How new car technology will change ownership and customer experience

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Andy Clarke 1st May 2018 5 minute read

How new car technology will change ownership and customer experience

Andy Clarke, Innovation Director for one of Capita Customer Management's automotive clients, predicts how changing expectations will influence the future of customer experience in the industry.

One day, when the world of autonomous vehicles has truly arrived, car ownership will look very different from how it does today. In fact you may not own a car at all; you might just order one when you need it and it will drive to your location as required.

But even before then, ownership models are likely to change significantly, perhaps to a different type of renting, shared ownership or something totally new. One thing for sure is that ownership will evolve and is wide open to a disruptor.

As ownership models do change and online selling comes to fruition, we’ll see a huge challenge as disparate systems, multiple dealers and numerous contact points all make a single view of the customer difficult to achieve, and a unified experience even more so.

Customers expect you to understand their history as they flick between channels (including the retail estate). They also want that journey to be seamless and consistent regardless of who they choose to interact with from the organisation.

Although steps are being taken within the automotive sector to create a full omni-channel experience, it will be a long transition period, through to at least 2020 if not beyond, to really achieve this competently and at the level it needs to be.

Tapping into the opportunities technology will bring

Meanwhile connected cars will be bringing a wealth of possibilities from an innovation and service perspective. They’ll be a growing part of the industry as cars move from being partially to fully connected, then entirely autonomous. While the full capability of these technologies has yet to be realised, we can already predict where the developments are likely to go.

A connected car will have a feed that can understand everything about the car in terms of faults, servicing, MOT history and even the style in which it’s been driven.

By pushing this feed into a contact centre, perhaps with the help of AI technology, it should be possible to arrange for a simple service or repair to be booked automatically for customers, with a replacement car ready to switch on the day, and for all this to be quickly communicated to the customer to confirm it’s ok. Fast forward ten years and the process will evolve to the replacement car delivering itself to the customer and the car at fault driving off to a repair centre.

The data produced by cars in the future will be vast – as will the potential - and if used in the right way, with predictive analytics, it will allow for a much more proactive approach to customer engagement. The Capita-Volkswagen team is already exploring opportunities in such personalised customer service technology, as evidenced by our highly successful Skoda Live Tour service.

As cars evolve they will become more connected into a customer’s universe, from music accounts through to online shopping while in the car. Some of this already exists to a degree, but it will become more widespread and more capable within a relatively short period of time. Some automotive players already have ‘concierge’ service in cars where you can speak to an advisor and they can do things for you – demonstrating just how bespoke a service the automotive agent of the future will be able to provide.

Having a Kitt in your Knight Rider car may not be so far from reality after all!

To read more, check out our March and April Intelligence two-parter, covering customer experience and the contact centre of the future. Find it at our Intelligence hub page.

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