Winning Customers in the automobile market

Winning Customers is more and more complex!

According to the FEBIAC, registrations of new cars in the first few months of 2017 have increased by 3% with 394,446 registrations. Nevertheless, the sales process is more harsh and difficult. Why? Different factors mean that winning new customers has become more delicate and uncertain. First of all, the Internet allows potential buyers to compare models, prices and new cars against the best guaranteed used cars but also to test new distribution circuits. There are multiple channels, for example, car manufacturers selling new cars online, online (or not online) auctions, car fleet leasers on used cars or even mobile applications. Moreover, legislation on the environment, user expectations evolve and impact supply: diesel is decreasing in favour of petrol, engines are prone to downsizing and premiums for purchases benefit hybrid or electric vehicles. What is more, car-sharing and car-pooling will ultimately challenge the very notion of ownership of private vehicles in urban areas. Consequently, just a few months from the Brussels Motor Show, Automotive Trade professionals are on the lookout for innovative strategies and effective tools to boost Winning Customers, generate leads and manage them successfully.

Which winning strategy is best for the car trade?

Most car dealers and importers use very traditional approaches to generate and identify new leads. Advertising, competitions, creation of dealership traffic, direct marketing, purchase of files, mailings, POS Advertising, posters, etc. Now, in a highly competitive environment, with tight household budgets, changes in modes of transport and the empowerment of customers via the Internet, new technologies have a key role in capturing people's interest with a proposed automotive acquisition, retrieving their contact information and valuable data about their research. As such, this process must be both quantitative and qualitative, since poorly qualified prospects cost and use rare and valuable resources. Given future purchasers’ enthusiasm for new technologies, brands must adopt a Phygital strategy, which combines both physical and digital, to conquer and manage prospects in a cross-channel logic. This strategy must therefore integrate the best of the new tools while being focused on R.O.I.

The best of the technology & expertise of Customer Relations

iKanbi has been supporting the major players in the Automotive Trade business for years to win and retain future buyers. To do this, our offer is transverse, multidisciplinary and holistic. Indeed, we can audit the Customer relations, then accompany the brands by advising them to prepare their conquest or loyalty strategy before integrating the most effective new technologies and ensure your Customer service, from pre-sales to after-sales. Dealers and importers, like all industries in the sector, are heavily involved in adopting a variety of more promising technologies, on paper. Therefore, it is difficult to do things well and often you have to "pay to see" without a tangible ROI or efficiency. iKanbi's 25 years of experience in integrating the best of technology to serve your customers is a guarantee of success and an advantage that publishers or even digital marketing agencies do not have. As such, we help brands integrate new digital, mobile and social technologies including in sales outlets, with different priorities for your brand: Client Experience, efficiency, the R.O.I., but also the adaptation to your company’s culture. In prospecting, these new technologies enable us to carry out name gathering campaigns, thus enriching your CRM with qualified leads from all digital, social and mobile channels. In particular, iKanbi performs cross-channel operations of Social Selling, traffic creation in outlets or in trade shows or events. The leads generated are then qualified, evaluated and managed. To do this, we have developed our own technologies such as the Lead tracker solution. In addition, iKanbi has mastered digital communities to unite fans of your brand, to integrate them into Social CRM. Amongst other things, we carry out real-time reminders, management of sales force agendas, 24/7 mode management of leads, on all channels: telephone, sms, e-mail, Facebook, Chatbots, digital community or Social Wall. Therefore, Winning Customers involves integrating a Phygital strategy after auditing your needs, ad hoc support and integration of tools and new technologies, as well as the production of high value-added services for Customers.

Pierre Morgat  -  VP Marketing iKanbi

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Opening of iKanbi's new site in Hasselt

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A new platform in Hasselt

iKanbi at the heart of Hasselt

It is no coincidence that iKanbi has decided to open a new site in Flanders. As a Belgian company, our teams work on projects and with clients on both sides of the linguistic border and beyond national borders. The site is 30 minutes from our buildings in Herstal. In addition to an operational platform, our new site will also serve as a training center. Our new address on the small ring road of Hasselt is easily accessible, even by public transport. This accessibility will help reduce our ecological footprint. Our guests and employees can enjoy a delicious meal, a drink or escape to the many shops, the welcoming downtown area that is only a stone's throw away from our building.

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Engagement at the heart of customer relations

Customer relations creating engagement

Motivating your customers without compensating them is not easy. Yet their engagement brings a multitude of benefits: they can become brand ambassadors and encourage competition for sales, or become involved in a brand community and carry out peer to peer customer support, free of charge. Moreover, the most engaged customers are able to participate in the design of tomorrow’s products, through participative innovation.

 On the same basis, the e-reputation of customers who are brand ambassadors, fans or super fans plays a part in the development of Brand Equity in enhancing the brand image. They have a massive impact on direct sales by the increase of the average basket and on indirect sales as a result of peer recommendation.

 All these factors make the strategies and tools of customer commitment essential. But how do we value and develop the motivation of customers, along with their brand loyalty and engagement?

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Community customer services, a priority for customer service centres

At first sight, brand communities appear to be seriously damaging the health of customer service centres. Why? They lead to call deflection. Call deflection is one of the most significant trends observed in online brand communities: they start off with an expanded customer service and resort to using call centres in particular. This has been true for some mobile phone brands for example. Deflection is when some of the calls previously handled by call centres are redirected to the online community, which takes over a significant part of customer service provision.

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Digitisation and its impact on customer service centres

Customer service and sales departments are benefitting from new digital tools

The digitisation of customer services has had a major impact on teams working in sales and customer interface, whether they are office-based or working in the field. These are the findings of the recent 2016 study undertaken by Touch & Sell in collaboration with the DCF (Dirigeants Commerciaux de France - French business leaders). This study concerns digital, mobile and connected devices used by customer interface teams, from sales to customer service. This means tablets, smartphones, Digital Walls, interactive TV or in-store digital terminals.

Covering all sectors and all salary levels, this study highlights the recognised effectiveness of digital tools by more than 70% of people surveyed from within the sales force or customer services.

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