For the customer: Buying a car is a long process
Buying a car takes time. People take time to select cars according to their tastes, needs and budget. Once they shortlist a couple of cars they will test them before making their final decision.
For the brand: A long development and launch process
A car is a complex product that requires months to design, create, test and launch. Car manufacturers have no other choice but success when launching a new model.
High consumer expectations, but little measurement on satisfaction
Some models have higher expectations by consumers and car lovers. This results in even more pressure on car manufacturers, however, today there is no real customer and prospects satisfaction measurement following the launch.
The auto industry press will typically rank and run tests, but do they really reflect the public opinion? Some people may say that sales volumes will be the best indicator for customers’ satisfaction, but is it logical to wait for a low sales volumes to understand that a vehicle is not meeting people’s expectations?
Tons of untapped data
I met a Digital Strategy Consultant who told me a personal story that illustrates perfectly how Social Listening is the missing piece in a car launch strategy. He told me that he and his wife were car shopping and torn between two models of different brands. He said that the reason he did not purchase the first one, was because there was a metal bar on the dashboard that was standard and could not be taken off. He smiled and added, “If I was the car manufacturer, I would wish I had known why a customer did not buy a $50,000 car, especially if it’s because of a simple metal bar!”.
I asked him if he had told anyone else about this story, he nodded and said that he had tweeted about it right after.
Today, car manufacturers have the opportunity to listen to their customers on social media and collect relevant data in order to launch products that match expectations, but to also yield unsolicited feedback and make strategic decisions accordingly.