8 May 23

“The customer expects more than just photos”

How do you optimise the customer journey of the used vehicle buyer in a world – and more specifically, a digital environment – that is changing faster than ever? That was the central question of this year’s second Remarketing Expert Track, Fleet Europe’s free online masterclasses for professionals all along the used vehicle value chain.

“We’ve probably seen more change in automotive in the last five years than in the previous 40”, said Philip Nothard (Insight and Strategy Director at Cox Automotive), the first speaker at the event last Thursday. The future, he contended, is ‘omnichannel’. But are dealers ready? Mr Nothard had brought the result of a Cox Automotive survey that explored that very question. 

Exceeding expectations

Some key findings:

  • 47% of dealers say demand for online services and resources has increased in the last year.
  • 29% of consumers expect to be able to complete a purchase online. 
  • 63% of consumers expect to be able to get a part-exchange valuation on a retailer’s website, and 84% will provide additional information if that leads to a more accurate valuation. And 81% of dealers effectively provide a part-ex valuation on their website. 

“More dealers are providing more tools than customers expect, and they are exceeding customer expectations when it comes to website functionality”, said Mr Nothard. “However, independents are lagging behind their franchised dealer peers.”

The survey results show a disconnect regarding the necessity of an omnichannel approach: 94% of customers say they expect their interactions with a dealer to be simple and joined up. And two-thirds of dealers say they’re already delivering an omnichannel experience. However, of those dealers not already delivering an omnichannel approach, 35% say there’s not enough demand for it.

Independent results

Next up was Guillaume Hébert, co-founder and CEO of Moba, a company diagnosing and certifying used EV batteries. Moba’s pocket-sized device, paired with a free mobile app, performs a quick and simple test on an EV battery and provides a unique and independent certificate that evaluates the battery’s level of wear.

The certificate consists of two parts: a percentage that shows how much of the battery’s original capacity remains, and a distance, that expresses the maximum range of the vehicle. “This offers the reassurance needed by both buyers and sellers of used EVs. It will lead to faster sales, at higher prices”, Mr Hébert said.  

The Moba test results are independent, but they align with the state of health as generated by OEM diagnostic tools. “This is important, because OEM state of health is the only indicator of whether a battery can be repaired or replaced within warranty”.

Moba, in the final stretch of obtaining the CARA certificate for its procedure, is already being used by more than 100 companies across Europe. The amount of data collected has generated a few interesting insights. “Even EVs with low mileage can have a relatively depleted battery. So, age can be a more decisive factor than distance for battery health.”

Instant offer

Building on the predictive power of their data, Moba is now working on an app to help fleet EV drivers take care of their battery health, by monitoring the battery, optimizing the charging, and taking into account atmospheric conditions such as temperature and altitude.  

Brian Madsen, co-founder and Director International at Cars2Click, announced that Polestar is the first customer of its Cars2Exchange service – a white-label AI-driven pricing solution for part-exchange valuations. “They will offer it under the label ‘Polestar Exchange’, and will soon announce in which countries the offer will debut”, Mr Madsen said. 

Using Cars2Click’s GEOpricing software, Cars2Exchange generates an instant offer that doesn’t need to be corrected – and is guaranteed for 12 months, while the customer awaits delivery of their vehicle. “To make the offer as correct as possible, the AI needs to understand the cost of potential damages to the car. So we developed a video solution, for which the AI and the customer collaborate.” 

Newer means better

“The customer films the car, guided by the AI. The AI calculates the cost of any damages, and the value of the vehicle. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes. We’re so confident the figure is right that we put our own money in the pocket of the customer.”

Pawel Samczyk, COO of Exacto, joined the speakers for a final panel discussion. “Photos are no longer enough, the customer expects more”, he said. “But especially in Eastern Europe, it’s not always easy to convince dealers that newer means better.”

Image: Fleet Europe

Authored by: Frank Jacobs