Interview with Michal Pechta, Account Executive at Wiraya
Let’s talk about service bookings – truth is, drivers don’t usually prioritise a service until there’s something noticeably wrong with the car, right? This means they’ll forget about a service that’s booked in, or even ignore a booking if something of greater priority comes up. And if drivers don’t have an easy way to change or cancel bookings, the service centre can’t properly manage its time. Moreover, car appointments are transforming car services, with the majority of drivers preferring to book their car service online rather than over the phone or in person. It’s why car manufacturers need a better way of managing their communication flow when it comes to service bookings.
Michal Pechta, Account Executive at Wiraya, sits down with us to discuss the competitive automotive industry, challenges for brands and dealerships, and more importantly, tips on winning over drivers with the power of a solid communication flow. Michal’s experience in the automotive market and dealing with competitive customers in the DACH region has given him the skills to ensure a solid communication strategy is in place for the customer.
What are the major challenges car brands and dealerships facing with respect to service bookings?
Nowadays, customers are bombarded with so many different options and opportunities! They are overwhelmed by companies that try to differentiate themselves with quality, convenience and timing. However a major challenge for brands and dealerships is how to communicate your competitive advantage to convince drivers to do business with you. Once they do, how do you then establish customer loyalty and decrease the risk of churn?
For instance, when looking at the German market, cost-efficient solutions can present a challenge with service bookings. From my conversations with both brands and customers, it does not come as a surprise that German customers value the importance of high quality car parts above anything else. This can often pose a challenge for independent dealerships in the market – to convince drivers that their quality of parts is up to par. Since their services are often more cost-efficient than the brand, they will likely work with subsidised parts. As a result, drivers may wish to book their car servicing with the brand instead of a dealership because their belief is that the quality of parts with the brand is more premium (even though that is not necessarily always true).
Why is communication in the customer journey vital when trying to convince drivers to side with you?
It is absolutely crucial with any company, especially in the automotive industry, to properly communicate what products and services you can offer to customers. If you are not able to effectively communicate your competitive advantage, it does not matter at the end of the day what you can deliver to your customer.
In this industry, some companies tend to overlook customer communication and very often, these companies tend to communicate just before a critical moment happens. The communication also lacks depth – it is a generic text, email or even mail that they will send to the customer. Therefore, with the overwhelming amount of poorly delivered information, what is critical for every company is to stand out from the competition. Companies that develop their communication flow aside from generic telemarketing and marketing automation, such as using voice and SMS, will have the competitive edge with service bookings. We prove this with numbers at Wiraya, and portray the message our customer wants us to deliver at the right time and place. We see this in ROI with our automotive customers, as we are able to increase business from 5% up to 80% depending on the line of communication and what we are trying to communicate for our customer.
“By using Wiraya, we have had an increased conversion rate compared to traditional marketing methods of customer communication. We are happy to have found an efficient way to lead customers through our digital initiatives.
Wiraya has also saved us both time and resources, and we have also found new areas where we can use Wiraya in the customer lifecycle.”
Volkswagen Group Sweden
What are a few critical moments in the market and why is it important to address them with your communication flow?
What goes hand in hand with communication is the need to look at critical moments in the customer journey. A critical moment in the automotive market is for example, a service booking, lease renewal or car delivery. One I believe is relevant to service bookings is the car delivery time which can last from 4 to 8 or even up to 12 weeks to wait for the car. In this time, it is crucial to maintain existing contact with customers. Firstly, this is to avoid buyers remorse, but what can also happen is that it can initiate an early churn. The customer may feel neglected as you have not invested in them after they signed the contract for the car. If they already feel from the start that they’ve simply been “sold to”, the chances of them sticking with your brand for service bookings is unlikely because they won’t feel that personalised depth in connection with your brand.
At Wiraya, we are developing a car delivery waiting program targeting this critical moment and developing a solid communication line. We help stay in touch with your customer on a personalised level, creating an opportunity to upsell and increase revenue (i.e additional services & insurance, winter tires). This critical moment is the perfect time to reach out since the brand is still fresh in the consumer’s mind!
Want to learn more?
With years of experience, this critical moment is just one of many we help target and develop for our customers. We cut down from the white noise, and manage relevant customer communication with precision customer activation. This doesn’t need to be overwhelming, it is as simple as a call or text. The most important point is to remain in constant contact with your customers from the start and throughout the customer journey.