The automotive market is in radical transition. Experts predict that franchised sales points will decrease by as much as 40% in developed markets over the next 5-10 years. Aftersales will remain stable but concerns continue around profitability and customer satisfaction.
Customer purchase behaviour has already changed. The Internet had a profound effect, specifically with ‘search’. This continues to evolve with improvements to online functionality.
CitNOW fits into this trend. We’ve been providing personal video presentation services for the UK automotive industry since 2008. We work with over 36 different manufacturers in many markets including Europe, Asia Pacific, North America and the Middle East. There are in excess of 6,500 franchised dealer installations serving 24,000 dealer staff, split across sales and aftersales. 31,000 plus videos are sent to our dealer’s customers every day. The numbers continue to grow quickly. We saw a 30% increase in video volume in Q1 2015, compared with the previous quarter.
We have a significant investment in infrastructure. There are 13 primary video servers placed strategically around the globe including the UK, Germany, North America, South Africa, Russia, Japan and China. These provide instant video playback for our customers wherever they are. A further 120 plus servers provide failover and back up coverage to ensure system and data integrity to the highest level.
Our apps are continuously updated as we add new languages and markets. CitNOW is currently supported in 22 languages.
Video Relationship Marketing (VRM)
Sales and marketing teams are familiar with CRM. An interesting trend in the UK is how manufacturers are defining the customer ‘touchpoints’ for video communication in the dealership – VRM. Video services are available for every stage of the customer’s journey. This starts with web site lead generation and ends in aftersales. CitNOW integration with the Used Car Locator, means ‘personal video’ requests can be channelled directly to the sales app in the dealership.
There are currently 16 video presentation touch points that have been defined as part of the sales process. This includes appointment confirmation to saying ‘thank you for your business’. There is also a natural handover opportunity to introduce the customer to the aftersales team.
Our Workshop and Bodyshop apps are well proven and are integral to the services we offer.
Working closely with our manufacturer partners, we continue to evolve our applications and services.
Used car/new car - the lines are blurring
Recent AutoTrader research reveals that lines are blurring when it comes to purchase behaviour. Consumers who purchased a used car, also considered a new one and vice versa. The same is true with CitNOW in the showroom.
Many dealers use personal video presentation to sell new cars. A new car model can be selected in our CitNOW Sales app*, as part of the prospecting process. The customer receives their video as well as a brand approved landing page with specific model details.
Around three quarters of new car sales are funded with PCP plans in the UK. This makes the renewal process much easier to predict. Consequently, we have dealers sending videos 6 months before the end of the agreement. These contain the latest model of their customer’s car with an upgrade illustration.
We have an on-going programme of third party integration projects. To date many of these have been in aftersales and specifically working with eVHC providers in the UK and Europe. Our latest aftersales integration is with CDK Drive.
In other markets, we have introduced Workshop Plus, a premium service with fully integrated video health check functionality.
Client Services supporting your business
We employ an experienced Client Services and Academy team to support our customers. Typically, this starts with a pilot phase through to market rollout. Our team coordinate every aspect of the process, from initial training and ‘on boarding’ dealers to more advanced skills development and maintenance. We focus on managing your return on investment.
Reporting is an important part of what we offer. Our live dashboard provides enterprise level analytics. This includes benchmarking sales and aftersales by country, region even globally, down to individual technicians and sales executives.
Once volume has been established in a dealer, the focus can move to qualitative assessment. ‘Rate this Video’ can be switched on for any dealer licence, allowing customers to provide feedback. Our own automatic video scoring service also rates videos based on ‘best practice’ criteria.
Why we do what we do?
We believe we can enable any sales exec, technician, assessor or manager in any dealer, anywhere in the world, with a super power called ‘trust’. Trust automatically releases customer joy which has a direct and substantial benefit for every dealer.
Case study: Volkswagen UK Training Programme
Volkswagen UK appointed CitNOW to design and deliver its nationwide video training programme, ‘Volkswagen Video Stars’. The in-retailer workshop was carried out across four months in four kitted and completely self-sufficient training vans, which visited more than 180 Volkswagen retailers through the UK.
The main outputs of the training programme were to increase the number, variety and quality of videos being produced, increase red work conversion, expand volumes of amber work, additional green video production and improve CSS Scores.