AMAG on the road with BSI CRM
One company gets Switzerland moving: As the exclusive Swiss importer of the popular Volkswagen Group brands VW, ŠKODA, Audi, and SEAT as well as VW utility vehicles, AMAG has been making car enthusiasts’ hearts beat faster since 1945. In order to know the customers and their mobility needs, AMAG systematically records customer relationship knowledge with BSI CRM. The goal: A happy experience for the customer, efficient market development, and more revenue accompanied by lower costs.
Confessions of a “car guy”: Bernhard Soltermann is Managing Director of AMAG Import. This is an absolute dream job – after all, the VW Group brands are hugely popular in Switzerland. At AMAG, the focus of attention is always on people. Convincing with quality and customer care are important AMAG values. The 360-degree view of the customer plays a decisive role in all this: “With the rapidly changing environment, our clientele is also changing with everincreasing speed. Customers expect their needs to be satisfied quickly and with personalized solutions. This is why we not only need to know our clients, we also need to know what their mobility needs are, now and in the future. We can accomplish this only when we systematically record customer relationship knowledge and draw the right conclusions from this for our clients”, states the head of AMAG Import.
A big challenge, since up to that point no universal, coordinated customer handling had existed. Instead, various associates would service customers via different channels, sometimes even at the same time. “That is typical for the industry, but it needs to be changed. Right now, the brands and dealers only have a little bit of information about the true purchasing potential of their customers. This is why the brands are currently unable to actively adapt their product portfolios to customer potential early on. Additionally, AMAG’s IT system landscape is extremely fragmented and poorly integrated, which makes systematic and sustainable customer relations impossible in many cases. We are convinced that with coordinated and more efficient market development, we will be able to generate more revenue accompanied by lower costs”, says the industry expert.
“Our corporate culture matches the chamistry. It is quite clear that BSI loves to build software for its clients!"
Jörg Stebler, director of CRM/Projects at AMAG
Jörg Stebler is the director of CRM/Projects at AMAG and was entrusted with the major forward-looking CRM project three years ago. “The disjointed data records made it impossible to deduce any meaningful key figures, to create efficient processes, or to provide proactive customer care. In the end, this all led to the decision to lay the foundation for sustainable customer care with a standardized CRM solution.”
After an intense evaluation phase, AMAG decided in favor of BSI as its CRM partner. “Compared to other providers, BSI exemplifies genuine CRM, meeting all of our needs and demands. And the tool is simple to use. Furthermore, BSI has shown a willingness to continue to develop individual areas with AMAG”, states Bernhard Soltermann. Continuing, Jörg Stebler adds: “The high quality of the results delivered during the proposal process and the price, both in procurement as well as in maintenance and support, were important criteria for us. The good fit of the corporate culture and the chemistry between the partners were the final factors in the decision to award the project. It is quite clear that BSI loves to build software for its clients!” says Jörg Stebler. He adds: “In particular, the people at BSI were able to show that they understood our key challenges in the automotive environment. The close proximity of the BSI team at the Baden location allows for easy communication and collaboration with the developers. What I especially appreciate about collaborating with BSI is the strong customer orientation and the practicable, solution-oriented implementation in BSI CRM.”
Implementation in three stages
Jörg Stebler has pursued a three-stage strategy for the launch: In stage 1, AMAG focused on business with corporate customers. In stage 2, AMAG concentrated on replacing the outside sales force tools for the staff members in Sales and After Sales. The recently started stage 3 is concerned mainly with the customer care process as a whole and how this is related to vehicle sales by AMAG partners to their customers and the closely associated management of customer information. Over the next 18 months, the “business-to-consumer” stage will replace the various decentralized legacy sales and information systems. This will have a large impact on the organization, since some 2,000 people, above all salespeople and management staff, will be affected. A big change for AMAG, reports Jörg Stebler: “The new IT application is the smallest problem we are facing here. The biggest challenge lies in the change in procedures used by all of the people involved. A change project that will prepare for and anchor the change both at the employee as well as the management level has been set in motion in order to prepare the organization for the new demands of systematic customer care.”
Benefits for employees and customers
Even in the short time since the launch of BSI CRM, AMAG has already been able to generate benefits: “With regard to fleets, we are now able to work together efficiently across disciplines, meaning between the importer and the individual partners. This has resulted in considerable improvement in the quality of customer care for fleet customers. For the outside sales staff, the visitation report has been simplified and management reporting has been converted from paper to online. The tool’s improved user friendliness is a significant step forward for our employees”, analyzes Jörg Stebler.
Focusing on people – that is the highest AMAG value. But for the AMAG Import Managing Director, what is the difference between a good and a poor experience for the customer? “The customer has a good experience when his or her expectations are in unanticipated ways, in other words, a positive surprise is achieved. The customer has a poor experience when the customer’s expectations have just barely been met or when they have not been met at all. In sales, but also in after sales in particular, we need to constantly surprise the customer with small, extra services. When I say this, I am thinking first and foremost of professionalism, outstanding friendliness, courtesy, understanding, and then secondarily of the added perks”, concludes Bernhard Soltermann.
VW Group brands are hugely popular in Switzerland. A historical 28.6 % market share means that more than every fourth vehicle is among the brands imported by AMAG. AMAG services one million through a nationwide dealer network consisting of 80 of its own dealerships and around 500 brand partnerships.