Vauxhall Motors, the UK’s oldest thriving car-maker remains at the centre of British motoring with an innovative range of cars, SUVs and vans inspired by the needs of customers. With 177,000 annual sales in 2018 and more than seven per cent share of the market, Vauxhall is as famous as any brand in the country.
Driven by the aim of ‘delighting their customers’, this forward thinking company took the decision a year ago to integrate Feefo’s customer reviews and insights platform to deliver a deeper understanding of their customers. As a result the company has increased the amount of time consumers spend on its website by almost a fifth. A combination of verified reviews and customer-generated photographs has given its website a warmer, more authentic, human feel that has been a definite hit with consumers.
In a highly competitive market dominated by multi-national manufacturers, Vauxhall’s website is essential to how it competes, presents its vehicles and engages with hundreds of thousands of customers.
Driven by its core values to be ingenious, progressive and approachable, Vauxhall wanted to use customer-generated content to transform the marketing power of the website. The company already posted customer reviews but was shifting to a new web platform. It was an opportunity to use customer content in a more exciting way that would build brand confidence among potential car-buyers and create more meaningful engagement.
Giving consumers extra confidence in a brand is now essential in such an intensely competitive car market. Consolidation, consumer uncertainty, environmental concerns and changing regulations have all affected car-buying.
“We find people respond much better to what other people think of our cars. Consumers are influenced by what their peers buy and say, so it’s important to create customer advocates for our brand. As consumers we all want to know what people like us think and feel about the car we’re interested in. It’s the best set of recommendations there is.”Jonny Evans, Digital User Experience & E-Commerce Manager, Vauxhall.
And while the traditional forecourt dealership remains dominant, online portals enable consumers to compare models and prices quickly or to buy through third-party broking websites. Customers increasingly expect manufacturer websites to offer them high-quality content that convinces, excites and provides all the answers they seek.
Fully aware that content from customers is the most powerfully persuasive resource available, Vauxhall wanted to go beyond merely giving access to review feedback on its website. It wanted to combine customer feedback with customers’ own photographs of their vehicles. With greater prominence on its website, this content would make the site feel far more user-friendly and authentic, placing the customer firmly centre-stage.
To maximise the power of customer advocacy on the site, the new reviews solution Vauxhall sought had to attract reviews from as many customers as possible and be easy to read and operate. But it fundamentally had to also be capable of seamless integration with the newly-adopted third-party technology allowing Vauxhall’s customers to upload photographs of their vehicles. And the entire solution needed to have a high level of automation so that it took up as little staff time as possible.
After considering a number of review systems and platfoms, Vauxhall selected Feefo to replace its previous review platform, because, in the words of Jonny Evans, Digital User Experience & E-Commerce Manager: “Feefo is superior in every way, just in terms of what you can do, right out-of-the-box. We can do pretty much whatever we want to because the functionality is there to do it from the early implementation stage. When we moved to a new website platform, out of all the applications we moved, Feefo was the easiest.”
Vauxhall has branded the Feefo review system to give it distinctive character. When customers are automatically invited to post feedback they are also asked to submit a picture of their vehicle.
The photographs, reviews and star ratings are unmissable on the home page, but the star ratings also catch the eye on the pages of individual car models. These click through to reviews, give consumers the most complete access to the opinions of people who know and own the model they are interested in.
But Vauxhall is also displaying the same reviews and ratings on the dedicated plaform used by many Vauxhall dealers across the UK. Visitors can access this content without leaving a dealer’s website, providing a level of customer advocacy that individual businesses would otherwise find impossible.
As part its commitment to creating the most customer-friendly site possible, Vauxhall has also deployed Feefo’s Smart Themes functionality. This enables visitors to save time finding the aspects of review content that most interest them, such as a car’s boot space or MPG and so on. This is a huge advantage when consumers are accustomed to fast service and quick access to information. Vauxhall knows if they cannot find what they wantquickly, they are likely to seek it elsewhere.
Vauxhall has also implemented Feefo’s Performance Profiling, which automatically analyses the reviews to give the company insight into its what customers are saying. Sentiment scores and performance graphs are provided through an easy-access dashboard, enabling a process of constant improvement. Vauxhall can see exactly where it is excelling and where there is room for improvement in the design and description of its full range of models. These insights have been invaluable to driving their business forward.
Increase in time on page
In the year since it deployed Feefo, Vauxhall has seen a 19 per cent increase in the amount of time visitors spend on its site and an 18 per cent reduction in the bounce rate (people leaving the home page without exploring the site further). The volume of reviews has also increased, thanks to a more determined push from Vauxhall.
One of the chief benefits of Feefo for Jonny Evans, Digital User Experience & E-Commerce Manager, is how the platform’s automation has enabled collection of reviews from customers at different stages of their buying process – something that would never have been possible otherwise. Most of all, however, the prominence of truly engaging customer-generated content has given the entire website a warmer, friendlier, more human feel, in contrast to some of the clinical, technology-obsessed competitor sites.
Reduction in bounce rate
Behind the scenes, website and product teams use the Performance Profiling dashboard to gain rapid insights from thousands of customer reviews. This intelligence already informs campaign content for particular models and is set to grow as the insights are more widely used across Vauxhall.
Jonny Evans, Digital User Experience & E-Commerce Manager said: “Feefo has helped us give our web pages a far more engaging, human feel that makes visitors want to stay longer. It’s down to the quality of the content. Without the functionality of the Feefo platform this would have been incredibly time-consuming, requiring us to send surveys to customers at the various stages of the buying journey.
“Feefo empowers our customers to set their own stamp on the website. In terms of our strategy it’s really important. The out-of-the-box integration has been very impressive and I can count on the fingers of one hand the hours I’ve had to spend on the system since we started using it.
Vauxhall is not resting on its laurels as reviews roll in. The next step is to enable consumers to post feedback on Feefo about services, as well as products, acting as a highly effective marketing tool for dealers in their local areas.
Vauxhall also plans much more dynamic, targeted use of reviews, by, for example, targeting reviews on specific audiences in advance of a campaign, to find out exactly what groups of customers like or want. In addition, Vauxhall may use reviews to explore longer periods of ownership, rather than restricting feedback to those who have just bought a car. Reviews after three years of ownership, for example, will give a more rounded sense of what it is to be a Vauxhall owner. This will maintain a continuing conversation with customers that is more about nurturing a relationship rather than concentrating entirely on promoting sales. In the long run this will benefit Vauxhall, its customers and prospective customers.
To learn about how customer feedback can start playing a big part in your brand development, get in touch with a member of our friendly team who will be happy to talk to you about how Feefo can help.