Customising vehicles has been around for a long time. But, it’s only in recent years that personalising the experience of buying a car has become an option – and it comes with benefits.

Nodifi takes a look at personalisation in the automotive industry, and what dealerships should be wary of.

Quick Facts

  • Millennials are key drivers behind demand for personalised services – by 2025, they’ll make up 45% of all car buyers
  • 91% of consumers report they prefer brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them
  • 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal
  • 70% of consumers say a company’s understanding of their personal needs influences their loyalty

The difference between personalisation and customisation

‘Personalising’ means a sales experience tailored to an individual. For example, allowing a customer to set an appointment time, receive real-time updates on their vehicle during the purchase process and personalised videos made by salespeople to demonstrate vehicle features.

Personalising doesn’t stop after the sale. It continues with updates and reminders regarding servicing, accessory options, and tips on maintenance or news about related models.

‘Customising’ refers to dealer options in the car world. For example, roof racks, trim levels, colours, features and optional driver assistance technology. The customer feels like they are buying a unique product matched to their preferences.

With that in mind, learning as much as possible about a customer is essential.

How to learn about your customers

A clean database is the first step towards learning specifics about your customers, and segregating groups into segments (i.e., consumer vs commercial) allows for a more tailored approach.

With a clear profile of each customer, you’ll be able to provide a personalised experience rather than a generic one. Below are some ways to plan a tailored experience;

1: Develop customer profiles
This will help you match new customers with predetermined profiles. On those profiles, you’ll have points (and notes) on how to interact with them, things to avoid and best approaches.

2: Give customers choice
For example, you might have options for a preferred method of contact and selectable dates/times. Customers could choose email after hours, calls at lunch time or texts during working hours.

3: Offer support via social media
With a large proportion of the population using social media, using these networks as a way to communicate with customers is a great idea. It also allows customers to learn more about your business by way of page posts, reviews and about section.

4: Different channels
Communicating with customers goes a lot further than calls, emails and text messages. File sharing, digital signatures, FaceTime and Zoom are also channels that some customers might prefer.

Allowing customers to choose their desired process allows you to get an idea of their preferences. Although it can be difficult to work around, the statistics show that customers prefer a personalised experience.

The results of personalisation

Other companies have yielded results from personalising products and services. Here are a few standouts.

Share a Coke
Proving personalisation can be offline too, is Coke’s idea of printing names on bottles and cans and encouraging consumers to share. The campaign reversed an 11-year decline in sales.

Retailer recommendations – Amazon
Ecommerce mammoth, Amazon, displays related products when shoppers look at items. Furthermore, ‘Customers who bought this item also bought…’ is displayed alongside. Personalised recommendations make up 30% of Amazon’s revenue.

Create an emotional connection

Another benefit of a personalised journey is getting to know your customers on a more personal level. Asking about a customer’s specific lifestyle, problems or goals creates a personalised experience with an emotional connection.

Research from Harvard Business Review shows that emotionally engaged customers are;

  • 33% less price sensitive
  • 44% less likely to shop around
  • 3 times more likely to repurchase
  • Are more likely to recommend your services

Get started

Unlike many things, personalising some of your customer experiences can be quite easy. Instead of sending a generic email (in this day and age, they’ll know it’s generic), spend a moment to record a video using the customer’s name or schedule a Zoom call to show a new customer how to upload documents.

Reach out on social media by inviting them to like your page. Add more channels and preferences on your website so customers can choose their own communication journey.

For more information on personalising your customer experience, get in touch with the marketing support team – marketing@nodifi.com.au.

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