Malta’s love affair with motor vehicles is hard to deny. Indeed, according to figures published by the National Statistics Office, the number of licensed cars on the road reached 422,476 – almost one for every person living on the island – as of September 2022. Of these, 74.9 per cent are passenger cars. Yet, as the world moves into more tenable ways of living, in the context of rising costs and climate change, the role of the automotive sector is being recalibrated – and that, according to Gianluca Busuttil, Marketing Executive at Muscats Motors, also requires new ways of communicating with clients to ensure their needs are met, in a changeable world.
Central to this philosophy, Mr Busuttil asserts, is a move towards further digitisation of the operational chain. “We’ve been making big leaps to ensure that we are ahead of the curve with our latest innovations in the automotive industry. Last year, we launched our new website which makes it easier for customers to find their desired vehicle. Our website is responsive and mobile-friendly; it automatically detects the device that the customer is using, displaying it appropriately, for the best viewing experience,” he says.
Elaborating, Mr Busuttil explains that, in addition to creating a digital space through which customers can discover the distributor’s myriad heritage brands – such as MINI, Jaguar, Land Rover and BMW – the platform also allows customers to book test drives and car services, and to request parts. “We’re excited about bringing our customers into the digital age with us. With this investment and the current digitisation plan, we aim to be ahead of the curve and stay relevant in today’s automotive market,” he says.
Muscats Motors are “always on the lookout for ways to improve our customer service; so, when we set out to innovate and create more streamlined processes, we knew digitisation was going to be a big part of that. As we began brainstorming what that would look like, one thing became clear: we needed a way for customers to communicate with us from their homes, on their own schedule,” he recalls, adding that the new site has become an extension of the company’s systems. “It isn’t just a nice-to-have tool; rather, it’s been integrated into our company’s overall goal to make sure that customers are more involved in all of our processes and that these are as transparent as possible.”
The design of the site took three months to complete. “The process started by assessing our old website. It had limited functionality and the design was outdated,” Mr Busuttil explains. To progress with the project, the team at Muscats Motors held meetings with website development agency, NIU. “They explained what the current trends are and what would work best for us moving forward. We outlined our needs and wants, and made sure that the new website, in its foundational design, met all these requirements.”
Mr Busuttil has nothing but praise for the team at NIU: “the process from inception to completion of the website was very smooth and there were no issues at all. The entire team was very professional, and communication was great. We were updated regularly on how the development of the website was progressing and they were always happy to answer any questions we had,” he says.
In the design of the site, several considerations were taken into account. “Firstly, we wanted it to be functional. The website is going to be used by a lot of people from different departments and with different digital competences, so we wanted it to be easy to use. In this way, no matter who is using it, they can find what they need quickly and easily,” Mr Busuttil asserts.
The company also wanted their platform to be easily editable by the team at Muscats Motors. In other words, foreseeing the need to make changes, due to the large number of brands, products and services on offer, the site’s capabilities needed to be accessible to the team. “We needed it to be updated with new content, constantly. We didn’t want it to be a burden on our staff members – which it would have been had it been difficult to edit – and we didn’t want there to be any barriers in terms of making content available on the website.” This would allow the site to be continually refreshed: “This is especially important with news stories and product launches. We want people who visit our site on a regular basis to see new content.”
The overall concept of the platform also had to be clientcentric, he continues. “The customer journey was an important factor in the design of the website, as well as ensuring that we had a clear goal for each page on the site, that is to convert a visitor into a contact or a customer. We also wanted to create interest funnels on every page, directing our visitors towards contact pages and sign-up boxes. To achieve this stylish look while still being functional, we went with a modern, minimalistic approach,” he says. Functionality was also key, and, thus, the site was designed to ensure SEO prioritisation.
Throughout the process, the biggest challenge for the designers, Mr Busuttil states, was to ensure consistency in image, and to “align all the brand content into one uniform template. We wanted each company in our portfolio to be represented as a cohesive unit with its own identity, but to also achieve a high degree of consistency throughout the website. Thankfully, NIU has been working with us from day one and delivered a very well-executed project that functions as a unified body of work,” he explains.
Today, the site is up-and-running, and the company has seen the investment poured into the project pay dividends. “We have seen many advantages. We’ve been able to offer more information about the products and services that we offer, and we have also improved our ranking on Google so people can now find us more easily. We can also update it internally, making it easier for us to manage our own content and images. It’s been easy to use, reliable and secure,” he says. The platform has also been able to help the team track the efficiency of marketing campaigns launched, with the team able to determine which techniques have been the most effective at client attraction and retention. “This is especially useful when it comes to our social media activity, as we are able to assess whether our posts are working or not,” he says.
One of the key benefits has been the streamlining of the company’s customer relationship. “We are able to offer a more professional service to our customers. It’s easy for them to navigate around and find what they are looking for quickly. This has given rise to an increase in sales because customers are able to find us easily online whenever they search for the products or services we offer,” he attests.
This forward-thinking approach will continue to be vital for a firm like Muscats Motors, as customers increasingly seek innovative solutions to transportation on the island. Indeed, as the brands continue to evolve – in response to changing market needs and global challenges – the ability to communicate firmly and efficiently with customers will ensure that appropriate solutions are being offered, as we head into a new era for the automotive industry.
This feature was first carried in the Business Now Winter 2022/2023 edition. Business Now magazine is the sister brand to BusinessNow.mt, both produced by Content House Group
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