Lincoln, a luxury auto-manufacturer, is reinventing online customer service for the automobile industry. The company realized that shopping for cars online can be a daunting experience for customers, and customers are constantly frustrated with making in-store and online connections between products. Thus, the company is adding multiple features to its website in order to bridge a gap between the online and in-store purchasing process to improve the customer experience.
First, the company is adding the ability for customers to chat with highly trained employees through interactive video. This allows customers to ask any questions they have, or voice any concerns, at any point in time. In addition, the new website will provide guided tours of all of Lincoln’s vehicles. Also, the customers will be able to log their preferences in a personalized portfolio, which can be saved to the user’s account. The customer can continuously access their portfolio while continuing to consider the different models. Finally, when the customer is ready to visit the dealership, the dealers can access the different portfolios through an iPad app, which allows them to make recommendations based off of the consumers preferences.
These online changes help strengthen Lincoln’s marketing mix in regards to the company’s e-marketing plan. While many company’s have been unable to utilize all 7P’s, Lincoln will successfully move past the first 4P’s (price, place, promotion, and product) with its new plan. For example, the plan offers physical evidence to its customers through its interactivity with auto walk-throughs and the creation of portfolios. In addition, it optimizes the buying process again through portfolio building, and also through the integration of the users account with smartphones and iPads. Finally, people are successfully utilized in the model with the live, online, customer interaction. By successfully utilizing the marketing mix, Lincoln has created an e-marketing plan that will differentiate the company within the automobile industry.
“Outstanding cars… have to be matched with personal
and innovative customer service at every step.” – Jim
Farley, Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales