Digitizing the Customer Journey to Adapt to Covid-19

DuckerFrontier combines industry and market expertise with unique methodologies to support businesses with channel assessment in the healthcare space.

At A Glance

Carlisle used proprietary benchmarking techniques and mystery shopping to help a luxury automaker plan for a digital redesign of their entire customer journey – from purchasing a vehicle online to continuing the connected ownership experience with a franchise dealer. Carlisle’s recommended class-leading digital processes helped the OEM understand how to both compete with innovative brands in the market and adapt to a COVID-19 new normal.

The Context

Customer expectations are changing – people are becoming accustomed to the new digital way of transacting and interacting with brands online. Players like Amazon, Peloton, and Tesla continue to push the envelope to create experiences that are optimally convenient, personalized, consistent, and transparent. These innovative brand experiences are shifting expectations and raising the bar for what needs to be done to attract and retain customers – ultimately, more and more customers are expecting digital processes. This is even more relevant in a COVID-19 environment where customers are opting for touchless transactions.

Given this context, the automaker sought to determine the appropriate strategy to help digitize their North American brand’s customer journey. This large-scale strategy can be extremely difficult to create and implement due to complexities around franchise dealer laws, understanding what exactly customers want and how competitive brands are performing, and selecting the appropriate digital suppliers to leverage. This type of work requires a team of experienced individuals who deeply understand the different factors that go into creating a holistic customer journey.

The automaker requested guidance from Carlisle to determine the class-leading processes to implement that would optimize and digitize the customer journey and ultimately drive higher retention.

The Approach

Carlisle leveraged industry expertise and proprietary benchmarking to identify a strategy that would help digitize the customer journey. To begin, Carlisle split out the automotive customer journey into 16 discreet steps – this became the framework for the remainder of the study.

Carlisle used this framework to assess customer satisfaction with the client’s execution of each journey step – insights were translated into possible digital and other innovative process steps for the client to consider.

Brainstorming a complete list of solutions helps broaden the mindset of what is conceivably possible, but the true focus of this engagement was to lay the groundwork for what is feasible to implement. Therefore, Carlisle conducted extensive research, surveying clients and mystery shopping online to identify the class-leading digital processes that can be executed. At the same time, Carlisle evaluated digital retailing suppliers (like Gubagoo, Roadster, and AutoFi) along with service lane technology suppliers (like Xtime, AutoPoint, and MyKaarma) to see how their platforms help realize the journey.

In the end, Carlisle recommended a subset of class-leading processes and partners required to digitize the client’s customer journey.

The Result

Leveraging Carlisle’s recommended digital journey steps, the automaker can see the expected benefits of:
  • Improved brand perception – customers can view this brand as innovative and industry-leading and can transform into brand advocates
  • Increased customer retention – convenient, personalized, and consistent experiences, realized through digital processes, help drive more customers into the sales and service departments, translating to dollars for both OEMs and dealers alike
  • Higher dealer satisfaction – Carlisle’s recommended processes would simplify and streamline dealer activities

Today, the luxury automaker is better situated to compete with the new, innovative players that are entering the North American market and is able to provide alternative processes that remove the need for in-person activities.