In today’s current automotive market, technology and connectivity are the two most important aspects of a car to most customers. The more and more in-car technology advances, the less and less customers actually care about driving. People want fun new technology and fancy connectivity, so that’s what automakers are giving them. However, not all in-car technology is created equal and companies like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz lead the field in user-friendliness.
Research institutes, TNS and the BearingPoint Institute having conducted some studies and learned that the premium German manufacturers are leading the automotive world, in terms of how user-friendly their connected technology is, but need to improve how they teach customers about it. While the Germans have the most easy-to-use systems, many customers still don’t even know what sort of connectivity their cars have or how to use it. A whopping 39 percent of premium customers were never shown what features their cars had or how to use them.
This study puts emphasis on the need for training for dealer employees, as only 48 percent of the customers who use connected driving features had the technology demonstrated to them. That’s far too little as this sort of tech is becoming such a large part of a car buyer’s decision, with surveys showing that 59 percent of customers claim that connectivity influenced their purchase.
With in-car connectivity now moving into the smartphone world, automakers need to look at smartphone companies as competition. With navigation and entertainment apps readily available for smartphones nowadays, and the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, car manufacturers need to make their systems just as easy to use and customers more well-educated on them if they want to compete with companies like Apple and Google.
This basically comes down to the dealerships, though, as it doesn’t matter how good the in-car technology is if no one knows it’s there. This sort of thing has always been a problem with car dealerships, as many sales people simply don’t care enough to properly learn about the in-car tech. So if the car companies can get more of their customers educated on their systems on how to use them, more and more people will happy with their car purchase and continue to use that brand.