Volvo brings a tune-up to its owners’ doorstep

A new app has benefits for drivers trying to stay healthy, but it's also the latest step in the automaker's digital strategy.

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Volvo Canada has a new convenient and safe way for owners to give their car a tune-up, the latest effort in a digital strategy geared to helping the automaker stay connected during every part of the buying and ownership journey.

???????????????????????????Volvo Valet is a new pick-up and drop-off service for vehicle maintenance. Volvo owners can contact a participating dealership through an app to schedule an appointment to have their car picked up at a convenient location – including at their own home – with a physically distanced handoff. The app then allows customers to see when their car has arrived at the Volvo servicing centre, and similar to ride-hailing apps, allows the customers to track where the driver is and when they’ll arrive.

Beyond the obvious pandemic health concern benefits, Tara Powadiuk, marketing director at Volvo Cars Canada, says the app is the latest step in Volvo’s long-term digital strategy, an investment which has been paying off by helping the brand understand consumers at a time when Canadians want greater control of how they engage with brands. It also gives the automaker a deeper presence throughout the digital purchase journey – keeping Volvo connected to buyers during consideration, purchasing and their next vehicle purchase.

Digital engagement tools have become especially important during the pandemic, such as the Volvo On-Call app, which enables drivers to contact a Volvo dealership with questions, and a revamped online purchasing platform which provides content to guide shoppers through the purchase decision, and also gives Volvo insights into models shoppers are browsing most often. The brand has also encouraged retailers to incorporate video when interacting with customers remotely, to better show the breadth of product.

While most automakers have been ramping up efforts to digitize over the last five years or so, Powadiuk says Volvo’s strategy is unique because it approaches it the same way it approaches building personal relationships with all Volvo owners.

“Volvo is a boutique brand in Canada, so our retailers pride themselves in knowing customers by name and our goal is to continue with this personal touch,” she says. “[Volvo owners] still want to have that connection, but that responsive, two-way communication can occur digitally.”

Safety is an established brand pillar for Volvo, and though the brand hasn’t typically thought about it in the context of a public health crisis, an important component of Volvo Valet is being able to connect with the brand safely.

“When we look at safety, we’ve obviously thought about the driver on the road, but now we’re thinking about all of their health and safety considerations,” Powadiuk says. “The Volvo Valet app gives us the opportunity to give that comfort and confidence that their vehicle is going to be cared for without compromising their health in any way.”

Several brands, particularly those targeting the same premium buyer as Volvo, have created similar “we come to you” services, using them to not just offer convenience, but a feeling of luxury service.

Volvo Canada will be promoting the app via paid social and search, and within its 36 dealerships across the country.