Carsten Wreth, Vice President, Customer Experience Europe Opel Group

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Thread: Carsten Wreth, Vice President, Customer Experience Europe Opel Group

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    Carsten Wreth, Vice President, Customer Experience Europe Opel Group

    “It’s Time to Enter a New Era”
    Opel POST
    Carsten Wreth, Vice President, Customer Experience Europe, talks about exciting customer experiences,
    employees as our most important customers, and his first car – a Kadett D with a individual sound sytem.




    1. Mr. Wreth, I would like to know how you would describe a positive customer experience.
    Simply put, what makes a customer’s experience a positive one is when his or her expectations are met. I myself firmly believe that most of our customers are very realistic in terms of what they expect coming in. There should however be one or two instances where their expectations are exceeded, when they are pleasantly surprised. That’s what is needed to ensure that the customer is satisfied with the experience.

    2. Is it no longer enough to ‘wow’ consumers just by offering them a great car?
    Expectations have changed over time. Every brand offers a high level of functionality. This means positive customer experiences have to do with much more than just the product itself. It begins with how the brand is positioned, no matter where that may be. Surely, dealers play a major role here. What can I expect to find at the dealership when I stop by the first time? A row of cars with not a salesman in sight? Or am I greeted by staff ready to serve me?

    3. Seeing as you just recently joined Opel and still have a relatively low profile, I imagine you have gone to check out the situation firsthand for yourself…
    Yes, that I have indeed. I am actually just now in the process of buying an Opel for my wife and me. I visited dealerships in various towns and have to say that the level of service they offer varies from location to location. At the first dealer all that I awaited me was a row of cars parked side by side at an angle to each other. After a bit of searching, I was able to spot a few salespeople, but they were busy with other customers. After fifteen minutes, I drove off the lot without anyone coming to see if they could be of any assistance to me.

    4. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Opel. That being said, we aren’t the only ones facing this problem. The same could be said about our competitors’ dealerships as well…
    Well, that’s good to hear.

    5. Pardon me?
    What I meant to say is that it’s great to hear that I’m coming into a situation where I can really affect change. Let me explain. I come from the telecommunications sector where everything is much more customer-centric. Companies know a lot more about their customers and use this information to present them with new service packages tailored to meet their needs before they even come to them asking for it and before their contract is up. A strategy like this should work in the automotive sector as well. What do we do in the six to eight weeks after the customer has placed his order and is sitting at home waiting for his new car to arrive? Absolutely nothing.

    6. And what could we be doing in this time?
    We could notify customers that their car is set to go into production today. Or that the vehicle is now at station A and will then be moving on to station B where component C will be installed. We could also send them actual photos. That’s definitely within the realm of what’s technically possible at present. All this heightens the customer’s anticipation for the arrival of their new Opel and makes for an exciting experience in my eyes.

    7. How good is our service app?
    Apps like MyOpel are great. They provide customers with all they need to know about their vehicle. There you can find user manuals or schedule a service appointment. The only group of users not overly enthusiastic about apps is older buyers. That being said, they are keen Internet users, reflecting a general society-wide trend. This all means we have to continue efforts to further develop both platforms, i.e., the website and the app.


    More at the link above.

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    Re: Carsten Wreth, Vice President, Customer Experience Europe Opel Group

    I can relate to every point Carsten Wreth makes there, it's a good start.

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    Re: Carsten Wreth, Vice President, Customer Experience Europe Opel Group

    Yes. it seems his eyes are open. That's a start, and a differentiator from many others

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    Re: Carsten Wreth, Vice President, Customer Experience Europe Opel Group

    MMmm l would have not put "Opel" and the word "Exciting" in the same sentence, more SSss. A bit like the word Opel & profit are never ever seen in the same sentence.

    MMMmmm Opel T-Shirts & Apps, what's that a new miracle cure for insomnia?

    Negatives
    No premium fuel efficient top of the range fun to drive RWD cars in Opels line-up, not one single high profit yield pick-up truck on offer from GM Europe in their EU line-up (Ranger has had +150% sales increases in both of last 2 years on a trot beating the average EU sales increases), constant near $2 billion a year there is not much at all to like about money pit Opel in Europe at all. Insignia is good but sales/profits will get hit by the arrival of the Ford Fusion in Europe that totally transforms the rather dull Mundane in Europe. Russia has now become part of Europe in "Opels worlds" map so it can massage boast of artifical better sales numbers in Europe, whislst losing bigger amounts of money in Russia.

    Not sure if Karl & Viva are a positive or negative they will improve sales numbers, but cannibalize some of Opels other more lucrative small car sales like the Adam & Corsa. Still Dacia are making a lot of money for Renault so it might pay off.

    Positives
    Mokka will make a tidy profit, Opel needs more top of the market products, Adam is a premium priced small car must be paying it's keep, and l like the warm smiley happy face of the new Corsa something that warms you to makes Opel more endearing rather than the bog standard typical normal SSss FWD Opel models that have lost GM so much money in Europe in the past.

    BMW never would never had got to where they are today if they were selling T-Shirts with bubble cars on them, l just wish Opel were a bit more premium market like BMW and had a premium fuel efficient fun to drive RWD large car or a sporty looking Porsche 911 in their line-up some thing that could generate revenue rather than just mundane FWD SSss cars.

    If Opel turn in a nice $2 billion profit at the end of the next year, then l will be Opel's No1 fanboy
    (MMmm l can hear the pitter patter of Ruperts feet coming, l am off have a nice weekend)
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    Re: Carsten Wreth, Vice President, Customer Experience Europe Opel Group

    I keep seeing the title for this thread and I see "Crest and Wreath" - need to get this guy in the Cadillac division

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    Re: Carsten Wreth, Vice President, Customer Experience Europe Opel Group

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGTP View Post
    I keep seeing the title for this thread and I see "Crest and Wreath" - need to get this guy in the Cadillac division
    Give him chance to sort Opel out first - then "promote" him to do the same at Cadillac

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    Re: Carsten Wreth, Vice President, Customer Experience Europe Opel Group

    I could see Opel easily get out of their s..t by upping customer service.

    Non-premium cars are a commodity, people who care what they drive don't buy an Opel, Ford, Volkswagen or Toyota - those are cars for the general public who just doesn't care. Especially new cars from non-premium brands - those are bought by people who can't and don't want to figure out maintenance. To sell them a car, you don't need for it to be superior or exciting - it needs to be convincing enough for the salesperson to be able to make it look competitive to anything else they might've seen, and answer their basic needs. Opels more or less are there.

    BUT, what may make all the difference is superior customer service. We buy the experience, we want to fell good about it. This is like buying your everyday clothes, not the Armani suit that somehow makes you feel like you're keeping up with somebody between Joneses and Kardashians. When you go to your shopping centre, it is often the customer service and the particular setup and features of the store that win you over, rather than the actual clothes which are often the same across brands. Same with cars, however important that purchase may seem. If you get this reassuring, warm feeling and get treated royally, you feel really well doing away with your insecurity about choosing the right car and are ready to sign.

    This may be what will help Opel recoup the +/- EUR 1000 difference they have to VW, which makes ALL the difference regarding their bottom line.

    Getting into the high-margin premium car business is another story. But this could be a costly gamble for GM, as they do not have products that could make a dent in the market nor convincing brands for Europe. Nobody is going to buy an "almost as good as BMW" over a BMW, and a small compact Cadillac would be laughable, as there is no brand equity in Europe to rub off the larger ones. No other GM brand has a story to back up a premium model, be it a super-expensive one, or just something like the Mercedes GLA or MINI Countryman.

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