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Audi Direct Reception…Perception of technology, process and customers?

When it-connects were asked to work with Audi UK on the implementation of the Audi Direct Reception project, we relished the opportunity for various reasons, but mainly due to the innovation of the service offering, the people and the fact that we had the opportunity to work with the Audi Centre network to implement a Customer Service offering that offers Transparency, Trust and Reassurance for customers.

it-connects’ are now over half way through the implementation of the Audi Direct Reception project and the initial perception of DR was the time it would take the Service Advisor and Technician out of the business; approximately an hour with each customer, this concern was raised by the Service Advisors and the management team in the main. However after our involvement and working with the Centres coaching them how to deliver the experience using robust processes, these concerns were soon diminished once the benefits of DR were demonstrated and the Centre’s could see the potential to ‘up-sell’ labour and parts more easily due to the Transparency, Trust and Reassurance using DR and the time factor was greatly reduced without jeopardising the experience. As a result the Audi Centres are embracing the changes, but more importantly the enthusiasm, energy and forwarded thinking that has been experienced by theBigTeam has been very positive and encouraging.

So why Audi Direct Reception, well for years customers have the perception that the Automotive Industry is untrustworthy and seen to be ‘ripping’ them off (we use this express loosely here), whether it be; servicing, parts, tyre sales, used cars, etc,. Whilst the Industry has worked extremely hard to eliminate these perceptions they do still exist and customers don’t feel they are getting ‘value for money’ or a ‘first class’ customer service from the Industry as a whole.

We can all help to reduce and improve this perception via every touch point we have with customers. We are all very busy and/or perceive we have too much to do and so little time that we lose sight of the important things around us. So for one moment take a deep breath and look at the picture on the right…what do you see?

Some may say peace, tranquillity, others will see bluebells in the woods with the sun shining through and for others we take a moment and just appreciate the important elements of life itself, some may not have the time to look at a picture?! What we all see is something very different and that’s exactly what happens in our workplace each day. It’s also hard to believe that this picture was actually taken in the heart of Watford’s Whippendale Woods which is just inside the M25, not somewhere everyone would picture as idyllic!

I hear you say what has this got to do with the project we are delivering and what we do? With all the activity that goes on around us we can and do, on a daily basis lose sight what is right on our doorstep, and that goes for family, friends, colleagues and our customers. Yes colleagues and customers, we spend the majority of our daily lives with them and we can get caught in a vicious circle where we can judge what they want and need without actually asking them. The Audi DR service offering is not different, we judge which customers will be interested in Direct Reception and which customers will not or may not have the time – but the morale of the story is, we don’t know until we actually ask them, so unless we offer Direct Reception to customers how do we know they do or do not want to participate in the service offering?

Remember, Audi Direct Reception is about building Transparency, Trust and Reassurance and that means through the delivery of Audi DR and the Centre Network we enable the customer to actually view the Vehicle Health Check on their vehicle and clearly see any parts that require replacement for themselves, therefore providing a positive ‘experience’ for all, and enables the Centre to ‘up-sell’ any potential parts or labour that require remedial action.

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