News - Auto News

Customer-centric approach set Tesla apart


I was very sorry to read "Tesla's delivery team gutted in recent job cuts" (, Feb. 10). It is one of the things that truly set the company apart and why I have worked diligently for years to get the conventional auto industry to adopt what I learned buying my Tesla.

Until 2016, we drove a beautiful dark blue Jaguar XJ8 that was 18 years old, so we decided to take the plunge and buy a new car.

Like 90 percent of consumers, I spent countless hours researching vehicles online. In addition to our Web research, we spent eight hours in local dealerships of five luxury manufacturers. Funny, you would think that one of the salespeople we met with, and in some cases took test drives with, would have called or emailed us to follow up. Sadly, none did.

We had come very close to buying a conventional luxury vehicle when my husband suggested we test drive a Tesla.

From our first visit to the Tesla website, our car-buying experience felt different. It was empowering and a testament to the power of a digitally driven omnichannel experience.

It really has nothing to do with Tesla's direct-to-the-consumer sales model. It has everything to do with the company's skill at developing a customer-centric experience.

Traditional automakers and dealers must work together to develop a personal and unique relationship with a customer. The technology is available to do it.

PAULA TOMPKINS, CEO ChannelNet Sausalito, Calif. ChannelNet provides digital customer retention products for auto brands, captives and dealers.

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