Connected drivers: the key to an effective customer lifecycle

Maintaining engaging, fruitful customer relationships in the automotive industry is a challenging, increasingly uphill struggle for today’s car manufacturers.

Whether it’s keeping customers on track with finance payments, scheduling repairs, selling (and fitting) new accessories – you name it –, aftermarket offers are usually an afterthought for customers.

Of course, every business knows personalising the customer experience is critical in today’s competitive landscape – but for car manufacturers, the window of opportunity is particularly small. As soon as a new customer drives off, the distance between them and you gets exponentially longer.

But the reason for the disconnect between manufacturers and customers isn’t just down to kilometers. In fact, it’s fundamentally down to connection – when cars are connected to their manufacturers (through their onboarding systems and software), but drivers aren’t connected to manufacturers, the customer lifecycle starts breaking up into silos. And it’s for that reason that potential upsell and cross-sell opportunities start getting lost.


Meet ‘driverless data’ 

This data coming from cars that aren’t connected to specific drivers is something we call ‘driverless data’. It’s basically data without the crucial context you need to direct and influence key moments in the customer lifecycle through personalised engagements.

Telemarketing is one-way manufacturers look to fill this personalisation gap, but it’s slow, expensive and non-scalable. Marketing automation is the next best thing, but it’s generic and doesn’t convert well: sending emails, publishing cheap ads and making calls en-masse just doesn’t work anymore and typically convert at around 25%.

When did three-quarters of people ignoring everything you say start to look like success? 

Nevertheless, with driveress data, this is exactly how manufacturers are forced to try to control aftermarket sales. Not being connected to drivers means they miss the critical moments in the customer life-cycle that can make or break experiences. They can’t create an aftermarket strategy that leverages each moment with the right channel, the right message, and the right timing.


“There’s an app for that” – but it comes with a catch

The latest angle for automotive brands to connect with customers is through slick, branded apps. These apps engage drivers with information about their car – like putting a smart, feature-rich dashboard in their pocket – and give manufacturers the data they need to stay in contact with the driver each step of their lifecycle.

The business impact could be significant when so much of your margin lives in the aftermarket stage of the customer lifecycle. By improving the experience of owning (or leasing) a car, and with better communications at critical moments, you can direct customers away from non-branded services and accessories and strengthen important-but-flagging revenue streams.

But developing an app is only part of the story. Triggering downloads and driving activations means educating customers about the existence and value of the app. Too often this still relies on those traditional methods we mentioned before: expensive and non-scalable telemarketing, or easy-to-ignore (and unwanted) emails, texts or direct mail. 


Now meet Precision Customer Activation

When every customer is different, the same sales, marketing, and service messages won’t work for all of them. To keep people interested, active and loyal to your brand – and to get them to download your app – you need to engage them on their terms. That means understanding their behaviours and preferences inside out, so you can deliver the right messages on the right channels, at exactly the right times.

At Wiraya, we call this ‘Precision Customer Activation’. It’s the ability to identify and interpret critical moments in the customer lifecycle that can make or break experiences, paired with the ability to leverage each moment with the right data, so you can ensure every single message resonates.

Our Precision Customer Activation solution is a powerful, conversion-driving combination of voice, well-timed text messages and personalised landing pages (which are automatically populated). The software machine learns from interactions in real-time to continuously improve customer lifetime value by generating custom content.

In a nutshell, it’s the shortest, more efficient route to getting closer to your customers, and turning them into connected drivers that stay engaged, loyal and happy in the long-term. 

Pål Bakken

Automotive Commerical Director