If you work in the B2C business, you know this already - it’s easier to disarm an atomic bomb than to keep customers happy.
It is especially true in the automotive industry, notoriously suffering from trust issues. However, once you find the sweet spot, you will be surprised by the results.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Imagine a software solution that enables a car mechanic to record video and directly show car owners which parts need repairing. Looks innocent, right?
Well, fasten your seatbelts - does 9484% ROI get your blood pumping? Then read on to learn how Jack Gardner, CEO of Quik Video, nailed the customer experience.
It led to 250% more work approvals, $150 more per a single customer visit and a 5 percentage points increase (a huge leap) in customer satisfaction index scores for car repair shops.
What happens when the customers are left in the dark
This is not a story about a brilliant kid storming the automotive industry from a dormitory room. The second Jack starts talking, you can almost feel his 40 years of experience.
He’s been in the automobile industry since 1978 and worked in all facets of service, sales, financing, and manufacturing. A few years ago he realized how to push workshops into a new era.
- There was a big problem, yet hard to pinpoint and address. A complete lack of understanding of the consumers’ needs when items that needed repair were explained to the car owner - said Gardner.
It all sounds familiar, doesn’t it? You leave your car in a garage, the very next day a service advisor calls you and rattles off a list of recommended repairs you need to approve. Your response: “Don’t have time right now. Let me think about it. I’ll get back to you later”.
The truth is, you’ll never do. You just feel relieved that the call is over.
Gardner and his team conducted a study. It turned out that across all brands, only 1 in 3 customers approved the recommended repairs. The best part - they didn’t decline because they didn’t trust the service advisor or didn’t have the money.
- We found that if the consumer didn't have a frame of reference (and they hardly ever did), they could never understand what the service advisor was talking about - explained Gardner.
That is how the idea for Quik Video was born.
Earn trust first. The money will follow
Using Quik Video, technicians shoot a quick (hence the name) explanatory video tour: what is wrong with the car, which parts need fixing. The clip is a brief (up to 4 minutes, average just over 1 minute) uncut shot starting and ending with the car’s licence plate. Technicians are trained to use non-technical language. The customer gets a link to their video in an email and a text message. As soon as the customer watches the video, the service advisor is immediately notified and can follow up with a phone call.
It may sound simple. But this level of transparency builds trust.
- Up until now, customers have not been involved in their purchasing decision. They've been sold and told, “you have to do this”. With Quik Video we empower the consumer to make an informed decision. Their thinking is “you wouldn’t lie to me on video” - added Gardner.
And the thing with customer experience is: when you gain trust, money follows.
The most astonishing reference comes from Audi dealership in Colorado. - They calculated that their return on investment with Quik Video is up to the moon with 9484 percent! - CEO of Quik Video told us.
From the numbers provided by this dealership it was clear that 18,2% extra revenue is directly linked to the use of Quik Video.
The dealers and manufacturers took notice. In its first year, Quik Video was doing a thousand videos a month. At the end of 2017, the number grew up to 250k videos monthly.
Gardner and his team started to survey the customers with a few simple questions:
- Would you be more likely to have your car maintained at a dealership that offers this video service?
- Did you find this video service helpful?
- Based on the Quik Video service, how likely would you be to recommend your dealership to others?
- Would you be more likely to buy your next car from a dealer who offered this video service?
They received over 90 percent of positive replies to all of them. And the video service started to influence the manufacturers’ surveys - their scores have gone up as well.
“The best trust building tool in the market”, “Increase efficiency, profits and retention in one tool! Keeps shop etiquette at a premium level” - this is what you may hear if you ask dealers for their view on Quik Video.
This feedback from customers and dealerships changed something for Gardner as well.
People and tech. What does the death of email have to do with cars
It wasn’t all rosy. One of the biggest initial challenges that Quik Video faced was to convince dealerships that they can no longer continue to carry out business the way they used to.
But one step after another (with a lot of patience and evangelism skills involved) Gardner proved to them they needed to adapt.
Having handled the people, a technology issue popped up - from Netflix to YouTube, video is like a beast eating up bandwidth. The footage from Quik Video kept flowing - from Volkswagen and Audi, through BMW, to Rolls Royce. And speed was crucial - workshops wanted video files accessible as soon as possible, while the car still waited on the ramp.
Initially, it might have taken up to 5 minutes for the video to be compressed and sent to the customer. Way too long. Results? - We now have that down to 14 seconds - said Bartosz Czerwiński, CTO of Quik Video.
But that wasn’t the end of the challenge. - Every day our technicians make thousands upon thousands of videos, round the globe, round the clock. This creates a massive technological problem with system scalability and stability - added Czerwiński.
This was the point where the Netguru team came in.
The next task would be to catch up with customers behaviours.
- We believe that the future of the customer experience is conversation-driven. As Quik Video becomes central to the entire vehicle servicing process, we are working hard to reflect natural communication flow in our application - said Czerwiński.
One of the next steps for Quik Video will be to remove email from the process and replace it with what the consumers are using - be it Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or any other app or solution customers may choose to communicate.
To get the job done, Quik Video assigned it to a proven partner - Netguru. - You are miles ahead in terms of flexibility and in terms of responsibility - Jack Gardner, CEO of Quik Video said about Netguru. The team is now working to enhance the app with additional features without sacrificing the stability of the ever-growing video consumption.
The next major challenge will be expansion. The major market for Quik Video at the moment is in the US. But the clients keeps coming: be it Canada, Brazil, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. In Ireland, all security services require a Quik Video reports on each car serviced in a workshop. - We have plans to move in to other markets in the foreseeable future - added Gardner.
Since Netguru has come on board with us, my life has become so much easier because you have removed so many of my daily pains. The stability of the platform has been greatly increased. The speed at which the platform works has been greatly increased. And when I ask for something to be changed, replaced or fixed, it happens. I don't have to wait for six months. It's done the next day. - Jack Gardner, CEO of Quik Video, about partnership with Netguru.
Heads up before a nightmare becomes reality
Quik Video has been profitable and self-sustaining from the start. Their business model is simple - they charge a fixed monthly fee (the number varies depending on the size of the dealership and its geographical location). And it’s growing.
- I think that we've gone from being a video company to being a multifaceted information company - said Gardner.
Quik Video provides information to consumers (about the health of their vehicle), dealers (on service department performance and customer feedback). And to manufacturers. The variety of brands that Quik Video had it "hands on", speaks for itself (examples below).
The last part is interesting, especially when you take a country the size of the United States into account. - We are in a unique situation because we have a presence in their dealerships in 50 states. What that means is we can provide them with the information on a dealership level, by region, or we can zoom out on the nationwide level - said Gardner.
That allows the manufacturer to be a step ahead of any potential issues. A real-life example. - I won't name the brand, but there was a car model from 2015. Our Quik Video reports have shown that with 20 thousand miles on very specific mechanical parts were breaking down, causing problems with the driveability - Gardner told me.
The manufacturer was able to resolve this issue before it became a complete PR nightmare.
After few of these recent PR disasters the industry knows exactly how costly they can turn out to be.