In this episode of the PAL Podcast, Jeremy Louisos talks with Elena Ciccotelli from Teleperformance. They chat about the connections and content at Used Car Week 2022.
Jeremy Louisos: Greetings, my name is Jeremy Louisos. I’m with Preowned Auto Logistics and we’re here with another episode of The PAL Podcast. We’re here at Used Car Week 2022 in San Diego. So far a really great event. Oh, and so we have a friend coming by, a special guest. A guest who needs no introduction.
Elena Ciccotelli: Oh stop.
Jeremy: I’ll allow her to introduce herself.
Elena: Yes, Elena.
Jeremy: Elena with her new gig and role at?
Elena: Yes, at Teleperformance. I probably should have put this out on a very large post-it note, but formally of Lyft of five and a half years running automotive partnerships, and now very happily with Teleperformance. I’m their Vice President of Business Development for the Automotive Practice.
Jeremy: Very exciting.
Elena: So very exciting and huge fan of Preowned Auto Logistics. I’m a huge fan of you guys, and I love what you do, and I love just everything about what you’re putting out there. So yes, happy to be here.
Jeremy: As we are of you, and I was joking with you earlier this conference that when you made that position switch, it was kind of the big news in our industry on LinkedIn. For real, your face came up everywhere. So in case you don’t know, Elena is one of the celebrities in our world.
Elena: No way. It was one of those things where… Actually I had a suggestion from a colleague and they were like, “Well, you know that you could do a job switch announcement on Automotive News, right?” I was like, “Oh, that’s a good idea.” And then all of a sudden I did the posting. I cleared it with Teleperformance, and yeah, I just posted it, and it was just this firestorm of activity that was completely unexpected, but I was like, “Oh man, feeling the love of the 15 seconds of fame there for a minute.”
Jeremy: You’ve earned that just for the record.
Elena: No, stop it. No, but in all seriousness, it was one of those things where you really have to think about, where do I want to take this automotive journey next? As you know, this industry is so large with so many different moving parts, and it’s like, where are the really interesting nooks and crannies where I can explore a little bit? That’s what got me excited about joining Teleperformance and turning the next chapter and seeing how it goes.
Jeremy: Well, congratulations. Now thinking about Used Car Week 2022 in San Diego. Lovely San Diego, beautiful day today.
Jeremy: What are you seeing out there?
Elena: The sessions and the content have been phenomenal. Cherokee Media always does an amazing job curating content, and actually, I spoke with Joe Overby this morning for my podcast that’s yet to be released in December, but I was just chatting with him about, what does it actually take to put something like Used Car Week or what does it actually take to pull off an event like this?
He’s like, “Look, everybody’s got their own individual jobs. We all working together as a team.” I was like, “But seriously, you guys do it really well.” They’re so organized. They’re so on top of things. Anyway, shout out to Cherokee Media. Again, another fantastic Used Car Week, but the content here is just, I think, my personal opinion is that it’s head and shoulders above what is happening in the industry. Just such good insights from a diverse cross section of the industry.
You have a panel talking about purchasing cars off the street, a PAL, fixed stops directors, so you have that, really heavy retail. And then there was actually an auto transport panel about transporting EVs. Every little facet of the industry life, I think it’s so cool because it is four days, and there’s specific tracks, and then we’ve got Navacon coming up tomorrow with all the investment, what’s going on with RANA and things of that nature, which is everyone’s holding their breath latest to see how that all goes. Anyway, I’m a huge fan of how they carefully select and curate, and I’m very appreciative of it because then I feel like I’m armed with the knowledge to go back to work and figure out, okay, where’s kind of my place in this very large ecosystem?
Jeremy: Coming to learn is a big theme. So we’re networking. Hopefully there’s some fun, but there’s so much to learn. There’s so many great conversations, so many speakers that just know vast amounts of very particular, incredibly interesting things that are, and you don’t maybe know going into it what you’re going to learn, but this is a topic that I, Hey man, I don’t know much about this one. Maybe. And you walk in and something will stick. And then if you do a few of those, a bunch of something sticks, and when you step back at the end of this thing and you’re listening, that’s going to help inform, I think, kind of the next steps we take on this Auto industry path.
Elena: Oh yeah, absolutely. There’s so much to take in and I feel like we’re at, and this might be beating the dead horse a little bit, but there’s so much disruption that’s happening now and for just everyone to see this rising tide. And also the other thing too, just to fan girl a little bit more on Cherokee Media, there’s all kinds of collaboration and partnerships that happen at Used Car Week that you just kind of don’t really typically find at other conferences. And I’m very much a fan of partnering and collaboration, and maybe if it’s not a traditional customer and vendor situation, but maybe it’s two vendors working together to form a partnership. And those conversations tend to happen here, right? Just because it’s almost, I feel like some of these, when you’re at a conference for this long, it gets to be business sleepaway camp. It’s like, where’s the bunk bed? I start to, okay, I will see you tomorrow morning. You will not see me in my pajamas, but we’re going up the same elevator, you know what I mean?
Jeremy: Yeah, everything but right from breakfast to dinner and drinks.
Elena: Exactly. And then it’s like, okay, well I’m going to see you in five hours, so get some sleep, and hopefully my eyes will not be bloodshot. But in all seriousness, that collaboration or that spirit of collaboration, even just now, the fact that you’re like, Hey, let’s do this episode that I’m very not prepared to do. But I was like, let’s just, let’s do it. That’s the spontaneity and the collaborative feel. You know? Can’t really just manufacture it in a virtual setting. You don’t get that, that people to people connection. So anyway, that was a lot of rambling.
Jeremy: No, not at all. And co-sign all that. So you need to have all the folks here. That’s not easy to do. Well done Cherokee. You need to have a healthy space for folks that are maybe fierce competitors to be comfortable to collaborate.
Elena: That’s another thing.
Jeremy: Well done. Well done Cherokee there again. And then it’s the execution. You’re well taken care of the whole time. There’s lots of interesting content. I mean, it all kind of comes together. So I don’t want to take too much of your time. I have someone else I’m going to bring up.
The final question, if I could, is for one of the things, kind in that spirit of listening and getting lots of information and learning, one of the effects that I’ve noticed at these kinds of shows is new thoughts for cause. You’re going to have this conversation and then you’re going to break off and that person’s going to talk to somebody, and that happens a thousand times over and something synthesizes out of that. So is there anything that’s bubbled up yet for you?
Elena: Yeah, I think in a lot of ways, customer experience, CX, customer journey, customer, whatever you want to call it, has been this recurring theme. I feel like throughout. And whether you’re talking about vehicle acquisition, you’re talking about transporting vehicles, it ends up being what is the conversation around CX and customer experience. And for me, that’s very exciting because that’s the business that I’m in, is customer experience and making those touchpoints happen.
And also too, when the panel I just moderated, we talked about beating the customer where they’re at. And so I had Lindsay from CarGurus shout out to Lindsay Ciavattone, who was on the panel with me this afternoon, but she was talking about there’s these other little on ramps and off ramps of the customer experience and meeting people where they need to be like, right? So you can’t make these broad based assumptions that they’re coming into the dealership to only do paperwork or they’re coming into the dealership to only do the test drive.
So it’s like, where’s the touch point? How are you integrating the technology that you’re using inside of the dealership? And then taking that and making sure that the customer is first is, I think we take for granted, especially in automotive, where people are like, it’s a significant purchase. I’m not going on Amazon to order headphones or a microphone for my podcast. It’s a significant investment. So I think meeting where, meeting the customer where they’re at, and making sure that that end-to-end experience is really addressed. And I think everybody is talking about it now, which makes my heart very happy and makes me shed a little baby tear.
Jeremy: Well, I love it. That’s a fantastic take. I’m glad that that’s a trend you’re seeing. It’s all about the customer at the end of the day, and then it’s how do you execute on those lessons that you learned. But that’s fantastic. Well, thank you so much for joining us today.
Elena: Thank you, Jeremy. You’re the best. Thank you for pulling me up here. Appreciate…
Jeremy: You. Course a great rest of your show.