Reevoo founder Richard Anson spoke at the Automotive Forum 2016 on March 9 alongside Marcus Hodgkinson, Managing Director of sophus3. Richard’s talk, ‘Value Creation through the Digital Journey’, centred around the changing landscape of trust and how it’s affected the consumer journey.

Here’s what Richard spoke about.

There has been a steady migration of trust felt by consumers – away from large businesses, the media and NGOs and towards ‘people like me’. The pull of the familiar can be put down to many factors – it really depends how in-depth and psychoanalytical you want to get. But shifts in trust are likely to be a result of how easy it now is to spread information, and how trustworthy those sources of information are thought to be.

72% of people believe in recommendations from friends and family. When you compare this with the steady decline in trust for businesses, the relevance of a new consumer-purchasing journey becomes even more obvious.

The power of a voice

‘Recommendations from people I know’ and ‘consumer opinions posted online’ are cited as two of the top three converters in purchasing behaviour. This has been steadily increasing for nearly a decade. Customers convincing other customers is nothing new, but there has never been a time when it’s easier to have your voice heard.

An endless supply of stimuli and research possibilities are out there, waiting to be tapped. - Highlight to share -

The consumer journey

In times past, consumers would make a three-stage journey:

Stage one: There would be a stimulus towards a product from advertising.

Stage two: The first moment of truth (FMOT) would come when customers were looking at that product in a shop.

Stage three: The second moment of truth would be the customer’s experience of owning the item.

Now, though, this journey has become far more complex:

Stage one: This still starts with a stimulus.

Stage two: The customer goes through a ‘zero moment of truth’ – the first reach for information.

Stage three: The first moment of truth is a consideration to purchase after some research. (Automotive shoppers, for example, consult an average of 18 data sources in their consumer journey.)

Stage four: The second moment of truth comes with ownership.

Stage five: The ultimate moment of truth comes with sharing the experience.

What should companies be doing?

Brands are now on a journey – learning new patterns of consumer behaviour, being more open with information, engaging across platforms and encouraging engagement from staff, consumers and influencers.

What this means to companies hoping to capitalise on this new journey:

They must be honest and transparent
Customers know you aren’t perfect. The brands that try to hide every single blemish end up completely losing trust.

Their efforts to engage people must be truly multi-channel
Forget how you ‘used to do it’, or how you’ve traditionally been organised internally to publish content – brands need to mould to their customers’ browsing habits.

Brand content and user-generated content must work in tandem
Authentic user generated content is the biggest influencer on the consumer, but it’s not all they want. They need your messages too.

A good example of a company throwing itself fully into this journey is Jardine Motors Group. Customer service is its key differential in the market; it is what makes Jardine stand out from the crowd. Jardine added service scores to its homepage and is using the feedback Reevoo collects in every aspect of its operation. Jardine also consistently engages with reviews – negative or positive – and embeds content on key pages and in sponsored ads to provide an SEO boost.

Read the Jardine Motors Group case study.

A lesson on the new consumer journey