CRM has been a key area of focus for our customers for decades. The automotive industry is being confronted with changing customer demands, technological development, social and economic disruption as well as new players in the mobility ecosystem – so CRM has never been as relevant as it is today. There is an urgent need to act now and lay a foundation for strong customer relationships. Automotive players who fail to do so risk losing customers in the future.
Where are we at?
OEMs are currently dealing with the personalization of customer journeys, trying to interact with customers on every touchpoint of the customer journey and offering a seamless omnichannel experience. Using a standard CRM system with the different areas of Campaign, Lead and Case Management, their goal is to obtain a 360-degree customer view from the search phase through the purchase phase to the usage phase to offer individualized campaigns, qualify leads and offer a better and needs-based handling of service requests, inbound as well as outbound.
Drawing on our work with clients and our understanding of CRM transformations, we have observed these phenomena across industries. We see that technology is currently being developed at most OEMs, but is it enough, or is it already outdated? What will CRM look like in the future? And how does it affect the automotive industry and its customers?
Our look into the future – CRM in 2030
The trends we observe today will become more and more evident in the future: customers switch companies with no hesitation; brand loyalty is giving way to a desire for new experiences. The competition to win and keep customers is becoming incredibly fierce. In 2019 for instance, 61% of customers switched brands at least once. And unfortunately, one of the oldest lessons from CRM still holds true: bad experiences with customer relationship activities are broadly and publicly discussed via various channels leading to brand switches whereas good experiences are far less shared and appreciated.
OEMs must make sure to actually obtain a 360-degree view of their customers in order to keep them and grow their business. According to Gartner, less than 10% of companies understand how to use a 360-degree view of their customers for growth. OEMs must take action now to meet those challenges in time. Those who take the lead on CRM will gain a powerful advantage.
The challenge to further develop and reinvent CRM is becoming ever greater and more critical to success. We see the future trends of car data integration, new sales models and decreasing customer loyalty as major key influences with a direct effect on CRM. In the following blog posts, we conduct a deep dive into three central topics:
First, thanks to fully connected vehicles and an increasing integration of digital customer touchpoints, OEMs will have the possibility to make use of integrated car data which holds enormous potential. In our upcoming blog post, we will examine how the combination of vehicle and customer data creates a 360-degree view of the customer and how new opportunities such as predictive customer service may be leveraged.
Second, new sales models such as subscription models, agency sales and on-demand features challenge the traditional approach to customer conquest and loyalization. In the subsequent blog article, we address the introduction of new sales models disrupting classical CRM, leading to new approaches for the utilization of larger number of touchpoints and a diversified customer journey.
Third, as it becomes increasingly difficult to keep customers and win new ones, car manufacturers must start to fight for customer loyalty with the help of new concepts and measures such as innovative loyalty programs. In the last blog article, we look at the future of loyalty programs that will play an integral part of CRM to connect customers and partners.
In order to implement and further advance these three topics, the OEMs themselves need to get into the driver’s seat and establish a sustainable CRM organization. And how can they achieve this? In the end, it all revolves about new processes that have to be integrated and measures that have to be taken right at the company’s headquarter. One approach is to deliver CRM as a Service: what we call a CRM Service Hub.
It’s time to think ahead: the CRM Service Hub
As a central unit, the CRM Service Hub is an approach that bundles CRM services at the headquarters in order to improve CRM steering and performance monitoring, cut costs across markets and use synergies and economies of scale. Thus, OEMs benefit from professional and consistent CRM operations for all markets and distribution levels through bundled expertise.
With regards to the three future trends highlighted above and elaborated on in our blog series, the CRM Service Hub is one approach for OEMs to master the challenges that are connected to each trend. Here are some examples of how:
Dealing with the need to fully exploit the power of data from customers and cars, the CRM Service Hub provides customized and aggregated overviews on relevant data. Through an AI-based analysis of vehicle usage data, OEMs thus derive clear usage patterns and individual customer preferences, providing tailored communication and offerings accordingly.
Furthermore, due to new sales models and opportunities, OEMs need to engage more directly with their customers and cover more touchpoints along the customer journey. It is of great importance not to miss out on valuable sales opportunities. Hence, the CRM Service Hub serves as an enabler to automatically enrich and qualify the customer data. AI technology then provides agents with Next Best Actions or Offers for the most promising leads.
In an effort to increase customer loyalty, a CRM Service Hub could also help to centrally steer and moderate customer communities across markets and brands. OEMs have the chance to establish an exclusive environment for their customers where interested stakeholders can interact with each other.
OEMs that respond quickly by embracing and establishing a CRM Service Hub have the chance to revolutionize their customers’ experience and build sustainable, lasting loyalty. How exactly this is possible, we will demonstrate in the upcoming blog posts.
This blog has been co-authored by Thomas Ulbrich, Malte Völkoi and Charlotte Müller. Watch out for our second blog, where we will discuss the intelligent combination of vehicle and customer data and the implications for future CRM. Please get in touch if you have questions or need further information. We look forward to exchanging ideas on this particularly current topic.
Director, Customer Transformation, Capgemini Invent
Manager, Customer Transformation, Capgemini Invent
Consultant, Customer Transformation, Capgemini Invent