Beth Mach, Chief Consumer Officer at TrueCar, shares how a new company mantra is uniting TrueCar employees and is the driver for developing an efficient end-to-end auto buying process that benefits both consumers and dealers alike.
This article is part of the July 2022 WARC Spotlight US series, “Consumers drive automotive toward change.” Read more
TrueCar launched 17 years ago and since then we have aimed to provide consumers with a resource to understand fair pricing for their auto purchases. At that time, a service such as this didn’t exist, and when launched was seen as a disruptor of the traditional way to buy a car. As part of this new consumer product, we also worked to establish strong relationships with dealers/dealerships by providing them with high-quality leads in an effort to drive revenue.
If you haven’t already noticed, the US automotive industry is working through some challenging times – a pandemic, chip shortages, longer than normal wait times for delivery, etc. We believe with all of these factors weighing in, we are at a place where the consumer, industry, and investors are looking for something more modern. A sophisticated platform meeting current shopper expectations of ease and transparency and one driving incremental business and efficiency for our dealer retail partners.
Against this backdrop, we are developing an end-to-end auto purchase experience, called TrueCar+, through which consumers will be able to discover the vehicle they want, build a deal meeting their needs, determine an affordable payment, complete financing, and paperwork and have the vehicle delivered, all from the convenience of their home online. This is our next chapter.
Going forward in this new era of online shopping expectations, we knew that this new business opportunity would require a mindset refresh of our teams and we saw a huge opportunity to recalibrate our internal force starting with an all-company employee-sourced naming challenge, where we renamed our workforce the “TrueCar Crew.” As part of this move to create team cohesion, we saw the heightened importance of deep product understanding, an overall belief in our mission, and how we should encourage our employees to be our biggest brand advocates. But the challenge was: how to accomplish this? and what would be the impact if we tried to?
Serendipitously, our CEO, Mike Darrow, launched a mantra to rally us and it struck the right chord at the right time – Understand, Believe, Preach (U,B,P). This message evoked excitement throughout the business creating an ability to drive better communication with each crew member understanding the plan and how their work contributes, reinforcing an unequivocal belief in achieving our goal of building the first two-sided automotive buying and selling marketplace for everyone to be able to speak to the business with a consistent voice. It has become an internal rallying cry – our ethos and our ability to share a common ground no matter your level or type of contribution to the organization.
Since bringing this mantra forward we have been working to build it into our organizational backbone, by developing a portfolio planning approach in order to drive clarity on the jobs to be done, and how we approach our marketing with creativity, confidence, consistency, and crew pride for our product.
From this refocus and point of motivation, we have found our marketing ideas to be more strategic, which helps shape our industry impact and drive new ideas to the forefront. Here are three ways this is starting to manifest for us.
Marketing’s benefit from our mantra – Understand, Believe, Preach
Increasing our CEO’s visibility in the market to position him as an industry thought leader was critical.
We addressed this opportunity by establishing new channels to engage with the CEO and created a proactive PR plan through earned media and industry outreach, netting a significant visibility gain (20%) and an increase in earned coverage in targeted outlets (15%). Additionally, our CEO has become more visible on social channels, growing followers and engagements by utilizing relevant posts about the industry and TrueCar’s mission to build a modern-day marketplace.
We have revamped our organic social approach to increase sharing and interaction with consumers. By utilizing a strategic boosting process, a new approach to creative with consumers, user-generated content, and developing data gathering posts, we have increased many key metrics, such as 3x increase in engagement on Facebook, the highest amount of interactions in our history on Twitter by being more present in 1 to 1 community conversations and brand interactions and seeing a continued climb of impressions on Instagram with compelling user-generated video content.
One of the recent initiatives – our Feature Face-Off series – creates easy interaction, promotes our product functionality, and helps us understand consumer preferences.
And finally, in our efforts to create a best-in-class “Contact Center”, we migrated to a leading full-service telephony system, for better efficiency, measurement, and growth. This expansion has increased, and amplified, our ability to effectively support consumers in diverse, consistent, and efficient ways. Additionally, by investing in our TrueCar Contact Center Crew and our technology, we are better positioned to thrive in a work-from-home environment and optimize operational efficiency while maximizing employee development. From this, we have seen increases in the resolution of consumer escalations by +5% MoM, reduced abandonment rates by 2%, and shortened our social care response time by 39.7%.
“TrueCar Plus is being powered by our employees. Mike and our leaders have done an outstanding job building a working environment of curiosity and open communications. U,B,P is a way for us to continue this mindset as we grow. Our employee's commitment to changing how people purchase cars has been energizing and a true testament to how U,B,P has been fueling our company" says Jill Angel, TrueCar’s Chief People Officer.
Going forward we will not underestimate the power of a common ground, or mantra, for a company to organize around, like U,B,P! This seemingly simple act has taken us from moving incrementally as individual teams to moving faster together as one, covering more ground in less time with greater learnings and results. From here, we continue the work to build a culture of clarity and transparency as well as establish how critical understanding, believing and preaching is for our TrueCar workforce.