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Stephanie Galioto
Manager, Client Services

3 Reasons Customer Satisfaction Must Drive Automotive Channel Incentives

Channel incentive programs are well established in automotive, but unless they are backed by a fully automated, enterprise-wide tracking and reporting system these programs don’t reach their full potential for driving specific sales campaigns or elevating customer satisfaction. A system that maximizes program effectiveness is especially important today, when brands are experiencing multiple threats to sales. Let’s look at each of these threats and see how incentives focused on customer satisfaction can counter them:

1.  Fragmented customer touchpoints. Car buyers experience auto brands at multiple touchpoints: on the web, in dealerships, at service centers and even general media. When incentives are aligned to support a quality customer experience at every touchpoint, the brand is strengthened and customer loyalty deepens.

In order to keep track of fragmented touchpoints, a single-source, easy to use, cross channel platform helps track and streamline the promotion process to incentivize channel partners to sell certain products.

2.  Rise of ecommerce. A recent article in Forbes predicted that online business-to-consumer sales of auto parts and accessories will achieve an estimated 10 percent market penetration by 2020—and explode in emerging markets like China.

Through the shift to online based companies, utilization of a single-platform solution allows for automated tracking and reporting of promotions, which results in an increase in data management and, even more important, a lift in sales.

3.  Declining customer satisfaction. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) reports that in 2015 customer satisfaction fell for the third year in a row. The reasons are a high rate of recalls—up 40 percent in 2014—and rising prices. Heavy discounting kept prices low in recent years, but as the economy recovers car prices are moving up.

In this environment it is critical that channel partners not only fully understand customer needs, a critical KPI in the sales process, according to J.D. Power, but should also be incentivized through promotional rewards to sell the products. An automated, totally integrated promotional tracking program will yield higher results and propensity in the marketplace.

The surge of digital, multiple consumer touchpoints and issues with customer satisfaction are challenges that cut across industries. We live in a world where competing on price is difficult at best, and it doesn’t ensure long-term viability, but a fully automated promotional claim center platform that automates tracking and generates timely reports on key performance indicators gives brands and their channel partners a critical edge and simple solution.

Are you looking for a way to help streamline your channel incentive promotions and speed claims with an automated online tool? Talk to a Marketing Innovators expert to discuss how our solution, MIClaims, can help you achieve higher sales results for your company

To learn more about getting the most value from your channel partner relationships, check out this in-depth white paper and our blogs:

Sources: “Future of Automotive Aftermarket and Car Servicing: Customers Will Have More Channels to Shop Around,” Sarwant Sing, June 2,2015.

Aftermarket Business World Wire Reports: “Study Ranks Customer Satisfaction Among Auto Parts Retailers,” July 30, 2012.

Press release: ASCI, “Customer Satisfaction With Automobiles Weakens As Recalls Continue,” August 25, 2015.