Don’t Let Technology Hinder Your Loyalty Marketing Program

I am the type of prospect that Jeep is looking for. 30 years of wanting a Jeep later, I finally bought my first one in March 2018 and I plan to take very good care of it.

The other day it passed 5,000 miles so it needs an oil change. Jeep, being the super brand that they are, did a great job in onboarding me into the Jeep Wave owners loyalty program. Keeping owners in the dealership family is huge in the car business, so first impressions are very important while starting the relationship.

Here’s the real-world, technology-driven customer journey as it unfolded a few days ago. A light day of meetings at work and some writing to do, so I figured I’d head over to the dealership for an oil change. I recalled getting a few Jeep Wave emails since registering, so I searched my Gmail account and found a reminder for a free oil change. I click through, sign into my account. I update the miles, look through the offers and click to change the dealership to where I purchased the vehicle (not the closest to my house/work, but that’s a blog post for another day).

To see the dealership hours, availability, etc., I am taken to the dealership’s website directly. You’d think that the sites would be tightly integrated as much of the technology stack is shared across the network of dealerships, but I’m good with navigating through to find what I need. Mopar Parts & Service is right there. I click and I’m presented with something I love when it’s done right: Live chat!

I love the idea of chatting with a real live person who can help answer my questions on the fly. Do you have availability today? What time? How long does it usually take for an oil change under today’s conditions? Does the waiting room have wifi? Pretty easy stuff and with some answers, I’m coming in today.

I click live chat and am presented with the standard – “Give us your name, email and what you need help with to get things started” bit. No problem. Let’s get rolling — Submit. Wait…what just happened?!? The system sent an email and that’s it. That’s not live chat at all. That’s a bait and switch. Tell me live chat isn’t available and I’ll make up my own mind on next steps. Don’t lead me down a false path.

From that point, I checked my email throughout the day. More frequently earlier and tapering off later as the opportunity to get the oil change that day was pretty much shot. I just checked my email again just now…still nothing a full 3 days later.

Now I could have picked-up the phone at any time and just called the dealership. I’m capable of scheduling an appointment. The thing is, why offer me a method to communicate with you that I prefer and then leave me hanging? If you’re going to adopt technology, actually use it. For crying out loud, don’t introduce something new and then ignore it when people want to use it.

That goes for social media messaging, live chat, feedback forms, email — whatever. Make it a point to actively manage all of your channels and respond quickly with relevant information to provide the best user experience possible. That’s where loyalty is earned. And that’s what the Team at Response Labs does for our clients. We “Make Every Message Matter.

So where does that leave me? I’ll just wait until I get another good day for some waiting room work and I’ll pickup the phone and schedule an appointment. They haven’t lost me over this, but they certainly didn’t make a great first impression they way they could have — by simply using the technology they offered me. Or, maybe I’ll go to the quick oil change place by my house…

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