- Communication and Promotions: Apart from all the above-mentioned used, the dealerships might also need contact center software for basic communication purposes. For example, there is some issue with a part of the vehicle and the cars from a certain batch need to be recalled. Having the agents call all the customers individually will be time-consuming. Instead, it’s better to run a voice blast campaign on the said lead list. Additionally, the same can also be used to inform prospects and customers of any upcoming/ongoing offers.
All these efforts and planning come down to one thing – customer service experience. I cannot emphasize this enough. Every touch point and every interaction between the brand and the customer is significant. It has the power to make or break the relationship. A customer might have an amazing pre-purchase and purchase experience but might struggle with after-sales services. Thus, ruining the experience. Having the right customer service software will help with that and make the customer journey a happy one from start to finish.