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3 questions for... Sebastian Wedemeyer, Managing Director of Reifen Fricke GmbH

20-Jan-2020

3 questions for... Sebastian Wedemeyer, Managing Director of Reifen Fricke GmbH

In general, what are typical challenges for medium-sized businesses concerning in terms of digital transformation?

The digital transformation in companies affects almost every area, ranging from developing new digital products or introducing new digital service tools for customer service. And, of course, there are internal processes and procedures that can be optimised by digitisation. In most cases, however, it’s all about convincing customers of new solutions while taking one’s own employees on board the digital journey. Both will only comply if they understand the benefits digital transformation has to offer them. For me, digitisation has to create added value in our company in order to make sense. This can include optimised processes or better performance for our customers, but can also take the form of employee marketing.

When it comes to online tire buyers, what do you think are good strategies and what role does customer loyalty play in your opinion?

The way I see it, we have a very central advantage in our trade - and that is our service. On the one hand, it is difficult to do by yourself and can also not be provided by just anybody – quite the contrary. On the other hand, our service has also become considerably more complex in recent years, e.g. due to tyre pressure monitoring systems. Therefore every customer contact is a new opportunity for business for us, even if the customer has bought his tyres online. Our task is to provide such great service that, in an ideal world, the customers contacts us straight away next time he wants to make a purchase.

Do you think there are completely different strategies that should be considered?

Our strategy: service and quality – no compromises. The focus is on the customer and we take care of his needs. I know this might not sound revolutionary, and many in the industry will think that this is an old hat. But for me, this really is the key to success in an increasingly digitized business world. Customers are no longer used to being helped personally and individually. If we manage to solve our customers’ problems, for example by ensuring for their mobility during repair work on their own vehicle, we provide service and appreciation – and that’s what it’s all about.

Digitalisation is changing customer behaviour and thus the expectations placed on companies across all industries. How well is the tire trade prepared for this? Does it already have the necessary digital tools and qualified personnel at hand? Have trends such as RFID and autonomous driving already arrived in the tire trade?

Find out in our international research!

#TIRERESEARCH