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It’s VV Auto’s commitment to listening to engage and excite everyone who purchases a car from the Finnish company that earned it the 360-Degree Award at the CX Awards ceremony held last week at the Loyalty360’s Engagement & Experience Expo in Dallas, Texas.
While VV Auto imports and markets Volkswagen, Audi and SEAT cars, including Volkswagen commercial vehicles in Finland and SEAT cars in Estonia and Latvia, its customer engagement approach earned it praise across the globe. The brand strives to create a positive, consistent customer experience across all points of interaction that facilitates long-term brand loyalty.
With a reputation as the most customer-centric car distributor in the Nordics, marketing and customer service are at the heart of VV Auto’s business ethos. To maximize sales opportunities and expand the business, decision-makers recognized the need for a single view of the customer throughout the complete relationship lifecycle – from car purchase, service and repurchase. As the automotive sector is highly competitive and the population on Finland is limited, managing the entire prospect to customer and repeat customer lifecycle is imperative for growth.
As a result of its ongoing customer experience initiative, VV Auto has successfully sustained a net positive increase in sales and loyalty. It also achieved 100%t follow-up on leads, requests, interactions, and feedback received from prospects or customers and witnessed 100% marketing campaign growth.
To learn more about VV Auto’s unique, award-winning approach to customer engagement, Loyalty360 talked to Mikko Luoma, customer relationship management manager for VV Auto.
Can you explain your CRM approach and the customer journey?
I think first you have to understand the VV Auto lifecycle. We don’t just sell cars, so the lifecycle process is quite long. It takes a couple of months before a customer’s car is ordered and then another three months’ time, on average, before they arrive. So there is about a six-month span from the time our customers first make contact with VV Auto to the time the car is delivered.
There are a lot of interactions during the sales phase, and then even more once the car is delivered and throughout the ownership phase. And considering that nowadays cars aren’t serviced as often, I’d say that CRM plays a big part in customer experience so that we can keep customer loyalty high. We want to connect with our customers when they service their cars and again when it’s time to repurchase, because we want to be the one that sells them their new car.
Remember, salespersons in Finland don’t sell a person a car per se. They sell a configuration of a car so the process is quite different (than in the U.S.).
What kinds of ways do you show your customers you are listening to them?
Through feedback. For example, every time our customer gets a car serviced we send an SMS message to them with a mini-satisfaction survey to rate how satisfied they were with the customer service experience. The same thing goes when the customer buys a car from VV Auto, we reach out to get feedback. The manufacturers also send out a short 10-minute customer satisfaction survey. We combine these results to ours and link them for better CRM.
What sets VV Auto’s customer loyalty program apart from others?
Ours isn’t based on a loyalty card – it’s more of a communications program, and it ties in to our lifecycle to help keep our relationships with our customers alive.
We’ve used loyalty messaging to help redefine our brand and today have about 15-20 campaigns that tie in to the lifecycle. When a customer buys a car they receive a message welcoming them to the VW family with highlights about their new car. We also send messages when the car is one and two years old, and at certain points based on the car’s service history. Our loyalty program is designed to activate the customer and create an even stronger relationship with the brand and our dealers.
A VV Auto study found that customers who are enrolled in our loyalty program have much higher likelihood of repurchasing a car from us than if they aren’t in the program. The study confirmed that Volkswagen drivers are 48 percent more likely, and Audi drivers are 87 percent more likely. We believe that our loyalty program has a high impact on customers and can make a big difference. It sets us apart from our competitors who don’t have any loyalty programs in place.
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