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.

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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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