Audi delivers customized premium services for the sales force of tomorrow
Audi is taking the next steps on its way to becoming a premium digital car company. The company is using new products and services to make daily mobility simpler and more flexible for its customers and is setting the standards for the user experience. The central access point is the myAudi customer portal, where all digital solutions can be booked, managed and used via an intuitive interface. New digital business models are expected to contribute one billion euro to the company’s operating profit by 2025.
myAudi and the networked car as the gateway to the customer’s world
The myAudi digital ecosystem plays a key role in the new business model. The intuitive platform is the central starting point for the customer, where all digital services can be booked, used and managed. Audi is employing this approach to achieve a competitive edge for the brand’s customers in the digitally networked world.
With the market launch of the new A8, Audi will also be presenting the update to the myAudi app. This is a direct interface with the customer. User feedback will allow the company to continuously develop it further.
Depending on the model, the customer can use various remote functions via smartphone to lock or unlock the car, for instance, or to check the parking position and access the vehicle status report. This report contains information about whether the windows and doors are closed as well as the fuel tank and oil levels. In addition, the customer can use the app to conveniently program the optional auxiliary heating.
With the introduction of the Audi e-tron, the first all-electric SUV from the brand, the current charging status and the remaining electrical range can also be accessed via an app. The driver can activate the charging process and climate control remotely – always at the right time with the use of individual timers. If requested, information about recent trips, including average electrical energy consumption, is available to the driver at all times.
The smartphone application also offers added value when planning routes: The new myAudi navigation perfectly complements the built-in navigation with a variety of possible applications. Customers planning their trip can conveniently enter the destination in the app from home and send it to the car. The myAudi app’s First Mile Navigation will then guide the customer to the location of his or her Audi. The car’s navigation takes over from there and seamlessly continues the active route guidance. At the end of the journey, the myAudi app’s Last Mile Navigation leads the customer to the final destination. This way the driver can also quickly and easily manage the last few feet or meters to the destination, even if it is in a pedestrian zone.
Customers can also use myAudi to search for the Audi partner of their choice. In coming years, Audi will be launching numerous other new services on the market on this basis – services that will also integrate the world outside the automobile.
Premium mobility at the touch of a button
The desire for individual mobility continues unabated. For many people, however, this no longer necessarily means having to own your own car. Studies show that by the end of the next decade every third Audi worldwide will be shared and no longer privately owned.
New customer needs due to social developments, diversification and urbanization require new solutions for mobility, especially in urban regions. Audi is the only automobile manufacturer with a consistent premium strategy for flexible car use. The Audi on demand mobility concept combines maximum freedom for various customer needs, an excellent service and driving experience, individual freedom of choice from an exceptionally broad portfolio and hourly billing.
Audi on demand is currently scaling up internationally. Audi has acquired the start-up Silvercar Inc. in the United States. Through this acquisition, Audi has obtained a strong player in the car rental business and is continuing to drive development of digital mobility services in the American market. In the future, the company will offer flexible and individual access to premium mobility under the name Silvercar by Audi. The company is gradually expanding its fleet – and is also adding the new Audi e-tron to its model range. Most recently, Audi of America announced a new subscription program, that is powered by Silvercar’s proprietary technology and will continue to offer consumers access to the Audi brand when, where, and how they want it.
The international Audi on demand network has grown continuously since the beginning of 2018 with new locations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle. Options for use are also increasingly flexible. From shopping centers and apartment buildings to Audi dealers – Audi on demand adapts the locations individually to the local conditions and customer needs in the market. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the respective Audi partners act as the point of contact for customers. In Hong Kong the service is available in private apartment buildings, in Audi showrooms and at an exclusive shopping mall.
This year Audi hopes to achieve a six-figure customer base with its mobility services and addition of Silvercar. The aim is to have an Audi on demand presence in 15 markets around the world by 2020. The destinations available to date form the basis for a profitable network. Audi on demand complements and combines the new and used car businesses with the after-sales business.
Dealership of the future and digital products
Ordering a used car from your sofa. As part of its initiative to become a digital car dealership, Audi is the first premium manufacturer to establish an extensive online platform in Germany as a joint, agile project with dealers and Audi Financial Services.
This platform combines purchasing with payment options, registration and personal delivery. Customers can now buy Audi Approved:plus models around the clock on a new, proprietary Audi online platform and have them delivered throughout Germany at the time and place of their choice. Users of the platform can also conclude vehicle financing immediately online – quite conveniently from home via their PC or mobile device.
Once the pilot phase ends with around 70 contract partners in Germany, Audi will more than double the number of participating dealers in the course of 2018 and thus increase its offerings to customers to well over 2,000 cars that are available immediately online. The manufacturer is receiving particularly positive feedback here for the home delivery option. Audi is now successively expanding the platform with more functions, including additional services and products. In addition, the partners will also be able to offer new vehicles from their stock through the platform. Audi is connecting additional partners in stages and is also working on an international rollout of the online platform. In the future, new cars will also be available through the shop.
The digitization initiative in dealerships includes additional measures such as a digital service station where customers can drop off or pick up their cars individually and conveniently for service – including payment – regardless of the dealership’s opening hours.
So-called “functions on demand”, which will be starting in mid of 2019, also represent a new business segment. The customer can also book special equipment here, for example from the field of infotainment, lighting or assistance systems flexibly and as needed after purchase. The order runs directly through the MMI in the car, through the myAudi app or in the myAudi portal. The dealership is always involved – during the consultation, for instance, at the vehicle handover or in the after-sales services – and is remunerated according to activity.
Audi is developing these promising concepts step by step and in close cooperation with its partners. They are working together to continuously optimize the user experience and to make it possible for users to also enjoy a competitive edge in the virtual world of networked services. Audi has set itself the goal of being number one in customer experience. A seamless omnichannel sales and service experience links the virtual world with the real one – whether online, in the car or directly at the dealership.
Looking to the future – digitalization as part of the Audi Strategy
Digital business models are part of a comprehensive corporate strategy. The top priority is always to make daily mobility even easier and more flexible for the customer.
The new customized sales services are one more milestone on the way to becoming a premium digital car company. This tactical step fits logically into the strategic objective that Audi has set for itself by 2025. As one of three megatrends, digitalization, together with sustainability and urbanization, will create the impetus for the next competitive edge – made by Audi.