CREATING SEAMLESS EXPERIENCES IN A DIGITALLY DISRUPTIVE MARKET
Inchcape plc is one of the largest and most successful automotive services groups in the world. As a franchisee, Inchcape is trusted to deliver the retail brand experience of its many manufacturer partners, including Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus and Toyota.
Inchcape UK’s vehicle retailing strategy was to create a sustainable, unrivalled ability to enhance manufacturer brands through operational excellence in retailing and outstanding customer experiences.
In order to develop and maintain a leading retail strategy, Inchcape recognised the need to transition its retailing culture and operations from being sales-driven, primarily about ‘car dealership’, to being customer-focused, primarily about ‘car ownership’. In simple terms, Inchcape wanted to shift from ‘doing a deal today’ to ‘making the customer feel special’, leading to customer loyalty and increased lifetime value. In addition, Inchcape was looking to future-proof its proposition for an increasingly digitally disrupted market.
With CGA’s proprietary Heartbeat® methodology at its core, our bespoke customer experience programme for Inchcape included,
Customer segmentation and visualisation:
Analytical and creative visualisation techniques helped define and illustrate Inchcape’s different customer segments, their motivations and needs. This was then explored in detail through UK and global qualitative and quantitative research. The measurement allowed CGA to create brand and market specific Heartbeats® showing in detail, each customer segment’s journey and experience.
Establishing ‘Moments of Truth’:
CGA’s methodology captured Inchcape’s customer experience as a series of interactions and steps in a retail journey. The value and importance placed on those journey steps by the customer was compared and contrasted, with customers rating Inchcape’s delivery across the experience. Nine ‘Moments of Truth’ (MOTs) were identified; the defining moments in customer interaction that drive the perception and level of trust in Inchcape. By excelling at these nine MOTs, Inchcape had the opportunity to deliver outstanding customer experience and set itself apart from other dealerships.
Improvement initiatives & metrics:
The CGA-Inchcape team developed and commercially evaluated a series of initiatives aimed at underpinning the delivery of the nine MOTs. The resulting initiatives included changes in service standards, CRM and organisational design, backed up by a metrics programme to measure impact.
Inchcape trialled the new customer experience strategy across three selected locations as proof points for the potential value of wider customer experience transformation.
”The retail pedigree of the CGA team is outstanding; deep understanding, extensive knowledge and experience. Very impressed by the customer experience models used to help shape culture change and drive customer engagement.Ken LeeGroup Marketing Director, Inchcape
The three trial dealerships showed significant success and Inchcape has since rolled out customer insight throughout its organisation as part of the ‘Inchcape Way’. This has had tremendous impact, most noticeably in Inchcape’s three Mercedes-Benz dealerships which have moved from among the worst performing in the country, to within the top five, as measured by the industry’s Customer Satisfaction Index Score (CSI). This has a financial impact through improved sales but also through increased marketing investment from Mercedes-Benz which is directly linked to Inchcape’s CSI score.
Based on the initial UK success, Inchcape developed a new global programme “Inchcape Advantage”, to methodically codify and deliver retail customer experience across its dealerships throughout the world.
CGA’s latest intervention builds on this progress and has embedded changing customer needs and expectations into the heart of the new global strategy. By seeking to listen and understand customer need at a local country level, the business is now very well placed to understand how to redesign its global brand experience and deliver relevant and appropriate digital propositions to meet changing customer needs in the car sector.