As a consumer, I expect my experience to be consistent with the research I’ve done online. To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s finding an item I want in stock or having the prices match between online and on the shelf. And I’ll bet you share the frustration with me in how often consistency just isn’t there.
Two quick examples to show what I mean.
Very recently, I participated in soliciting quotes for a venue to put on a fundraising dinner. One company offered a menu online for exactly what I was researching – four-course prime rib dinner for $30.95. Upon calling to clarify availability and a few other details, the events manager emailed me the menu with additional information…but the menu was different than I’d seen online. The same dinner was $32.55. While not a huge price jump, it affected how I thought I could expect other aspects to go.
And more applicable yet to the automotive industry was a recent service visit I made for my wife’s vehicle. After a frustrating online booking process, I checked in at the dealership for my appointment. As the service advisor confirmed my requests, it was nothing like I booked online. The ‘Service B’ package for $89.95 was completely gone, replaced by an oil change and tire rotation. Plus, a note had been added that I was interested in purchasing winter tires. Not so! All I needed were TPM sensors programmed, and I specified exactly that in the appointment notes!
What might seem like minor inconveniences that didn’t have a huge effect on the outcome really are a big deal. Here’s why:
It isn’t just consistency in pricing that matters either. A consistent brand image is important from the logo you put on your website and direct mail to the colors you choose for your email blasts and the in-store finishing details.
For service departments and marketing professionals, the language and presentation for your service menu needs to look the same online as it is in the service drive. Taking my example from earlier (it’s the God’s-honest truth, by the way), your ‘Service B’ package online should be a ‘Service B’ package in the store. Your BDC shouldn’t need to translate it into the actual RO line items you offer – you have the tools to build out the RO lines as you see fit.
The immediate benefit from omni-channel consistency? It’s financially rewarding. Imagine tacking on an extra 23 percent to every RO, and all it takes is aligning your online experience, your in-store experience, and the campaigns you send your customers. For many stores, an extra 23 percent could be the bridge to achieve 100% service absorption. Take a moment to check if that’s how much it would affect your store.
More importantly, consistency is another tool for customer retention. If someone can trust that the information they see online will match the service, pricing, or product provided in store, they’ll become increasingly loyal.