Customer Impact Program
March 17, 2022. What are the needs of our customers and how can we contribute to solve these needs? This exact question is always the start of all innovation at Audi. Customer-centricity is deeply rooted in our Audi DNA. With our colleagues at the AIR Office, we managed to get a direct connection to our local Chinese customers and to collect their authentic feedback on our current and future products and services.
With the Customer Impact Program, we try to deepen our understanding for cultural differences and demands and establish a dialog format to foster exchange and learning. On March 17, we continued our workshop series with an open discussion about - and especially with female Chinese premium customers to hear their voices and opinions on marketing trends and cultural transformation in their country. Together with two Audi top-management participants, Stefan Poetzl (Head of Sales and Marketing) and Lothar Korn (Senior director of Marketing and Brand Management), six local female customers openly spoke about topics like lifestyle, car purchase and usage as well as expectations towards future mobility trends.
To fully understand the needs and demands of a certain customer group, it is essential to listen to real stories about traditions and cultural transformation. The customer group Heroine (female, 28 - 40 yrs. Chinese) grow up under quite unique conditions. Rapid sociocultural changes and access for woman to higher education let to growing confidence leaving a big gap of acceptance between a very strong conservative society and modern Chinese woman.
“As a woman, there are always many expectations from people around you. I used to try my best to make others happy and hide my true feelings.” Said Ms. Fuming Jin, 36, director of a training school. Stefan Poetzl highly acknowledged the open words of the attendees and got involved in a deep discussion about similarities and differences between cultures, traditions and lifestyles. During this discussion we received some very precious insights about the needs and wishes of this specific customer group.
That’s what our Chinese female customer demand in the way, we advertise our products. They persist that advertising should not indicate flatteries for any gender, and products should meet the real-life needs of users, instead of gender-biased ones. In addition, celebrity in the ads won’t be a key factor in purchase decision. Important are other things like a good brand reputation and the quality of the product. Decisions are made rather on the first look than on the second, so the product and the service must convince on the first glimpse. This also counts for the car delivery. It is important to take the time to build up trust and worship right at the beginning to set the ground for a long-lasting brand bond.
Experiencing Audi must be all the way unique! This counts for an adapted, more youthful brand image as well as for future fully electric models. Powerful emotions, a sharp and unique identity and state of the art connectivity are essential for the acceptance of our electric cars in this customer group. They expect a larger and more flexible interior space with various functions to meet individual and family needs, such as swiveling the seats to look after children. A convenient charging experience and an excellent after-sales-service were also mentioned as high priority.
AIR & Customer Impact Program
AIR generally conducts various large-scale research projects to support business decisions with deep insights out of our biggest market. Now in a fast-changing society in China, AIR is developing more direct and agile methodologies to generate fast and authentic insights. Therefore, the Customer Impact Program was launched early 2020 and got continued this year. “Workshops are more convincing than reports as they provide a closer connection with our customers, let us understand their opinions and the reason behind.” said Stephan Poetzl after the latest Workshop.
The Customer Impact Program serves as a bridge between local Chinese Audi customers and the Audi management. The goal is to deepen the understanding of the main target groups, developing a direct communication channel and gathering inspiration from key opinion customers.