Opportunities and risks in the networked service world – that was the topic at the AUTOHAUS service conference from July 4-5, 2017 in Wiesbaden. About 100 industry representatives from manufacturers to suppliers, dealers and service partners, consultants and trainers discussed aftersales and service and presented solutions and best practices on current and future developments from across the automotive industry.
First results of the new NTT DATA service study
The first presentation was highly anticipated by NTT DATA. After four months of intense work, Markus Klamet and Rainer Schneider were able to present the first results of a study conducted in collaboration with AUTOHAUS. It considers the service process of the future against the backdrop of digitalisation. In this context, trends that will affect the service process in the future have been identified with support from seven experts from automotive institutes and manufacturers. In addition, a market research survey questioned 500 end users about their expectations and received the opinions of 275 car dealerships via an online panel. It became clear that customers expect to see much more significant changes in the service process than the dealerships have seen so far – spurred on by experiences in other industries.
Customer expectation creates need for action
Areas that require action to be taken are thus the point at which the customer is integrated into the service process, the point in time this happens, and finally the nature and content of the support offered.
- For future processes, this will require a high degree of flexibility for a customised form of service consulting depending on the customer segment, as well as the full integration into the customer processes of daily life. Here, processes have to be rethought rather than merely integrating technological innovation into existing ones.
- To understand the role of the service consultant, this means even more a change from vehicle support to customer support. In the future, the focus will be on advising on all questions relating to the use of mobility. Visibility for the customer – both physical and virtual – becomes indispensable.
- For the overall experience, aftersales must be thought of as partnerships. This concerns the cooperation model between the manufacturer and the dealership, as well as the integration of other intermediaries or service providers. It is only in this way that the client can be inspired.
The future begins: Now!
The impressions from the service conference demonstrate that this is not just a dream for the future: In the dinner speech the evening before the opening, Imelda Labbé presented the cornerstones of the Volkswagen Group’s aftersales strategy, which takes up these aspects independently of the NTT DATA study. Mazda (Daglef Seeck) strikes a similar tone. And while trends across the service for autonomous vehicles are technically still ten to fifteen years away – Mark Michel introduced himself as the game changer, as the founder of Caroobi, which is positioned between the customer and the workshop and supports the customer individually and digitally. The workshop will in future only be used for the pure physical repair and maintenance, the “nuts and bolts” as it were.
Digitalisation has reached the industry. In many places, it is no longer merely a matter of digitalisation, but it is understood as an opportunity for new patterns of thought and a holistic concept. This is right and necessary, because the established players can only develop and maintain themselves in this way in th market. Customers expect change. The study by NTT DATA and AUTOHAUS, which will appear at the end of July 2017, shows the direction this change might take.
Please read our special supplement “Between Motor and Mobility“, which shows how automotive manufacturers are able to drive change to the mobility service provider forward and what they must consider when they digitise their value creation and products.