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Groupe Renault

The renault network is transforming and committing to a new customer relationship

April 17, 2013

Renault is pursuing excellence in its relationship with customers by rethinking the whole customer experience – before, during and after a purchase. The aim is to offer customers a seamless experience from the Internet to the physical retail network. This ambitious global program – named C@RE inside the company – includes all the Sales & Marketing business lines involved in customer experience. Delivering on a new customer promise, C@RE will be rolled out across Renault’s global network between now and end-2016.

 

The C@RE program is focused on customers and their behavior and expectations in terms of sales and after-sales service. It was developed in response to two main findings:

  • Customers demand increasingly high standards, often based on their experience in other retail sectors, 
  • The widespread use of digital media in all areas of life is changing behavior and expectations all over the world. A total of 94% of customers browse the Internet before coming in to a dealership.

A seamless, integrated customer experience

To satisfy these new expectations, Renault has set up a smooth, continuous link between digital interfaces and the physical retail network. Called C@RE (for Customer Approved Renault Experience) internally, this integrated program incorporates the three key moments in the purchase experience: conquest, conversion and loyalty. The program offers customers: 

  • Easy-to-access information about the brand and products online, on www.renault.com, on the www.renault.country sites, and on social networks,
  • A richer, interactive, innovative customer experience at dealerships, where the quality of the relationship with sales assistants and service advisors is a priority,
  • Loyalty offers tailored to their profiles and vehicles.

C@RE offers customers a seamless experience where there are no boundaries between the virtual and real worlds. Customers can now move from one phase to another without losing information or contact. This saves time and simplifies the relationship between customers and the brand. Customers no longer have to explain what they are looking for to a new person each time.

The C@RE program consists of 40 projects. The most visible projects for customers are the 3D configurator, the My Renault customer personal space portal, the Renault Stores, behavioral training for technicians and sales staff, the Customer Promise, touch tablets, and Pit Stop Servicing.

 

Quote from Jérôme Stoll, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing and Light Commercial Vehicles

A carmaker’s strength is measured by its skill in the three business areas of design, manufacturing and sales and its ability to create value and offer it to our customers. Renault is increasingly recognized for its engineering and quality manufacturing. We must now earn recognition for excellence in customer experience. To revolutionize the car buying experience, we have to break down the barriers between our sales and marketing organizations by creating a link between the physical outlets and the web, before, during and after a purchase. That’s a major priority for me.

Before sales: meeting customers wherever they are

Today’s automotive customer is highly informed, well connected and likes to site hop. Before coming in to a dealership, customers do research online, browse websites, consult forums, and rate their experiences of the brands they buy. Customers have a permanent choice between multiple channels: dealership, web, email, smartphone, call center, connected vehicle, etc.


An integrated, multichannel digital experience with enriched content

Renault is simplifying and enhancing the customer experience by making it easier to browse the websites, connecting the systems and enriching the content. A new 3D vehicle configurator was brought out for the launch of New Clio in 2012. The configurator is now being extended to include all the models in the range.

Starting in the second half of 2013, when they come in to a dealership, customers will be able to pull up the vehicle they configured beforehand on a computer, tablet or smartphone via the www.renault.country website (e.g. www.renault.fr).

As well as being able to save configurations, customers can access an array of services from their computers, tablets or smartphones: request information and brochures, book test drives, track orders, enquire about financing, book appointments online, purchase services and accessories online, submit complaints, etc. 

Sales: welcoming, functional Renault stores

A dealership is not just a car showroom; it’s also a place customers visit when they drop off and pick up their cars at the workshop. With the new Renault Stores, the brand hopes to transform customer experience at dealerships. Renault is creating more welcoming, comfortable, multipurpose spaces that extending the information and services available on digital media. The concept offers a more colorful environment with new furniture to reflect the Renault brand’s passionate enthusiasm and closeness to customers.

Renault Stores have a single entrance, making all the services easily accessible for customers.

An organized, clearly laid out showroom

The Renault Stores have a clear, intuitive layout, which showcases the products and services on offer. The layout includes:
- A Renault Road that takes customers from the entrance to a welcoming area, where they can get information about the brand and its products, have a cup of coffee, and check their emails over a free WiFi connection.
- Themed areas (New, Passion, Renault Z.E. Electric Vehicle, Sports, Family, etc.), which are very visible, so customers can find their way around more easily and wander freely between the vehicles.
- An accessories area that showcases the range of accessories and promotes seasonal offers: e.g. snow chains in winter, or bike racks in summer,
- A delivery area that makes the handover a special moment, because buying a new car is an important experience for customers.

Advanced, user-friendly technology

The Renault Stores are investing in new digital technology to enhance the relationship between customers and advisors. The devices are intended for use by staff, as well as customers, to pull up the vehicle configuration they personalized before coming in to the dealership.

At end-2012, 1,500 dealerships in 20 countries had introduced iPads® with a vehicle configurator. In 2013, Renault started to use touch tablets for after-sales service. And by end-2014, all the Renault Store will have the new devices and all staff will have been trained in how to use them.

Trained staff

A new sales concept is only as good as the people who bring it to life. The Renault Academy therefore designed a major training program for the brand’s sales assistants and service advisors. Since 2011, almost 20,000 employees from 17 countries have been trained in Serious Games or attended “Let’s Change the Customer Relationship”. 

After sales: customers are known and rewarded for their loyalty

Customer satisfaction and loyalty are key objectives of the C@RE program. Through a Customer Promise rolled out globally since late 2011, Renault is stating its strong commitment to the satisfaction of all its customers. With the My Renault program, Renault has moved to a new stage of the promise by personalizing its relationship as the brand with each of them: the idea is to get to know each customer better in order to identify his or her needs and anticipate his or her expectations. Renault is also simplifying the after-sales offering by introducing flat-rate maintenance deals in its main markets.

The Customer Promise: Renault’s global commitment

Renault is committed to delivering faultless service quality. Since end-2011, this has taken the form of a Customer Promise, which is displayed across the sales network.

Renault’s Customer Promise consists of eight commitments, and takes local market needs into account. There is a common core of three commitments:
- “We will keep you informed about your order until delivery”,
- “We will hand over your vehicle at the agreed time and price”,
- “We will not charge you for any work performed without your consent”.
These commitments reflect the DNA of Renault service all over the world.
The other five commitments of the promise are adapted locally, depending on the maturity of the market and the main reasons for customer dissatisfaction. Commitments might be related to Internet requests, test drives, loyalty benefits, etc. For example, a customer in Argentina, one of the Renault brand’s historical markets, does not have the same expectations as a customer in Russia, a fast-growing recent market. 

The My Renault program

To develop an ongoing, personalized relationship between the customer and the brand, Renault has designed the My Renault customer loyalty program. This is a personal space, where customers can upload their personal information, profile, type and age of their vehicle, monthly mileage, type of credit, etc., with the assistance of a Renault advisor if they wish. Customers who provide this information are known and recognized when they come into a dealership and will receive offers tailored to their vehicles and current needs.
Personalized services available on My Renault include or soon will include: tracking progress of a vehicle order, a personalized servicing program for the vehicle, a record of visits to the workshop, online appointments, and ordering R-Link apps for vehicles with R-Link technology.

My Renault also proposes exclusive offers to reward loyalty.
At end-March, 1 million customers were signed up with My Renault. By the end of his year, Renault estimates that 1.5 million customers will have a My Renault space, which is one in four owners of a Renault vehicle 0-5 years old.

Flat-rate maintenance packages

To make the range of after-sales services clearer, Renault is introducing flat-rate packages for all maintenance operations. A list of 19 packages makes it much easier for customers to find their way around the range of services, which previously included 1,000 possible rates.

The flat-rate maintenance packages have been rolled out in Turkey, Morocco and Mexico. They will be operational in Renault’s top 24 countries by end-2013.

One of the innovative after-sales services: Pit Stop Servicing

This is a quick service, performed by two mechanics simultaneously, who divide the tasks in a precise order. The vehicle is returned to the customer within an hour at no additional cost. For the dealership, Pit Stop Servicing is a way to optimize workshop capacity and offer customers an innovative service.

Program dates and implementation

In 2012, projects from the program were trialed in seven pilot countries (Algeria, Italy, Brazil, Belgium, France, China, and Russia). In 2013, the program entered the implementation phase. By 2016, 30 countries will have implemented C@RE, which will cover more than 4,000 dealerships around the world.

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François ROUGET
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