Shifting leasing up a gear – what could manufacturers and dealers do better to retain customers?

Shifting leasing up a gear – what could manufacturers and dealers do better to retain customers?

25th August 2022 · Arvato · Blog, News

Authored by Mike Sloman, Business Development Director at ArvatoConnect

Manufacturers and dealerships don’t always pay enough attention to how they differentiate their customer experience for drivers that lease their cars.

Retention strategies often lack the proactivity and personalisation they crave. And the result is that these businesses are probably losing customers that feel automotive brands should work harder to keep them.

The days of a one-size-fits-all lease loyalty strategy are long gone. Now, more than ever, it’s vital to understand your customers’ unique journeys and develop tailored, highly targeted outreach strategies to generate the best opportunity to retain them.

Changing it up

The end of a leasing agreement, with the choice of either buying the vehicle outright (depending on the type of deal) or trading it in for another lease, has become more complicated.

As we move through the energy transition and the blurred space between traditional and electric vehicles (EVs), many drivers are now on a different journey to the one they originally planned when they took out their last lease.

There are two key elements manufacturers and dealerships need to consider to start tackling this challenge – hyper-personalisation and consistent communication.  

Personalising your customer experience

Data from the vast number of touchpoints across the customer journey tends to be stored in silos across different areas of a business.

And the upshot of this is that customer service agents are unable to access all a driver’s previous engagements with a brand, from previous purchases to conversations with sales or maintenance teams.

To address this, we’re starting to see manufacturers and dealers trialling artificial intelligence (AI) to collate and analyse data from every touchpoint on a continual basis, which is providing them with a 360-degree view of every customer that engages with their brand.

They are using this to update profiles in real-time, which gives their agents a complete, up-to-date picture of the customer when they’re speaking to them.

Proactive outreach

But importantly, it provides much greater ability to reach drivers proactively with a personalised offer on the right vehicle at the right time, based on their previous lease agreement and engagement they’ve had with the manufacturer and/or dealer since it was signed.  

From a leasing perspective, this will mean avoiding some basic customer experience errors that drivers regularly come across. Common examples include offering an early renewal for a lower spec vehicle, or suggesting models that won’t suit a driver’s personal circumstances.

It also enables the brand to build a conversation beyond the initial purchase and connect with customers more regularly, from celebrating the anniversary of switching to an EV to providing maintenance tips for when a car reaches a certain age.

Creating a more consistent service

Integrating this technology also generates consistency. By having customer profiles that are updated in real time at their fingertips, agents can use recent interactions as a basis for a conversation with a driver, whether over the phone or online. This means they can provide quicker, seamless resolutions, without requiring the customer to repeat any information.

But this can’t be done overnight. This type of transformation requires a journey of introducing technology and evolving contact centre processes to ensure agents and the technology can work effectively together.

To learn more about how to start to your transformation journey, click here to speak to one of our experts.

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