23 September 2013

Last week I discussed the market outlook for European car sales, but that wasn’t the only hot topic to emerge from the Frankfurt motor show. The other main area of discussion was ‘customer engagement’.

What was interesting were the multitude of ways in which different manufacturers viewed the subject.

The majority were looking at online methods for maintaining contact with their customers using a set-up. In other words, they try to entice customers to join a community, using offers of discounted service or some such . And, once owners are signed up, the challenge becomes that of keeping the conversation going with news, more offers,  instructional videos and more.

The advantages of such a system such are clear. Yes, you can use a Facebook page to contact customers, but it’s preferable to control the environment and also keep tabs on the customer’s details too. So a dedicated area is the better bet.

Sign up figures to vary depending on brand and what was on offer, but whenever I asked about how the retailer got involved there was never a clear answer. And this set me thinking. I just wonder how many retailers are using the same tactic to keep in touch with their customers?

Why not set up your own community, then you will be the ones talking directly with your customers, and not through the manufacturer.

Tristan Young

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