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Customer Experience

How Volkswagen Group Australia is taking action on what matters with Qualtrics Experience Management

The most important lesson every leader needs to take from 2020 is that if you’re not taking action you’re getting left behind.

Across the globe we’ve seen businesses that moved to quickly optimize digital channels deliver record revenue; employers that prioritized the health and well-being of their workforce were rewarded with increased engagement, and brands able to understand shifting consumer behaviors optimized their offerings for changing preferences and market dynamics.

Taking fast, meaningful action with Experience Management (XM) to deliver improved experiences is key - pandemic or no pandemic. And one of the best examples of this globally is Volkswagen Group Australia.

Volkswagen Australia is obsessed about making life easier for customers, so it is no surprise customer insights are at the heart of every action Volkswagen takes. It was these insights that inspired the company to start developing an ecommerce strategy in 2019 - something that was quickly accelerated when Australia went into lockdown at the beginning of 2020.

If you think people would not want to buy a car online, think again.

Since launching its online store in April, Volkswagen has sold 460 cars through the platform and over 550 customers have purchased a pre-paid service package, a total sales value of $36million. The company’s involvement in May’s Click Frenzy saw its offers viewed by more than 100,000 people, while traffic to Volkswagen’s website has risen by 18% year on year.

By using customer insights to move the business forward, Volkswagen is achieving incredible results - made even more impressive when set in the context of 2020.

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Accelerate to WOW

Volkswagen has long recognized the value of experience, and partnered with Qualtrics to develop its XM Program Accelerate to WOW. For the first time ever, this gave Volkswagen the ability to collect and analyze customer insights in real-time through a single platform, and with each of its 100+ dealerships enabled with customizable dashboards they are able to identify and take action on what matters most to their customers.

“When I joined Volkswagen in 2016 the most important indicators of performance were trending in the wrong direction - brand loyalty and advocacy were down, employee turnover was rising, and customer satisfaction ranked lowest against all automotive brands in Australia. All of this was costing us money, and if we did not take action we knew our market position was under threat. Something needed to change, so we turned to Qualtrics,” explained Jason Bradshaw, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer at Volkswagen Group Australia.

With the Qualtrics XM Platform in place, Volkswagen’s Accelerate to WOW program brought the voice of the customer to the forefront of the business. Through the feedback and insights collected, every employee - call center agents to team managers and sales reps - knows in the moment exactly what customers need and how the company’s experience is meeting expectations.

“Using experience data captured by Qualtrics, Volkswagen has a constant pulse on what customers are saying and how they feel. This allows us to quickly understand our end-to-end customer experience from a single platform - across our digital channels right down to post-sales support. In-depth insights enable us to identify areas for improvement, take action to optimize engagements, and ensure any issues are quickly followed up on and resolved. Similarly, feedback is used to identify areas where individuals and teams can improve their own skills to directly improve the experience for customers,” said Bradshaw.

Harnessing the predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities of the Qualtrics XM Platform also allows Volkswagen to take proactive action and prevent poor experiences from happening at all.

Linking brand and customer experience

At the beginning of 2020, Volkswagen took its XM Program to the next level when it started tracking its brand experience through the platform. It was a move designed to help Volkswagen understand how the improvements to customer experience impacted the brand, such as how key moments in the customer journey impact perception.

Our brand tracker monitors changes to customer sentiment, perceptions, and behavior towards the Volkswagen brand. This information, coupled with a deeper understanding of the customer gathered through feedback means Volkswagen knows exactly what we need to stop, start, and continue doing to improve the customer experience,” said Bradshaw.

The business value of XM

Four years on from starting its XM journey with Qualtrics, Volkswagen is reaping the rewards for its efforts.

The company’s commitment to an improved customer experience has helped increase the company’s NPS by 5x, while its contact center satisfaction has tripled to more than 90%. Volkswagen also reclaimed top spot for brand loyalty in the automotive industry. Through better supporting and enabling its dealers employee turnover has reduced by 80%, while dealers that actively engage in the XM Program achieve double the profit compared to the network average. And to top it off, simplifying its experience management programs with the single Qualtrics platform is delivering significant cost savings at Volkswagen.

“XM is fundamental to Volkswagen, equipping us with trusted insights to successfully navigate rapidly changing situations by meeting customers on their terms. With Qualtrics we can continually reinforce the link between every experience, which is critical as we continue to evolve and expand our offerings in the future,” said Bradshaw.

Experience impacts every core pillar of business - customer, employee, product, and brand - and will be more important than ever in 2021, as shown by its inclusion in Gartner’s and Forrester’s predictions for 2021. In fact, Gartner expects organizations that link every business experience will outperform competitors across key satisfaction metrics over the next three years.

This is clear to see at Volkswagen. By betting on XM, Volkswagen has continued to deliver significant results back to the business in a considerably short time frame - this includes before the pandemic, during it, as well as positioning the company for success in the future too.

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