Carmine Gallo’s article about the changes in the auto retail experience is right on the money. With access to information like never before, consumers are becoming much more demanding: best value for money is no longer enough, they also expect the best service possible.
In order to keep up, successful auto retail players are shifting their focus at dealerships from transaction to experience. Such a transformation is driven by the digitalization of the customer experience. Technology is a key enabler, driving sales performance and customer engagement.
Higher sales performance can be achieved by equipping the sales staff with proper tools. It’s challenging for sales associates to keep up to date with latest information about such a variety of models and configurations. Additionally, sales associates have to deal with educated customers that run their due diligence online prior to the store visit. The right sales tools provide sales associates with ready access to information that is relevant to requirements of different customers.
Those tools can also be enabled with analytics engine that identifies customers’ preferences and provide personalized recommendations. Customers feel special, while sales associates still drive average ticket up.
The skepticism around the adoption of product geniuses, as mentioned in the article, is fair. However, it can be addressed by the combination of product geniuses and sales associates with the proper tools - definitely a scalable solution.
Another benefit of the digitalization of the customer journey is the integration of the online and offline environments. Integrating data that is collected both online and offline unlocks huge opportunities such as further learn customer behavior and driving the efficacy of marketing and sales efforts.
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Paulo Alonso graduated from IMD MBA and is a Senior Engineer with the Global Business Development Team at Samsung SDS HQ.