2018 highlights some startling trends: some obvious (the ongoing growth of the SUV sector), some less so (the diminishing importance of the top best-selling cars).
But the number of brands considered by a typical car buyer, should give us pause for thought: it has increased from 2.5 in 2010 to more than 5 today, a significant shift that has been made possible by the exponential growth in online research.
Today’s consumer is frustrated by the amount of time it takes to choose, and buy, a new car. There is too much information, some of it contradictory. Simply put, the car brands which recognize this and create frictionless user journeys, will sell more cars than those who do not. The end-to-end customer experience is becoming as important as the products themselves.
The car industry has a history of using data to make decisions (e.g Customer Satisfaction Index analysis) and there is an emerging opportunity to use insight to challenge customers’ habits and create marketing plans that result in engagement and sales growth.
In recent years, the habits of consumers in the automotive sector have changed: 82% prefer to buy a new car using a financing solution, while only 18% choose a cash purchase.* This phenomenon has also had a consequent impact in the world of financial services, where Customer Satisfaction is proving to have an increasingly fundamental role.
Also FCA Bank has developed a complete system of market research covering the entire customer lifecycle to continuously monitor the quality of its offer, as perceived by customers and dealers.
One of the most consolidated tools that FCA Bank uses is the Customer Satisfaction Survey.
The survey covers a wide range of information needs with a mix of consumers habits and their level of satisfaction, such as the deciding factors in choosing a method of payment, the way customers use to “shop around” and collect information about the car they are buying, the complete evaluation of salesperson behaviour, the satisfaction for the product subscribed and the service they received from FCA Bank.
The survey allows for the analysis of historical trends, with some key areas that remain the same and some sections changing from time to time, to investigate incoming crucial matters. The format is the same for all countries involved: this permits to monitor their performance on key issues and make comparisons on the levels of quality.
During 2017, about 13.000 FCA customers were surveyed by phone. The results confirm a steady improvement in the overall rating, with scores well above the positive threshold, that is 3.7: the satisfaction results for the main countries stood above 4, on a scale from 1 to 5 points*.
*Source: The Digital Car Buyer in Numbers 2018- White Paper, sophus3, 2018
2017 Customer Satisfaction Survey FCA Bank