The connected car is the future for automotive companies.
There is a lot going on in this space. I know because in my business, I have several customers in the industry.
But you don’t need to be in the business to know.
I recently purchased a car. It’s connected and awesome, I’m impressed.
But my experience taught me that something is missing.
I did not need too many people to help make the decision on the company and car I chose.
I made my decision and purchased without seeing the car physically. I investigated many options with various companies and did it mostly online. Talking to sales people was necessary at certain points.
I also made a decision to lease a car which will be up for renewal in 2.5 years.
That part took some time. To understand all the nuances I had to speak to people.
Dealing with the people and in many cases the online experience around many of the decision factors was mostly an awful grind.
That was all leading up to my decision.
In 2.5 years I will decide to continue with the same car and company, or not, based on a different experience. Some of that experience will be based on the car, including its connected features, some on further experience with the company.
I’ve not had much to do with the company since. The experience with the company after I decided was mostly good but it could have been a lot better.
I’ve opened up all communication channels with the company. I’ve made myself as receptive to the experience as possible. Time will tell.
Some questions for the industry
I get that the connected car concept is all about technology but is the industry thinking enough about other necessary connections?
Does it get the connection between experience and satisfaction and that this derives from many (often joined up) factors like people, technology and processes?
When the experience derives from people do they make the connection between the employee experience and how this influences the customer experience? To be specific I’m thinking that employees that have a great experience and are satisfied at work reflect that on to the customer.
Do they get that the rules of ownership are changing. Many do, getting in on the subscription model business, e.g. BMW and Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, etc. But do they realise subscription models bring new responsibilities?
Do they get how influential experience is in driving decisions, especially ongoing decisions about staying with a company or product, or not?
Do they get that technology is easily copied but experience isn’t?
Conversely, does it get that technology could play such a large role in connecting not just the internet of things for instance, but the internet of human experience?
They would probably say yes to all of the above. From my rhetorical questions you might guess where I lie on the matter. I guess it’s a question of maturity.
My recent experience and these questions are useful for the eBook / trend report I’m writing so excellent grist for the mill. I will try and answer them and provide recommendations. In the meantime…
Three ways I suggest the industry can start improving:
- Be more SaaS. The Software as a Service industry has learned a trick or two about how to build superb customer experience and the importance of customer retention and lifetime value. Specifically adopt many customer success approaches. Use the product itself (the car, starting with onboarding) as a core part of the experience with add on technology to enhance it through ongoing interactions that are data driven and point interactions with humans to amplify and delight.
- Extend the experience map. Map experience from employee through to customer and deliver on it from end to end. See it as an holistic journey that is harmoniously interdependent and made up of many parts: people, process, technology. Many are doing experience mapping but not adequately and not end to end in the way described.
- Bolster your employee experience. Its not just about the customer. This so often lags with employees playing second fiddle especially with the technology that supports work not matching what the customer gets. Robots and automation, especially in the auto industry, may play an increasing role but for the foreseeable future, humans will still play a disproportionate role in creating and nurturing human experience. Customer experience starts with employee experience.