By: Skott Schoonover, Strategy Analyst | 05/05/2021 |

As a strategist/consultant for most of my adult life, I’m constantly looking forward to what’s just over the horizon. I enjoy developing proactive solutions with multiple contingency plans that encompass any of the variables that may affect the project. Prognostication is an art, there is no magic formula that will give you the right answer every time. That’s what makes it fun to me, it’s like predicting the Butterfly Effect in a real-life version of Chaos Theory using historical data and predictor models.

When I think of the Next Era at Percepta, I think of proactively utilizing data to help dealers get customers’ vehicles back on the road sooner. I think of what the workplace will look like post-COVID. I think of how to keep people engaged in an increasingly distracting world. I think of how we can make the Customer Experience better by making the Employee Experience easier. I think about ways that we can teach and inform our customers so that they don’t have the need to contact us in the first place. I think of how we can take the data that a broken-down vehicle sends us and get that info to a dealership before the tow truck even arrives. I think about how service and replacement vehicles can be coordinated in a world of autonomous vehicles. I think about how people will purchase vehicles in the future as the marketplace becomes more virtual every day, and how we can make that experience easy, informative, and enjoyable for them. I think of virtual calls, where an Agent and a Customer are both looking at the customer’s vehicle in a virtual garage, so we have a full 360-degree view of exactly what is happening in real-time.

In short, to me, the Next Era includes next week, next month, next year, and even a decade from now.

I’m not usually big on inspirational quotes, but once in a great while I see one that really strikes me, like “Hard work = Good luck” or “Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the ax”. The other day I saw a Henry Ford quote in someone’s signature line.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

I think that’s where it all ties back together. The Next Era is our opportunity to give our customers what they don’t know they want yet. It’s easy to follow trends and buy into the latest, greatest thing. But it’s far more impactful to be an innovator. I feel that’s a large part of my role as a strategist. I need to have my finger on the pulse of emerging technologies, ever-changing customer expectations, and how different motivating forces are driving younger generations so we can keep employees engaged. And I need to use those pieces to create a revolutionary customer experience. I want us to look back in 20 years and laugh as we say, “If we had asked people what they wanted, they would have said shorter hold times.”