Iconic British brands Jaguar and Land Rover, part of the TATA group, set themselves an ambitious target: to double the number of cars sold between 2012 and 2018. Therefore, the company launches a set of new models, attracting a larger group of potential buyers. To realize this exponential volume growth, Jaguar Land Rover Benelux is preparing itself and every dealer in their network. An extensive operation, in which they not only optimize their own way of working, but also the customers’ experience. Seems impossible? Nicole Prins, Director of Customer Relations, shares with us how integrating smart systems, processes and people takes their customer’s journey to the next level.
“The future as we see it taking shape has a lot to do with clever technology. Behind apps and machines that are easy to use and forgiving when you push a wrong button, lies a world of complicated engineering and intelligent thinking. For example, my mother uses an iPhone and by trying the various possibilities, she understands the potential and is willing to try more. It looks simple, but is in fact quite sophisticated: many smart people and a lot of experience come together in the background to realize this. This is valid for smartphones, and is a good example for what we want to achieve with our cars. If I look at Jaguar Land Rover, for me it means we have three priorities: we need to understand and engage our customers, we must understand their customer journey and we should act upon it, with one voice, in a professional and consistent way.
Technology plays an important part in this. For example, when a customer turns up with his car at any dealer’s parking, the car and his owner should be automatically recognized by number plate or face recognition and the customer facing staff should act upon it. This goes beyond giving someone an iPad. If tools or processes are not linked to systems and information, it has little added value. We can improve a lot by combining many different things we can see and measure: online configurations, Facebook visits, online planning etc. This way we can extend our relationship with both existing and new customers.
At Jaguar Land Rover we are in close contact with our customers. People are very enthusiastic about our brands. With customers being so loyal and engaged, you think you know them. However when the Jaguar and Land Rover brands merged, some of the dealers became dual brand dealers. At that moment we did not only realize how much overlap there was between the brands, but most of all how little we knew. By comparing the client bases and analyzing the client’s needs, we found many similarities. For example, many clients have a car of each of our brands, and the opportunities to switch between the brands are there. All we have to do is excite people and inspire them to try a new car. And that is not easy! It means understanding what customers want and expect, and then deliver that experience. This is quite a challenge for existing customers, but with an ambition to grow, we also need to find new customers.
Jaguar Land Rover launches new models that are attractive to a broader audience, people who now drive other brands. The first responses for the new Discovery Sport and Jaguar XE are quite positive! Last week, I met a young man who told me that he was not into cars, never took pictures of them, nor considered to own a Land Rover. He told me that a few days earlier he saw the new Discovery Sport and that he found it so attractive that even he took a picture. He confessed that he would like it to be his next car. The question now is, how do we tempt him and all other people that currently do not consider our brands into the showroom?
For me, this is all about the customer journey and customer profiling. Customers currently have a different relationship with their dealers than 10 years ago, and the dealer has a different relationship with the factory. Everyone expects a professional attitude, which means that we have to do our utmost to make the entire journey fully integrated and flawless. From the first time a customer starts looking at a car on the Internet to the moment he or she collects their car from maintenance.
We have to grow into a company that understands customers’ needs, and that everyone who comes into contact with customers shares key information. To achieve this, we are currently investing in our processes and systems. We have deployed a program for our dealers to work in one, commonly used way. We use the same processes, work to achieve agreed ‘levels’, manage information in the same way and measure results according to common definitions. Only then we can start speaking with one voice.
In our customer journey, the dealer organization plays a key role in the relationship with the customer. They remain the face of our organization, the first point of contact. We are also investigating how to improve and expand the connection to our customers, and dealerships continue to play a role in the whole picture.
Based on good customer profiles we can ask the right questions to understand the customers even better, and not assume that we know the customer. If you assume and not measure or ask, you risk basing the customer preference just on assumptions rather than facts. That is why we currently roll out programs, processes, systems and tools that support this way of working. Integrating all that is necessary to give a customer the experience they expect, sharing information and engaging our customers ensure that we can and will deliver. This is key when realizing our motto:
“Ensure experiences customers love for life”
Jaguar Land Rover and The Next Organization work closely together to prepare the Benelux organisation for the projected growth. Feel free to contact The Next Organization if you would like to know more about how to boost growth through better customer understanding and smart systems and processes.