T-Systems South Africa has announced the local availability of its new Customer Experience Management Automotive (CEM Automotive) solution, launched in Germany in March 2015.
Delivered jointly by Deutsche Telekom and Salesforce.com, the cloud-based solution is a digital and mobile platform that connects all relevant stakeholders within the automotive industry, from manufacturers to vendors, dealers and ultimately the customer.
The system comprises several modular components, delivered via a web portal and mobile app, which helps automotive dealers to deliver an enhanced customer experience, improved efficiency, better customer retention and an important competitive edge.
“South Africa has a thriving and highly competitive automotive industry, and improving the customer experience is essential in driving greater sales and profitability,” says Michael Frans, head of business operations: automotive at T-Systems South Africa. “T-Systems understands the worldwide need to retain customers in the franchise dealer service departments beyond the factory warranty period, and locally we see similar trends.
“Studies and surveys have shown that the key to improving this level of churn is to improve customer contact and utilise modern communication channels. It is also important to involve the customer more closely in the servicing process and service reception. Since smartphone usage is seeing exceptional growth in our market, a mobile app is the ideal platform for dealers to engage with their customers on an ongoing basis.”
Transparency is vital to the success of the car dealer in all aspects of customer management, in order to make the customers feel that they are valued. CEM Automotive provides all necessary sales and aftersales processes delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS) from the secure, PoPI-compliant T-Systems cloud. The solution provides mobile and interactive user, vehicle and location-based services through several modular components.
Customer Relations Management (CRM) Automotive is the basic component of CEM Automotive. It integrates systematic configuration and continuous administration of customer relationships though tools including address management, task administration and calendar, and the generation of vehicle information.
This service creates an interactive showroom for customers, even when the dealership itself is closed. Using a mobile app, customers can download vehicle information, pictures and videos, obtain further information on financing and leasing or schedule a test drive directly from their smartphones. I-beacons are sensors that can easily be placed in or near vehicles, which can help to further enhance the customer experience by transmitting information directly to the customer’s smartphone such as vehicle specifications and pricing.
“Dealers receive transparent and personalised information about visitors to the showroom, and can create opportunities for interaction and information exchange even outside of the showroom’s opening hours. Armed with this information, they can evaluate a client responses and initiate targeted follow up actions. Customers can be presented with personalised offers depending on their preferences, delivering a vastly improved customer experience,” says Frans.
The Service Check module digitises the entire check in procedure, removing the need for manual, paper-based processes. Using a tablet PC, service consultants can complete checklists and simultaneously record existing damage with the tablet’s camera for maximum accuracy. Since all information is captured digitally, it is more secure and efficient, and allows customers to engage interactively in the service process.
“This module is particularly important given the growing requirement to protect customers’ personal information. Having paper based documentation ‘floating’ between the service check in to the actual area where the vehicle is serviced introduces potential risk for confidential information to be leaked, and is also inefficient. Risk is removed by making this entire process digital. Furthermore, efficiency is improved, and PoPI compliance is made far simpler,” says Frans.
Service Tracking ensures that the precise location of a vehicle is known at all times. Both customer vehicles in the service process and vehicles that are part of a dealer’s pool on the premises can be easily traced. Dealers are also able to view the current status and service stage of the vehicle at any time. Customers can be informed directly when the vehicle is ready for collection or delivery.
“CEM Automotive ensures maximum transparency for dealers during the service process, enhances the service process, improves lead generation, and saves time. All data is transferred directly to the dealer’s management system, and can be communicated to the customer via the mobile phone application, which not only improves efficiency; it also protects information to a greater degree than traditional paper-based practices. As a brand-independent solution, CEM Automotive can easily be integrated into existing dealer management solutions, providing an interactive experience that incorporates all relevant stakeholders in the automotive environment,” Frans concludes.
CEM Automotive is available immediately from T-Systems.