Knowledge automation for a smooth customer journey
While you can’t drive a car in the digital world (unless it’s with a joystick), digital spaces are increasingly important for automotive sales and customer service. According to a survey by Autotrader, customers shopping for a vehicle take on average 14.44 hours to research models, choose and complete their purchase. 59% of that time – almost two thirds - is spent online. Many customers decide on the model they want before even entering a showroom. In 2019, 9% of vehicle purchases were completed entirely online, a proportion that is growing. Mobile is also an important platform, used in almost a quarter of customer journeys.
As well as for sales, digital channels are crucial for automotive aftersales care. Aftersales purchases are typically prompted by something going wrong; a customer who makes one is likely to feel stressed already, and needs a smooth ride to resolving their problem. Today’s customers expect a seamless omnichannel experience when contacting a manufacturer or dealer. They expect responses of equivalent quality whether they make contact through web self-service, through the contact centre, or on social media. They don’t want to receive conflicting answers or to have to repeat information that’s already been given.
While most industries face the challenge of providing a joined-up customer experience, the quality of service is especially important for automotive businesses. Automotive sales are high value. A vehicle might be the most expensive thing some people ever buy. It’s a purchase that represents substantial investment in cash, research, and emotional energy. Customers expect service to be commensurate with their outlay. Since the supply chain is often fragmented, with manufacturer, sales team and aftercare based in different locations, creating a smooth customer experience can be a challenge and requires a global strategy.
Vehicle sales involve highly technical information. Some of this information changes regularly, as technology advances and new models come on the market. Before purchase, customers want to ask about specifications and customizations. After purchase, they need to ask about maintenance. Customers won’t lay out large sums on a purchase if they can’t get precise information. Agents and salespeople need accurate answers ready to hand, and need to stay on top of model releases and developments in the industry.
Knowledge automation: a single source of truth
By implementing an automated knowledge solution, such as Transversal’s Prescience™, companies can store their product and service knowledge in a centralized knowledgebase that serves all customer and agent touchpoints. This means knowledge can be curated in one place by subject matter experts and distributed across the business, providing accurate answers whenever customers ask a question.
While knowledge management has long been of interest in the automotive industry, its more traditional form comprised dense technical documents aimed at the manufacturing supply chain. Modern knowledge automation can encompass a range of material, from those same technical documents to bite-sized answers, automatically filtered for the appropriate readership.
Centralized knowledge provides a single source of truth across the enterprise. When customers use self-service to research their purchases or handle aftersales issues, the system delivers accurate, up-to-date knowledge quickly and intuitively. If the customer submits an enquiry to a team member, the team member has access to the knowledgebase through their CRM, chat or social media interface; they can view information restricted to internal use as well as the content available through customer self-service. When a salesperson needs to look up a technical question before closing a sale, they can consult the knowledgebase through a terminal in the showroom or a tablet device.
BMW: premium knowledge
BMW, which includes the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, is one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers. It operates across more than 140 countries and its contact centre receives four million enquiries every year. As a premium brand, BMW seeks to provide a customer service experience that befits the value and reputation of its vehicles.
BMW implemented Transversal’s Prescience to transform how it served knowledge. Its solution, named “Online Genius”, uses a central knowledgebase to support three key customer touchpoints: customer self-service, contact centre, and car showroom. The solution was first rolled out to the 250 agents in BMW’s contact centre. It was subsequently extended to cover customer-facing touchpoints for the company’s brands.
Because the Prescience knowledgebase can be rolled out to additional touchpoints without additional investment, it could further be extended to new channels such as BMW’s recently-implemented Alexa skill. This ensures the knowledge solution is future proof.
One of BMW’s goals was to make its knowledge “customer centric”, not “document centric”: to curate knowledge according to users’ real needs and publish it in a form that was effortless to absorb. By creating a joined-up knowledge solution, the enterprise furthered its broader aim of delivering an exceptional customer experience.
The automotive sector prides itself on efficiency and innovation. Efficiency in speed, efficiency in fuel; innovation in technology, innovation in comfort, innovation in safety. By implementing a system to deliver knowledge more efficiently, more accurately and with less effort, you give customers who contact you an experience of the same quality as when they drive with you.
Practical efficiencies experienced by Transversal clients include up to 50% reduction in agent training times, a first call resolution rate of 98%, and a 20% rise in customer satisfaction ratings (CSAT). To experience these benefits in your own enterprise, contact us for a demonstration.
View the Automotive infographic to discover how knowledge enables exceptional customer service for premium brands in the automotive industry.