In previous blogs we’ve looked at how incorporating insights gleaned from vehicle data can change the dynamic of the sales and marketing process within automotive companies. But vehicle data also provides important and valuable insights across the whole of the customer lifecycle. It is fundamental to diagnostics and servicing, but it can also illuminate driver and passenger behaviours that can inform future updates and upgrades to existing vehicles, as well as longer term research and development trends.
IMPROVING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE OVER TIME
Today, thanks to digitalisation and the ability to update software, apps and functionality, people expect many of the products they buy to improve over time. Smartphones, computers and many other consumer electronic devices receive regular updates to fix bugs and add new capabilities. The modern connected vehicle can also be updated in the same way, and increasingly drivers and their passengers expect new functionality, performance tweaks and improved experiences as part of their ownership. This presents automotive businesses with challenges and opportunities. They can constantly evolve the customer experience, engaging and delighting customers by regular vehicle improvements. But they also need to focus their R&D spend on solving real problems and offering the capabilities that will have the broadest appeal to their customer base.
LEARNING FROM GAMING
The world of massively multiplayer online gaming provides and unexpected but illuminating model. It shows how automotive companies can meet these challenges and unearth and capitalise on new customer experience opportunities. Working with Teradata, a publisher of a popular online game tracks the gameplay of every participant in minute detail. From this granular detail it can understand the behaviour of individual players, which aspects of the game are most popular, where players prefer to congregate, what items and abilities they prefer to use. Not only does this information help the publisher match players with similar skill levels to ensure all have enjoyable gameplay, but it can understand which areas of the game to develop further to keep players playing.
The same approach can be used with data from connected cars. Infotainment, comfort and driving style features can be scored by their level of interaction. Decisions can be made about those falling towards the bottom of the scale. Why are they not used? Is it because they don’t fit the needs of customers; are they not aware of them; or perhaps they don’t work as intended? Did they try them and find the experience less than satisfactory, or not sufficiently engaging to return? In future many of the apps available in connected cars may be 3rd party products, but the experience of using them still reflects on the brand. So, it is important to collect evidence to understand when and how apps or features are not living up to expectations. With this evidence OEMs and developers can gain insight to drive decisions on the future of their apps.
IMPROVE, PROMOTE OR REMOVE
Using vehicle data, R&D teams can make informed decisions on where to invest. Should under-utilised features be improved, better promoted, or simply dropped? Matched with customer data, and 3rd party information ranging from time of day to weather, these insights can help make sense of the growing numbers of features that can be modified after purchase. All of this may need to be done on a per-market basis to reflect the differing behaviours of drivers in different market segments.
Closer to home Teradata is already working with automotive OEMS to analyse vehicle data to understand quality problems. If certain features have high volumes of fault reporting, or rapid increases in rate of reports, they can be alerted to quickly identify root causes and prioritise resources to find fixes. Similar principles can be applied to enable rapid responses to features delivered in part or completely by software.
NOT JUST REVENUE
Delivering consistently high-quality customer experience is the thread that links R&D efforts into the whole customer lifecycle. The focus must be on constant improvement of features and providing experiences that add to the performance and customer enjoyment of the vehicle. In addition, analysis of the usage of value-added features can of course highlight new revenue opportunities. In an increasingly digital and connected world, consumers of all types expect service levels, features and functionality to improve over time. Using vehicle data to understand how customers experience your product and brand is essential to meeting these expectations. Sometimes offering a new service or benefit through an update can make all the difference to reengaging and rekindling brand affinity. Using data to ensure all aspects of the vehicle are performing as expected also has important implications for safety of vehicle occupants and other road users. I’ll look at this fundamental component of customer experience in the next blog.
In the meantime, if you are interested in following up on any aspects of how to integrate vehicle data into customer experience management, please get in touch with the Teradata automotive industry consultancy team.