Capturing New Opportunities with Connected Cars
The rise of connected cars is growing exponentially and changing the automotive landscape, due to high consumer demands and rapid technology advances. We now live in a fast-paced and digital world where being connected is a norm. In fact, a McKinsey study shows that roughly 40% of respondents are willing to change car brands for better connectivity features. It’s becoming evidently clear that connectivity isn’t an optional feature, it’s an expectation.
Fully integrating and leveraging connected cars will require a quantum change for the automotive industry to reflect the increasing importance of connectivity to customers. To succeed in taking full advantage of opportunities connected cars will present, OEMs and dealerships will have to change the way they think and do business. New solutions and business models will emerge to effectively capitalise on the challenges and opportunities.
In this article, we look at how real-time data generated from connected cars can be leveraged and used to add value in the aftersales space:
- Vehicle owners/customers: better customer experience, with smart, timely and personalised recommendations for their vehicle service
- Dealerships: optimised supply chain and growth in parts and service sales
- OEMs: predictive analytics with deeper understanding of the vehicle and the person driving it
Big Data, Big Questions
Before OEMs transform their systems to effectively leverage connected cars into their business model, there are important questions to be answered, many of which have not previously been addressed:
- What do customers want and what are they willing to pay for?
- Who will own the data that is collected?
- What are the data privacy concerns and how will they be addressed?
- Are there legal considerations?
- Will there be standards set for compatibility between systems?
- Perhaps most importantly, what is the value of these services and how will they be monetised, collected and maximised?
Building New Capabilities with Connected Cars
As connected cars become more complex and capable, sophisticated new systems and software will be required – this need will extend well beyond the vehicles themselves.
To stay ahead of the game, dealerships, OEMs and technology suppliers will need to develop and implement systems capable of receiving, processing and acting on the data.
Technology partners with specialised capabilities will be required to create, implement and manage this highly complex information, into customer-ready solutions.
Infomedia has partnered with Tier One OEMs to launch leading-edge solutions for connected car marketing programs. These campaigns utilise a sophisticated data management engine, together with real-time vehicle repair information, to execute personalised and timely service campaigns.
We are seeing powerful benefits as we automate the interaction between the customer and dealerships via the connected car. These automated interactions simplify and improve the accuracy of service and repair appointments. Connected data presents vehicle owners with clear and real-time dealer availability and precise repair cost in advance.
Results have been exceptional, both in terms of game-changing customer experience and dealership ROI. However, the road to success needs careful planning and deep system interoperability.
Know More to Sell More
The clear vision is to turn data into insights and value for customers, OEMs and dealerships. The form of that value and how it is derived will differ for each.
In our experience, the timeliness and accuracy of information delivered by connected cars provides great opportunity to drive better customer experiences and increase revenue.
Customers and Vehicle Owners
It’s certain that customers will voice a growing demand for increased connectivity in their vehicles and the utilisation of the collected data, to improve their ownership value and satisfaction. This is particularly true among Millennials, younger drivers and more technology-savvy customers.
They will want the same kind of experience they get with their smartphones, tablets and many other devices they view as indispensable. Here are a few key areas of value for vehicle owners and customers:
- Proactive updates on the condition of their vehicle, along with any forecasting of service maintenance or repairs.
- Recommended service and repair actions, such as, what to fix, what it will cost, where and when to go, how to get there and set automatic appointments.
- Trip and driving information based on the vehicle’s learned and stored information about the driver, including food, lodging, entertainment, shopping, services and many other preferences.
- Targeted messaging and information based on the driver’s preferences, such as news, sports, product offers, events, etc.
- Pricing benefits from insurance and road authorities based on driving behaviour.
OEMs, Dealerships and Partners
While each has its own set of specifics, they will need to work in concert to envision, develop, implement and manage a system that optimises the value they gain from connected cars. Here are some examples:
- OEMs will use continuous vehicle data feed for R&D to build better and more desirable vehicles.
- Both OEMs and dealerships can gain a much clearer and deeper understanding of their customers, such as their preferences, how they drive and other behavioral insights.
- Collected data can enable dealerships to predict maintenance and repair needs, warn customers of any urgent repair work, proactively schedule appointments, order parts in advance, plan for the service visit and more.
- They can promote relevant services and products directly to customers onboard, based on intelligence gained from the collected data.
- Customers will view the many and diverse capabilities connected vehicles make possible as a higher level of services and value, enhancing customer engagement, satisfaction and loyalty to the OEM brand.
The Bottom Line
We believe the opportunities to gain value and enhance the customer experience through connected cars and the data they provide, are extensive and attainable now. While data is important, having the analytics platform to generate insights from the data is key.
Often, the back-end technology at the factory is not as advanced as the vehicle technology transmitting the data. Hence, standardising parts and service data structures and implementing an analytics platform should be a key priority for any OEM wanting to leverage connected car data for customer programs.
New resources will be essential, both internally and externally from technology partners like Infomedia, with the expertise, resources and capabilities to make change happen in far less time than before. As these things are done, the industry will connect with success, opening up new revenue streams and more engaged vehicle owners.
If you’re looking for a technology partner to help drive a winning Connected Car strategy for Aftersales, get in touch with us:
Peter is the Marketing Director of Infomedia Ltd. He is a strategic technology executive with a passion for innovation. Peter has 20 years’ experience in product design and marketing of aftersales software that drives revenue growth and customer retention.