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It is accepted that keeping up with customer expectations in this fast-moving digital age is at best perplexing and presents a serious challenge to companies both large and small.

In many cases disruptors who leverage digital communications to engage and interact with their customers best exemplify this.

These companies set a new standard that becomes the norm in terms of user experience (UX) and in turn customer expectation. Some obvious examples of disruption in the mobility space are Uber, Lyft, Grab, Fair.com and Auto Gravity, to name but a handful.

Factors such as personalization, relevance, value and simplicity are key ingredients in today’s world when looking to engage meaningfully, be it with existing customers or prospects.

Automotive financiers need to embrace this approach with both vigour and speed if they are to earn the right to build stronger and more meaningful one-on-one customer relationships.

These new direct relationships are becoming increasingly more important to financiers and car companies alike as the traditional car distribution model shifts from what has been the norm for many decades.

Automotive financiers and their brand partners that adopt new digital technologies to ensure that they deliver on customer expectations by reaching out and engaging with clients in the manner that is both expected and wanted, will enhance each element of the customer journey allowing for a deeper more meaningful relationship to evolve.

This relationship can only be secured on condition that an outstanding UX is delivered.

Digital customer self-serve drives customer retention and accelerates re-purchase

Pre-empting and or responding to customer demands calls for a fresh new approach.

Happily, the power and leverage that technology provides to client and vendor alike means that we are in a far better position today than we ever have been to better serve our customers, both internal and external.

Many of the barriers to adopting technology have already been removed.

Integration via API or delivery of smart customer centric business solutions by Software as a Services (SaaS) or the Cloud provide value for money and negate the requirement for costly integration with legacy systems.

The retail world continues to shift at a pace, with digital customer self-serve fast becoming mainstream.

To both keep and win customers, communication platforms that allow financiers and car companies to engage directly and on-demand, while providing sensational UX, are a requisite in this fast-changing landscape

* Paul Bennett is director of international business development at Autofutura, a supplier of digital customer retention solutions to the global automotive finance industry globally.