OEM blow for motor show as health fears grow

OEM blow for motor show as health fears grow

Posted: by Stericycle on Mar 06, 2020

In an effort to stem the growing number of coronavirus patients, swathes of major events around the world have been cancelled in the last month, from MWC to the London Book Fair. One of the biggest cancellations so far has been the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS), which was expected to attract upwards of 600,000 executives and car fans. The decision from the Swiss government to ban any gatherings of more than a thousand people left the organisers with no choice, yet it is still a major blow for manufacturers who had invested heavily ahead of the show.  

One reason why manufacturers invest so much in having a strong and memorable presence at shows like GIMS is that it provides an invaluable opportunity to speak directly to customers. However, customers who travel to trade shows are often highly invested anyway, and therefore require little prompting to engage more with their preferred brands.

As disappointing as the cancellation of GIMS is, OEMs should take the gap in the calendar and the refunds they will be receiving from the organisers and look to devote those resources to other, less committed, sections of their customer base – namely those who might be in need of aftercare services.

The aftercare market is a crucial revenue stream for OEMs, yet it is also becoming increasingly competitive. Not only are they having to compete with independent garages, but as cars become progressively more connected and complex, tech companies are also looking to take up a slice of the market. This means that OEMs are being squeezed on both sides. Independent garages are often able to offer a more personalised service while tech companies have vast resources and expertise in creating seamless customer journeys across a host of sectors.

In order to fight back, OEMs need to radically alter the way they manage their customer relations. It’s not enough to contact customers on an ad-hoc and arbitrary basis. Instead, manufacturers need to focus on developing long-term, meaningful relationships with customers that help build brand loyalty and fend off competitors from above and below.

Building such relationships is done by understanding and anticipating customer needs so that when communications come, they’re timely and welcome rather than being seen as spam. By cleansing customer data and deploying predictive analytics, OEMs can dramatically improve the impact of their customer communication programmes. Indeed, many OEMs have already invested in such technology and have reaped significant ROI benefits, including a 45% uplift in MOT and service retention rate.

At RPM we know that the aftersales market is constantly evolving because we do our research. You can read more about how consumers are influencing the automotive aftermarket in our RPM insights reports https://www.rpm-crm.com/aftermarket-insight. You will be surprised at how simple it can be to increase your aftercare sales.