Kirk Preiser is the Director of Retail Buying Experience at Audi of America.
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Kyle Mountsier: 0:00This is In the Dirt with ASOTU. Right I'm here with Kirk Preiser of Audi of America standing at the JD Power Auto Summit, where you just came off a keynote panel with a few new friends, how's the day been going and just kind of the general vibe,
Kirk Preiser: 0:17
It's awesome. It's awesome. There's so much energy in the room, it's great to have this platform to really be talking about these important issues to the industry. And it's a good mix. So we've got vendors here, we've got dealers here, we've got OEM people here. And so I'm super excited about the rest of the day, but just the fact that this particular topic is getting so much attention. And you've got all these people together trying to figure out how to solve the problem work together. It's been it's been a good day.
Kyle Mountsier: 0:41
Yeah, the general conversation throughout the day and especially with your panel has been modern retailing and how to connect retail to consumers that have been through kind of some ups and downs and dealers through ups and downs and trying to level set what the trajectory forward. And from an OEM perspective, what does that really look like to tie in a modern retail experience between the OEM level and the dealer and making sure that not just the technology, but the process and the communication between OEM dealer and consumer is consistent,
Kirk Preiser: 1:10
Ya no, a couple of different things. So one at Audi, we believe that the Dealers need to have some individuality. So what we're really trying to create is kind of two parallel purchase paths for the consumer. And so on our tier one website, we expect that we're going to be able to control the purchase experience, we're going to brand it the way we want to brand, and it's going to look and feel Audi the way we want to do it, but at the same time, the Dealer wants to brand their own purchase experience at the tier three level. So what we're really trying to create is this, this dual path, where a consumer will pick whichever one they're most comfortable with. So if they prefer the Audi branded experience, they will go to tier one, and they will start the purchase experience on tier one with a Dealer's vehicle at the Dealers price with the Dealers rate markup, and all the Dealers stock fees, etc. Or if they prefer the Dealers tier three experience, they can go in that direction. So we really want to give the consumer the the, you know, the ability to go in whatever way that they want to purchase the vehicle.
Kyle Mountsier: 2:08
So what it sounds like, to me is like almost a fourth layer of omni channel, right? We've talked about kind of the three layers of omni channel being one online one a mix, and then one all in person, but there's this like, additional online that maybe you're considering as an OEM recognizing that there are there are multiple ways to get into that ecosystem, both from the OEM and the dealer. Yeah. Tell me a little bit about, like, what the what the what the challenges have been, especially from a data perspective, moving moving in that direction, like continuing to sink and, and, and build the data so that the customer can get the same great experience?
Kirk Preiser: 2:44
Yeah, well, I mean, I think all the JD Power SSI data shows that this is what consumers want, they want to be able to start their purchase journey online, mostly because it saves time. And it also empowers them to be able to do stuff on their own. So we have to, we have to connect those two. But it all comes down to the processes at the Dealership. It's not just the technology. And so so many times, we just want to set it forget it, put this technology on our website, and think that that's going to solve the problem. But unfortunately, if we don't have the proper processes and people behind it, you can actually make the consumer experience worse in our mind. All right. So back in the day, when all Dealers had was a website, you put your inventory on the website about the worst mistake that you could make is having a customer come into your dealership and that car sold, right, that's about the worst thing that you could do. Nowadays, they're going to spend 20 or 30 minutes on your website, potentially calculating their perfect payment with $1,500 down coming to a payment of $649 a month. And then when they engage with your store, if you don't give them that exact payment, then you've automatically lost trust from the very beginning. So we have to put these processes in the in the back end to support the technology to really make the consumer experience better all the way around.
Kyle Mountsier: 3:59
That's a ton of thought. And I love that it starts with people and process and technology building on top. Kirk, thanks so much for hanging out with us. And thanks for your insights into this great industry.
Kirk Preiser: 4:08
Of course. Thanks for having me. It's good to be here.
Kyle Mountsier: 4:11
Thank you for listening to In the Dirt with ASOTU. We love the automotive industry and the people who make it run day in and day out. We would love to connect with you more through our daily dose of fun, a free email that you can sign up for at ASOTU.com That's a s o t u.com. We put our heart and soul into it every day. Thanks again for listening. Join us next time for more Conversations in the dirt with ASOTU.