Our client was a recognized national leader in the travel services arena who had branched out into the automobile maintenance and repair business – a highly-commoditized industry that many consumers viewed with great distrust.
The firm sought to fuel faster growth in its automobile service centers by creating a truly differentiated customer experience, one that would stand out in a sea of sameness.
We used Watermark’s proprietary “Customer Experience Reality Check” to conduct a thorough evaluation of the company’s current auto service customer experience, as well as develop a highly-detailed touchpoint-by-touchpoint roadmap for differentiation.
Insights about the quality of the current experience were developed through dozens of staff and customer interviews, in-store observation sessions and mystery shops, as well as reviews of print and digital artifacts that accompanied live in-store interactions.
We then coupled those insights with best practice CX design techniques to deliver a comprehensive prescription for improvement. Notably, that future-state blueprint covered not just enhancements to existing customer touchpoints, but also the introduction of entirely new ones. The objective was to create an automobile service experience that wasn’t just good, but was also refreshingly unique.
Services that Watermark provided during the engagement included:
- Customer Research (interviews, in-store observation, mystery shops) to pinpoint what people truly valued in the auto service experience.
- Brand Development to identify a customer experience “theme” that would resonate most strongly with the targeted consumers.
- Journey Mapping to inventory and assess all of the live, digital and print touchpoints associated with the current customer experience.
- Experience Engineering to define the future-state customer experience, as well as the technology tools needed to help actualize it.
- Communications Development to prescribe new types and platforms for messaging that would help customers feel informed and assured.
- Employee Experience review to identify “backstage” workplace components that were adversely impacting the customer experience.
The Customer Experience Reality Check produced a detailed future-state roadmap that included nearly 150 prioritized recommendations for improving the company’s customer experience. Benefits realized included:
- Clarity of direction. The organization, which had been jarred by numerous changes in business strategy over the years, was now able to rally around a manageable set of short-term actions, as well as a longer-term playbook.
- A better customer experience. Within a year of the engagement, the company’s Net Promoter Score rose 10 points, providing external validation that customers were noticing and appreciating the experience improvements.
- Improved financial performance. The improved customer experience helped drive more traffic through the company’s stores, through both repeat and referral business. Same store sales rose nearly 10% and profits soared by over 150%.
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