Since 2011 AVR has been delivering a Mobile Device Management programme with Volkswagen UK, managing over 3,000 iPads across 200 UK showrooms. Achieving a marked increase in customer satisfaction, the project has now been awarded a further three-year contract with AVR.
As one of the world’s leading automotive companies, Volkswagen had an already enviable customer showroom experience in the UK.
As part of Volkswagen’s “blended retail” strategy, where consistency between digital and showroom customer sales experience is prioritised, Volkswagen UK commissioned a bespoke iPad app. The app would support its team of some 1,600 sales executives in explaining the different features and customisation options available for each model. Far from just looking for novel ways to sell more, Volkswagen UK was primarily looking for a tool to help it sell well.
Jennifer Wood, Digital Manager for Volkswagen UK, explains: “We were looking for a tool which would be an aid to explain, not just up-sell. Rather than blinding our customers with science, we wanted a way to bring the different features to life for them.”
With a plan to initially roll out 2,300 iPads across over 200 retailers, Volkswagen UK knew it needed a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution – and it needed an experienced team of specialists to select and manage it.
AVR were brought on board to help configure and manage the deployment. “We needed all the devices provisioned” says Jennie, “so they had to manage the whole process, from iPad delivery and set up through to agreeing and setting the device restrictions”.
These restrictions form the backbone of any MDM device policy. Since Volkswagen initially intended to use the devices in two distinct ways, with some installed in fixed lecterns and some used by roving sales executives, Volkswagen needed two core MDM policies.
MobileIron was identified as the MDM solution. AVR set up 3 new dedicated servers and designed an Active Directory structure for the devices which enabled Volkswagen to change the device restrictions by policy, region or even individual retailer. Building in essential flexibility, this approach proved invaluable when Volkswagen later decided to re-purpose the lectern devices.
But the iPad roll out ended up being really just the beginning of AVR’s involvement in the project, and Volkswagen soon tasked AVR with taking over the service desk. Originally managed by a third party, since the launch of AVR’s new dedicated Service Desk Jennie says she’s “never looked back”.
“We knew we needed an MDM solution; you can’t not have an MDM solution with that number of iPads”
Digital Manager for Volkswagen UK
In the 10 months following the rollout until December 2012 customer satisfaction scores at participating retailers were up 1.3%. By the end of the following year that figure had risen to 1.9%. Though the impact on sales figures is harder to attribute, the link between customer satisfaction, sales and loyalty is well understood.
But as well as achieving the original goal, the rollout has benefited Volkswagen in new and more unexpected ways. Changes to device policy restrictions, including letting staff access email, led to a decision to equip every sales executive with their own device. As a result of the flexibility AVR built into the AD structure, only 150 new iPads needed to be purchased as the lectern iPads (where usage was low) could be quickly and easily re-purposed. This development also gave Volkswagen a new corporate communication tool and a ready trial of the future possibilities of moving sales employees entirely over to tablets.
But for Volkswagen, it’s the new dedicated Service Desk where AVR have really excelled. Having appointed three dedicated staff, AVR now offers Volkswagen a suite of specialist services including managing a bespoke ‘app store’ where any retailer can access new centrally approved apps.
“It’s not a normal service desk” Jennie explains, “we don’t have a lot of problems with the iPads themselves, but AVR have been very proactive with independently contacting the retailers with new updates as they become available.” These updates have included functionality to download tailored usage analytics reports.
The scheme has been such a success that AVR has worked with Volkswagen UK to phase in the upgrading to a new generation of iPads and MDM solution. Now AVR manages in excess of 3000 iPads across the Volkswagen group, including 800 devices in Aftersales and has just completed a project with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to roll out over 100 iPads to Van Centre sales staff. There are also plans to expand the project into Commercial Vehicles Aftersales in 2017.
“Working with AVR has been such a benefit to me throughout this project” says Jennie. “Because they’re not a huge company I’ve been able to work with the individuals directly. This means I can easily change goals and priorities and things just get done. I would absolutely recommend AVR.”
In June 2016, AVR was awarded a three -year contract which AVR believes is recognition of the strong and effective programme it has created and managed. As business continues to grow and develop, AVR will work with Volkswagen UK to ensure a flexible, secure solution, fully managed with AVR’s dedicated Mobility Service Desk providing support.