WHAT PEOPLE DO:
The car-buyer spends ~8 hours researching her car online before she heads to the dealership. As a result, she sees the dealer as an obstacle in the purchase process, instead of as an asset.
The industry needs to define a new role for the showroom associate, allowing them to give more value during the shopping process.
Operations weren't helping to bridge this divide. The sales tool currently available to dealers is far from consumer-friendly: content is organized by individual car feature, and is conveyed through dense, highly-technical text and long-form videos that aren't suited for on-floor co-viewing. We also noticed that dealers tended to attack the sell by working from the car/promotion out instead of from the consumer out, turning what could be a personal exchange into a templated one.
WHAT WE PROPOSED:
Arm the dealer with exclusive (but customer-facing) iPad experience that easily surfaces content relevant to the customer, and relevant to the stage of the purchase process. After visiting several dealerships and walking through the purchase process, we created a customer journey to work against.
Next, we performed an exhaustive content audit of the dealer and consumer-facing sites, and set about mining it for user-centered themes.
Once we’d identified overarching stories that were more relevant to users, e.g. avoiding collisions in the city, we set up a content structure that allowed for a few layers of depth: themes, stories, and suites. We then prioritized each story and content type against our three phases of dealer interaction from our customer journey: introduction, test-drive, and customization. What we ended up with was a tool that provided valuable data to the end user without breaking the flow of natural conversation, and that could be easily packaged up into a personalized take-away for the consumer.
This project was a huge learning experience for me, personally. Over the course of a few months, I went from being a non-car owner (who hadn't driven a car in over 7 years), to being totally and completely immersed in the MY14 Volvos from a dealer and consumer perspective. It was a steep learning curve, but a totally fun challenge.