The agency model: What does it mean for driver experience?

The agency model: What does it mean for driver experience?

8th May 2023 · Arvato · News

David Morton, Sales & Solutions Director at ArvatoConnect, spoke to AM Online about how agency models are turning traditional vehicle purchasing models on their head – and with it, demanding new thought to the customer experience.

Gone are the days where the dealership was the first, and only, touchpoint for a driver in the market. Today, OEMs are increasingly moving to an ‘agency model’ where they sell direct to drivers and use their dealer partners to provide elements like delivery and servicing.

Customer experience has a central role to play in helping dealers and manufacturers make this a success and stand out from their competitors. How can brands deliver the service that today’s drivers expect – and that will keep them coming back for more?

In this piece, David explores how the agency model will mean a shift from dealers to manufacturers being the first point of contact and how at the heart of this is the aim to offer a truly seamless omnichannel buying experience.

The CX challenges and opportunities of the agency model stem from the fact that it is inherently multichannel. OEMs’ initial touchpoint, where the driver can browse vehicle models and ask initial questions, is usually online. But this is combined with traditional channels like phone, along with emerging channels such as social media. And then there’s the fact that drivers will also be engaging with the dealer in person – usually after having already interacted with the manufacturer. They’ll expect the same premium level of service however they choose to engage.

David also explains that brands having a 360-degree of the customer and being able to use this to personalise the experience will be key:

connected digital ecosystem, built around a centralised 360-degree view of the driver, incorporating everything from information on previous vehicles bought, to prior customer service interactions, is a must for an agency model to work. This also unlocks opportunities to build loyalty and drive revenue through hyper-personalisation. Personalisation is critical. Our recent research found that more than a fifth (42%) of drivers would look to change the brand they bought from if they didn’t receive a tailored service.

And, with an understanding of a drivers’ lifestyle and preferences, both OEMs and dealerships can identify opportunities to up- or cross-sell.

Dealers and manufacturers that can get their CX element right will be best positioned for success. You can read more of our insights into the future of the automotive CX landscape here, and read David’s full article for AM Online here.

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