Transition a B2B2C service provider to DTC model using WeChat as an anchor
As a joint venture between Chinese auto manufacturer Guangzhou and leading French bank Sofinco, Gac Sofinco was seeking to create a digital channel strategy and technical roadmap to transition to a direct to consumer model that leveraged the omniscient WeChat platform. The channel needed to integrate auto sales teams, loan advisors, back-office auto finance staff, car dealers, and manufacturers that worked in a hybrid online/offline model. The solution also needed to enable integration with loan provider’s CRM and marketing systems for sharing customer data and leads to inform decisions on future products.
GAC Sofinco brought in 31Ten to lead the project with Preeti selected as head of digital strategy for a team comprising analysts, researchers and technologists.
The project team included a Project Director, Digital Strategists, Research Analysts, and a Translator working both on and off-site over a 14-week period.
Preeti segmented the project into five stages.
STAGE 1 : PROBLEM FRAMING
The primary problems with the current state were related to inconsistent and sub-optimal customer experience, as the car buyer had little control during the early stages of the loan process. Loan back-office professionals lacked a direct, cost-efficient channel for payments and customer service.
STAGE 2 : ENQUIRY
The team analyzed the current systems and processes, pain points, customer journey, and the roles played by sales, back-office, and the manufacturer during the process. This included competitive research, identification of wishlists from each stakeholder, and analysis of the current digital channels matrix.
STAGE 3: INTERPRETATION
In this stage Preeti led the consumer, competition, and channels study to deliver:
- Buyer Personae & Segmentation
- Current Buyer Journey
- Current Service Blueprint
- Competition Digital Channels Matrix
STAGE 4: SOLUTION IDEATION
The new Buyer Journey was sketched out through workshops, with the journey based on the improved understanding of consumer, channels, and competition. Once the current Buyer Journey was mapped, a Service Blueprint was made to identify interactions in the front office, middle office and back office to study the flow of interaction.
At each stage the competition’s digital channels and functionalities were studied. Technology research also included systems compatibility for legacy software at dealers as well as integration with WeChat.
Overall, the team conducted over 50 interviews to gather requirements from loan professionals, auto sales professionals, loan back-office teams, and Guangzhou’s digital marketing and e-commerce divisions.
STAGE 5 : DEVELOPMENT / RESULTS
In the final stage, Preeti and her team developed the new Buyer Journey for year 1 and 2, a two-year functional roadmap to achieve the new Buyer Journey, and in-depth technical specifications and budgets were delivered.