We have all heard this theory, particularly in the past decade or so – that a customer is 57% sure of what he wants before he even calls a service provider/supplier. We also have some industry heavy-weights confirming this insight.
Question is – How true/right is this really?
Be that as it may, this does not hold true when it comes to making a fundamental decision (for many) – buying a car.
While we check out statistics about cars, most of us do a lot of detailed research before finalizing a car brand and variant. Of 10 people that are looking to buy a car, 6 of them are not sure which car to buy (source). Not surprisingly, a Google think article talks about 900+ interactions a consumer has with brands, before deciding on one.
When we collaborated with this Italian car maker, our intent was to tap into such key moments of engagement.
Right from the moment when a buyer expresses interest, to when he finally purchases (or drops the idea), our multi-channel campaign management team put together an automated, interactive, multi-wave communication strategy.
Typical Purchase cycle and engagement methods pre to post purchase
We mapped the various stages of a prospect’s journey right from the time he expresses interest (In the form of booking test drives) to when he completes the purchase (or goes the other way).
As we listed down the various points of interaction, we highlighted the most important moments.
As campaign management best practices dictate, we categorized these as the moments-of-truth where customers figure out their next steps and at which points, the right communication can make all the difference.
- Test drive Welcome process (Pre)
- Test drive Appointment set-up
- Test drive Experience
- Follow Up post test drive
- Customized quote preparation
- Feedback on non-bookings (when prospect drops off after Test drive)
- Feedback on successful bookings (How smooth was the process, any hiccups)
- Delivery process (Actual delivery process communication)
- Post-delivery engagement (Continue engaging with the customer)
Here is an illustration of a part of the solution we came up with -
Let’s say Sharon has requested a Test Drive. This request is assigned to Jim, a Relationship Manager.
- Sharon gets an automatic email that covers what she can look forward to along with details about logistics.
- Sharon gets a similar, channel-friendly communication if she has opted to be contacted on other channels – SMS, Whatsapp, Telegram
- In parallel, Jim (the RM) who will take care of Sharon’s request also gets all the information about Sharon’s Test Drive, any specific requests she may have (pick-up at a particular point, desired variant, etc.)
- Jim ensures the Test drive goes smoothly. And Sharon has been in the know of what she could expect, thanks to pro-active communication from the car-maker.
- Post Test drive, within a certain time frame, (usually less than 2 days), Sharon gets a follow-up email thanking her for taking the time to test drive the car. She is also offered another Test drive, which is optional, which can be for another variant.
- Based on the response, Jim now either arranges for a 2nd Test drive or moves Sharon up the interest funnel.
- If Sharon has shown interest in knowing further details, another communication wave is triggered, and this carries on till a logical end (buy or no-buy) is reached.
Right through, Sharon is happy with the way she has been looked after, with a high level of engagement. But more importantly, what the program has done is dispel her fears throughout the journey (what if it doesn’t fit me and 2 children and my pet? Does it serve my purpose of daily commute? What is the best deal I am getting?).
This program has been running successfully for the past year even as more tweaks are being added.
We would love to hear what you are doing to increase engagement and response rates. Write to us at [email protected].
Our next story is about a large bank, an omni-channel strategy and astounding results. Read on.