You know it well. The car manufacture your family used to buy is the one you prefer. It is a learned principle of customer experience. It’s linked to the pros and cons your father and mother exchange while buying something valuable such as a car.
A car is really a special investment good for all of us. It’s that expensive that we can’t just buy it. You need to save money for buying it, lease it or discuss a credit arrangement with your bank. All these things are related to a contract or plan that lasts at least a couple of years – typcially 3.
Learning the hard way
I bought my first car, a FIAT Uno from the money I earned in my first job. Of course it was a used car and I actually didn’t cared to much about the brand or the customer experience I expected to have with this brand. It was actually the only car I could afford at that time.
Of course I had my customer experience. Not only with the manufacture and service stations. It actually didn’t matter if it was a brand service station or not – the service was crab. And I was very lucky to earn enough to reduce the time using the car to a minimum. When I sold it I was lucky to get some money back that I was able to invest in the next car leasing.
The Ford was nice – I selected it because of recommendations. The service station was much better than before however the car was cheap. It was ok for the time. I can go on through the various cars I leased our even bought afterwards. However I’m really surprised as non of the car manufacturer really supported me through my customer journey of the decision.
Now let’s see what this example of a customer journey has to do with modern, electric mobility solutions…
Customer journey & experience are linked – IMHO
As I said, the investment is huge. It was huge for me always and I don’t make such a decision just by hart. This is why I check the configurations, compare prices, calculate total cost of ownerships and so on. Yes it’s kind of a business case I do for such an investment.
Whenever I went to a car dealer I got calculations and configurations. I got contacts and possible dates when the car might arrive. Even after I decided to sign a contract I got some related information and a call when the car was finally there.
However there was never, at least from my understanding, something like a journey manager who was available for me. Whenever I showed up at a new dealer the configuration process started new. A dealer from the same brand might be able to check the existing configuration, however he offered different prices as he wanted to make the deal.
From a customer perspective this is confusing. I’m still confused. Now I was running through this journey again – actually this journey lasted about 2 years now!
I spoke to various brands, looked for new or used cars. I compared leasing offers from the employer as well as from the market. I did a lot of research. However there was no manfacturer that really convinced me with its message. Ok I’m a technology nerd. I expected high standards, technology and service. But am I so different? Are we not all expecting for an invest of the amount of a car a high standard?
What is modern mobilty changing?
From my point of view – anything.
The modern mobility allows new players to enter the markets. In the past car manufacturing was a very, very complex thing to acomplish. The regulations and the standards had been really high. The way we think about mobility today is so much different. Autonomous driving cars – who cares how such a car is steered? Electric cars – what the heck was the thing with the valves?
Just if you look at this logo:
You know this right? The new players such as Tesla understood that the new modern mobility is the game changer that allows them to enter an established market. They build a blue ocean strategy to achive things the existing ecconomy hasn’t been able to achieve.
So what is the reason I’m writing this or thinking about it. I strongly believe that if we are not changing our focus to the customer experience to the journey each single customer is going through while deciding for any kind of product. We will loose them. We will miss the chance to sell our products and someone else will enter our markets. I stromgly believe that with the show Tesla is doing tonight they will grapping customers even if their product is not perfect.
And I’m really happy that GM and Opel understood that in time and bring the new electric version Bold/Ampera E just in time. At least this will make Tesla try their very best to outperform and not stay on the level they are at the moment.