ETAutoConVec: Differentiating strategies for connected car experience of customers
New Delhi: Customer experience is key to any purchase decision and product adoption, especially of a connected vehicle. Cybersecurity is an integral part of the connected car ecosystem, especially in relation to customer experience. It cuts across the entire ecosystem of connected vehicles, starting from design, manufacturing and sales to dealerships.
In his presentation on ‘Reimagining success in connected vehicles with a differentiated CX approach’ at ETAuto Connected Vehicle Virtual Summit on Wednesday, Rajeev Singh, partner and leader, automotive sector, Deloitte India, said, “While designing the right customer experiences, cybersecurity will go hand in hand with the ease of using various features.”
Importance of customer experience
Customer experience is vital not only to any purchase decision but also to product adoption. A 2018 report by Deloitte highlighted that 52% of customers had decided against buying a car because of poor sales experience, despite ~USD15 million being spent by Indian auto companies on CX initiatives in that year. Therefore, customer experience goes a long way in solving fundamental business problems, he said.
India ranks first in data anxiety related to connected vehicles. 69% of Indian buyers are concerned with the security of biometric datagenerated and shared with external parties by connected vehicles. Germany and the US rank second and third, respectively.Deloitte
According to Deloitte’s research on the shopping behaviour and vehicle preferences for the US-based Gen Y automotive consumers (born between 1977 and 1994), the customer experience was identified as thrice more important than vehicle design in determining the purchase outcome.
Personalisation, simplification of tasks, holistic experience and mitigating cybersecurity concerns are the important strategies for differentiating the connected car experience of customers.
Personalisation in a connected car plays an important role in providing differentiated experiences to an end-user. In-vehicle infotainment is one of the key elements achieving the maximum personalisation level.
In-vehicle infotainment system finds its application across infotainment, navigation, communication and connectivity, remote services, and telematics services with Over-The-Air (OTA) updates. In developed markets, people use infotainment systems also for accessing social media and emails, checking the availability of parking spots across the city, and streaming high-definition audio and video.
Consumers’ demand for more intuitive technology integration in their infotainment systems is driving automotive manufacturers to equip their cars with the latest technologies and features. In addition to this, the large availability of entertainment content and the need for driving-related information are factors fuelling the demand for feature-rich infotainment systems.
Capturing essential information on the drivers’ preferred destinations and pastimes, in-car technology will be able to provide a more personalised driving experience, allowing users more time to do what they enjoy. “Integrating these features with customised human-machine interfaces to retain brand identity can be key to success in an exponentially growing industry,” Singh said.
Simplification of tasks
The industry expert explained, “Simplification here refers to the tasks like sending emails, messages, making payments that the customer usually ends up doing while he’s at home. OEMs need to ensure the simplification of those processes so that the customer can perform these tasks while he’s travelling in the car because he ends up spending anywhere between two and four hours daily in the car depending on the city.”
Today, digital consumers in India prefer multi-tasking on the go, and they are also tech-savvy smartphone consumers. Hence, having voice recognition and search features available in the car allows the driver to eliminate any screen time while driving and multitasking faster and more efficiently.
According to Rajeev Singh, the third bucket is providing an overall holistic experience to the customers.
The growing smart home market and the need to connect drivers/customers to their external environment is forcing automotive OEMs to reconsider their development and partnerships strategies. A number of OEMs are integrating voice control platforms into their cars. Building a connection to the wider smart infrastructure will require several partnerships and platforms to be integrated into the vehicle.
Consumers are always on the lookout for tailored experiences and seamless transitions from car to home as they wander into the technologically changing lifestyle. Vehicle-to-home connectivity helps customers get more work is done, irrespective of whether they are at home or elsewhere.
“The key to providing a differentiated customer experience is the ability to manage and control multiple electronic gadgets through a single interface and for connected car applications to take the lead. Hence, if a connected car App can provide a single interface to all home IoT devices, the possibilities around new features and functionalities will be endless”, Singh said.
Pre-built partnerships with existing players in the home-automation market may be of interest to potential buyers who want to buy the entire experience as an add-on concept, he added.
Globally, customers are increasingly becoming aware of the security, safety, and privacy risks associated with connectivity, especially when it comes to using cases where the vehicle connects to the home.
India ranks first in data anxiety related to connected vehicles. At 69%, Indian customers are a group of buyers concerned about the security of biometric data generated.
Singh said, “With higher levels of personalisation expected, more data requires to be collected, processed, and analysed. Considering that the data collected would be the preferences of customers, we need to be aware of its associated privacy aspects.”
He said that OEMs need to find answers to the questions raised by data protection authorities, such as “who owns the data?,” “where will this data be stored?,” and “who would be processing this data?” and so on.
A major share of this responsibility lies with OEMs who build and develop the systems necessary for establishing connectivity. They must look at the ecosystem holistically and develop strategies for securing components under their direct purview and educating and creating awareness for end-customers on safeguarding components they control.
OEMs, though it is not their responsibility alone, would stand to benefit if they create awareness about the security and privacy aspects that the customers should know.