Drew Johnson, VP Engineering & Operations, Aeris talks to Jeremy Cowan, editorial director, Transport 360, about the importance of customer engagement in measuring the value of vehicle connections, which industries require it and how to deliver it in a secure, cost-effective ecosystem.
Transport360: As connectivity becomes a base feature on commercial and consumer vehicles, how do you measure and deliver maximum value?
Drew Johnson: As we all know, connected cars and trucks have been around for more than 20 years. On the car front, it started as a niche capability on relatively few models and stayed that way for a very long time. What is changing now is that connectivity is becoming a base feature for all car models. Consumers expect their cars to be connected, and automakers are moving their businesses from unconnected, one-time product sales toward providing a connected service where there is an ongoing relationship with their customers.
When it comes to measuring value, the online connected world predominantly has adopted Customer Engagement (CE) as the primary measure. Customer Engagement is a measure of the depth of relationship that a customer has with the brand. Studies show that CE is driven by frequent positive interactions and can result in significant revenue and profit. We believe this same metric should be applied in the connected vehicle sector.
The typical online CE levels are described as some variation of 1) arrive/adopt; 2) consume/collaborate; 3) understand/create; and 4) apply/socialise. These descriptions of the depth of relationship vary according to the product type. In the connected car space, we envision levels such as 1) purchase/adopt; 2) use regularly; 3) understand and extend; and 4) integrate/socialise. A long article could be written entirely on exploring these definitions and the interactions that drive customers to each level. I will summarise by highlighting that we need to make sure the connected car becomes relevant and useful to the customer on a daily basis, with frequent interactions integrated into their daily life and work. That generally is the case for commercial connected vehicles, but usually is not the case for consumer connected cars.