There is no denying that the COVID -19 has caused an unprecedented disruption in every domain and the automotive industry is no exception. As the lingering effects of pandemic have begun to lessen; the industry is going through an adaption phase to meet the expectations of its customers.
Put simply, pandemic has accelerated new trends in the industry that auto brands need to adopt widely. While some changes or trends have already become a new normal as the operations reopen, many automotive brands still need to position themselves so that they can adapt to industry cycles and achieve new horizons.
They need to set and prioritize initiatives to align them with the new trends in the industry. These may include anything from digitizing the car purchasing process to incorporating video launches.
Whether you’re an automotive brand or auto shopper, learning how the automotive industry has changed after COVID -19 is important.
Rising Customer Service Trends in Automotive Industry Post Pandemic
Customers Want Car Ownership
Amid of halt to transportation modes from ride sharing to flying, the desire to have own vehicle has increased in people. Having a car is synonymous with a personal space where people can find the comfort of their homes.
A recent study conducted by Ipsos found that the attitude of people toward car ownership, mobility solutions, ride sharing, and public transpiration has changed drastically post-pandemic. In fact, a large percentage of people prefer driving their personal vehicles after COVID-19.
Their reliance on ride sharing or public transport has decreased significantly. Rides buses and taxis have has seen a major decline in usage.
More Interest in Car Deals
Vehicle buyers are now more interested in finding the good car deals. The recent findings for “car buying search on the internet” grew more than 9x from January 2020 to April 2021. In addition to that, most savvy car buyers rely on online reviews to compare the prices and models and find better deals.
Dealer Experience Close to Home
As said above, consumer research has moved online. The search interest to find “dealer near me” has increased drastically from March 2020 to the current year. People want to engage with car dealers who work closer to their homes to avoid long distance traveling.
Following are the preferences of auto shoppers to avoid dealer visits.
• At-home test drive
• Digital showroom
• Review videos
• VR test drive
• Online configuration
Online Car Purchasing and At-Home Delivery
You might have seen many automakers shifting from offline transactions to online dealing to meet the preferences of their consumers. Used car sales are surging nationally and more used car sales businesses opened during the pandemic.
Most dealers have already digitized the steps of buying journey. More than 90 percent of research on auto purchasing is online. Interestingly, you can see the car buying journey (from purchase to delivery) following the same trajectory.
Dealers in the automotive industry now offer vehicle delivery online. They can execute the full sale using an online medium. At-home test drive is another major trend that is prevailing as an alternative to visiting auto dealers. In many cases, the buying journey happens online but the purchase happens via offline transactions.
Rising Culture of Digital Events
During the last two years, many equipment manufacturers and car dealers had to cancel, delay or postpone large conferences and auto shows due to pandemic.
However, as the effects of COVID-19 started to subside, you can see a trend of online launches such as Upstart for the new vehicles. This is without a doubt a radical change in the automotive industry that used to have only in-person, glossy events.
For example, Hyundai launched its latest model of Elantra in March 2021 via a live stream. The company leveraged video conference and lives streaming to highlight the features of the new car and capture the interest of potential buyers watching from their homes.
The live stream, initial tease video, and launching ceremony clip received more than 800,000 views.
Automotive industry is experiencing some major changes after pandemic. Thus, the article elaborates on the key trends that have become an integral part of customer services in the industry.