Making Waves - Volkswagen and Skoda In Partnership With Carousell

Oneshift Editorial Team
18 May 2020

Because the customer deserves the best of both worlds... or rather all worlds.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented itself among the toughest challenges the automotive industry has faced, not only on a local scale but also on a global one.

Production at some major automotive manufacturing plants around the world have ground to a halt in response to stemming the spread of the virus. Locally, dealerships have also taken a hit since local ‘Circuit Breaker’ measures have been put in place. 

While it is a challenging time for the industry, it is a catalyst for businesses to innovate and adapt. One of these businesses which has been making moves to adapt to the current environment is Volkswagen Group Singapore (VGS). 

In-fact, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, VGS has been busy preparing itself for a digital transformation of its showroom services; a move that is in-line with Volkswagen Group’s global re-branding.

It is with this challenge, that VGS is increasingly keen to adapt and push for change.

Mr. Ricky Tay, Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Singapore, which deals with both Volkswagen and Skoda brands here, mentioned that his company’s vision is to make customers’ everyday lives easier with initiatives which focus more on the customers’ experience rather than on our cars and products. This is much-needed change, especially in this time of great change and isolation.

Even with the ongoings of the ‘Circuit Breaker’, and with the closure of both the Volkswagen and Skoda showrooms, business is still going on. Mr. Tay stresses that: “People are still in the market for new cars, especially for those whose COE is due to expire. From groceries to furniture and so on, people are still shopping and making purchases, albeit online. Similarly, our Sales and Aftersales teams have stayed available and contactable through various digital channels so that consumer demand can still be met.”

He continued that: “It is paramount that we provide the continuity and support that customers expect from us, especially during times like these. In the event of vehicle breakdowns, we have a small team of personnel on standby to carry out emergency repairs so that our customers are still able to use their car for essential services during this period.”

Carousell - Bridging The Gap

The ‘Circuit Breaker’ simply accelerated the trend and propelled the adoption of online buying. Mr. Tay also strongly believes that virtual shopping and digital purchasing will become the new normal, even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. 

The omnichannel shopping experience, according to VGS is the best way to stay connected with their consumers. Meeting them on the channels where they are shopping and buying, whether it’s in the showroom, via their online store, through social channels or with an e-commerce partner like Carousell, the key is in connecting these dots and delivering a seamless and consistent experience when customers are shopping for cars. 

Closing the gap between dealership and car buyers through engagement in ‘Live Chat’, deepens relationships with customers, and all this from an environment that they are comfortable with...

Because the customer deserves the best of both worlds... or rather all worlds.

What Can The Customer Expect With Initial Transactions Going Online?

There is little doubt that this wave of online shopping is here to stay for the long term. For years, the fashion, travel and entertainment industries have been the frontrunners of the online retail sphere, followed by grocery, F&B and personal care categories.

“As consumers become more comfortable and familiar with shopping online, they will gradually shift towards bigger ticket items like paying a deposit for the car of their choice in order to secure a certain deal.” Mr. Tay states.

He went on to mention that, “In spite of the ‘Circuit Breaker’, there is continued interest in our cars and customers have made purchases via our digital process. Everything is done digitally as our sales team is working online to ensure a seamless purchase experience”. 

Customers can now make a digital fund transfer to secure their new car purchase. The collection of necessary identification and documents can also be submitted digitally for processing. 

All this to ensure that there is as little disruption as possible to the customer, throughout the buying process.

Their new car will be delivered after the next successful COE bidding and when the Circuit Breaker is over.

For The Long Run

Digital transformation has always been a long-term plan for VGS. They have already begun the rolling-out with new shopping experiences over their online and social channels.

Moving forward, Mr. Tay states that VGS will continue to invest and enable an ecosystem to further personalise the customer’s car shopping journey. This will include new means of reaching them - over live text and video chat widgets, a concierge test drive programme and new collaborations to increase the brands’ presence in the online marketplace.

Find Volkswagen vehicles on Carousell here.
Find Skoda vehicles on Carousell here.

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