Mercedes-Benz 2020 – Best Customer Experience
Mercedes-Benz has opened the first Mercedes me Store directly on the Hamburger Binnenalster. The city store at Ballindamm offers an interactive brand and product experience on an area of 550 square meters. At touch screens, configuration tools or in personal talks, customers and persons interested in the Mercedes‑Benz brand can inform themselves about the vehicles and all services. The brand experience is rounded off by a restaurant lounge and exhibition area for art exhibits, readings or concerts.
“City Stores are an integral component of our sales and marketing initiative Best Customer Experience launched in 2013,” explained Ola Källenius, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for Marketing and Sales at the opening. “With this initiative we are aligning our sales organization to changing customer wishes in an even more targeted fashion. In addition to our worldwide product offensive, Best Customer Experience is thus one of the supporting pillars of our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy.” Other inner city formats will also be opened as Mercedes me Stores by the end of the year. Until the end of the decade, the number of brand outlets of Mercedes-Benz in exclusive inner city locations is to be doubled from the current 20 locations.
Three months ago, Mercedes-Benz presented its new ‘Mercedes me’ brand at the Geneva Motor Show and thus ushered in a new era for automotive services. The new brand combines all elements of Best Customer Experience. Mercedes me offers comfortable access to existing and future services of the Stuttgart premium manufacturer – it is available at all times in virtual form on the digital platform www.mercedes.me and physically in the inner city Mercedes me Stores. The aim is to fascinate people with customized individual offers in their respective living environment – independently of whether they own a Mercedes or other vehicle, or no vehicle at all. With this, Mercedes-Benz is placing an even stronger focus on customers than before. Mercedes me is divided into five categories “move me,” “connect me,” “assist me,” “finance me” and “inspire me” and covers all product-relevant topics such as vehicle purchases, financing and service, as well as the internationally successful mobility services, car2go and moovel.
“With Mercedes me we have responded successfully to the changed customer wishes and demands. Customers and interested persons can contact us whenever and wherever they like,” continued Källenius. “Whether digitally or physically, we want to offer people a convincing and lasting brand experience.”
On an area of 550 square meters, the Mercedes me Store in Hamburg offers vehicle presentations, food catering, events, information and advice as well as digital interaction. The floor space is divided into three zones. The main area is the 350 square meter lounge and restaurant, room for the presentation of Mercedes-Benz models and a series of art and lifestyle events. The entire spatial concept is aimed at allowing maximum changeability and thus enables flexible usage through minor structural changes for fashion shows, readings, or concerts. As its choice caterer, Mercedes-Benz was able to win the food entrepreneur Kofler & Kompanie, which offers culinary specialties from Hamburg and the region.
The store is supplemented by a studio, where customers and interested persons can inform themselves about the Mercedes-Benz brand, its products and services. Another area is reserved for personal sales conversation in a private atmosphere. The overall Mercedes me Store offers a great number of digital design elements such as multi-touch screens, tablets and plasma screens.
Mercedes me Stores like the one in Hamburg are only one element of the differentiated customer contacts at Mercedes-Benz. The goal of the Best Customer Experience is to enable individual encounters with the customer – from the initial contact through advice and test drive to the purchase and after-sales service. To this end, the company is working with the multi-channel approach, which flexibly links a great number of different sales forms and thus supplements the offering of the classic Mercedes-Benz showrooms.
Hamburg is the first city in the world, in which Mercedes-Benz is offering all formats of its multi-channel sales in parallel. At the end of 2013, Mercedes-Benz was the first premium manufacturer to launch online sales of new vehicles in collaboration with the Hamburg branch. The response has been excellent: The platform has been visited by around 130,000 interested persons to date. It has been called up more than one million times. The agreed test drives additionally show that this sales channel reaches primarily young people in their mid-twenties, which comprise the target group itself. The pilot project was extended to include Warsaw in the beginning of the year. The mobile sales consultants, who are being deployed in the Hanseatic city and Warsaw since the end of 2013 are also new. They visit customers and interested persons at their homes, organize test drives and bring the respective vehicles to the desired locations. In future, product concierges will provide assistance for all detailed questions about the vehicle and its functions. Mercedes-Benz will introduce the new job profiles in worldwide retail in the next two years.
In addition to the stationary Mercedes me Store, in inner city areas Mercedes-Benz is also present with temporary formats such as pavilions or mobile pop-up stores. These limited-term offers enable a direct and uncomplicated access to the brand – in particular for people who have not previously had any contact with Mercedes-Benz. Thus, for example, many visitors at last year’s Mercedes-Benz presentation at the city neighbourhood festivals in Hamburg had their initial contact with the brand. Due to the positive response, the company will continue to expand these temporary offerings worldwide in the future. In the Hanseatic city, the pop-up stores have been on tour again in the form of sea containers since May. After last year’s success in Warsaw, the pavilion “Stacja Mercedes” will also reopen this summer. Starting from June 14, the 200 square meter pavilion will again provide Warsaw residents with a meeting place and stage for numerous events for 90 days. Last year, the pavilion attracted more than 20,000 visitors and Mercedes-Benz vehicles went for test drives 600 times.
The Mercedes me Store in Hamburg will be open for visitors starting from June 6. The official opening will be held on June 14. Mercedes-Benz will stage an exhibition of the Berlin art photographer Olaf Heine, who is known worldwide for his intricately staged photographic portraits of musicians, actors, writers, and athletes and has been working with the German national soccer team on regular basis since 2005.