How BMW answers 80% of its customer queries with a WhatsApp chatbot
The service shop of the BMW headquarter in Munich handles a lot of customer queries, especially during the busy season. In order to speed up the process and free up employees, BMW introduced a WhatsApp service. With a chatbot, customers now get real-time information about their repairs. This works so well that the bot can now handle almost 80% of customer questions.
When the car is at the shop, owners want to know everything that’s going on. Ideally, in real time. Did they already start with the check? Is something broken? What part has to be replaced? When can I pick up my car?
Especially for larger car dealers, there are so many of these inquiries that service teams can barely keep up. So, how can car dealers and repair shops handle these questions in a timely manner without overwhelming their agents? That’s exactly the question that BMW faced. Their solution: they partnered with MessengerPeople by Sinch to introduce an innovative solution, a WhatsApp chatbot. With great success!
How BMW automated its customer service with WhatsApp
Every day, about 200 customers leave their BMW at the repair shop for a check-up — and call to check on the status of their car. Especially during peak times, for example when changing summer or winter tires, this results in a lot of calls. Sometimes, BMW receives up to 4,000 inquiries per day.
At the same time, the questions are typically the same. “Is the car ready?” “Can you confirm the pick-up time?”
“In order to free up employees at the repair center, we started handling these questions through a call center,” says Albert Rösch, Head of Service at BMW Munich. That was not ideal.
For one, call center employees still had to answer the same questions over and over again. That’s neither motivating nor efficient. Furthermore, every single one of these calls takes time. Time that the agents are missing when they need to deal with more complex issues. That made the call center solution not only costly for BMW, it also diminished the service quality.
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BMW was therefore looking for a way to reduce the workload for the service team, and, at the same time, improve the service quality for their customers. Their approach: use a WhatsApp chatbot to answer recurring questions.
For this, BMW partnered with MessengerPeople by Sinch and implemented a professional messaging and chatbot solution to automate answers to FAQs.
In a first step, BMW used a tracking system called “Follow Now”. It tracks the data of each car’s repairs in real-time. Customers can then access this information from BMW via WhatsApp.
Customers simply have to type the code #follownow into the WhatsApp chat, and then immediately receive an update about the current status of the car. It’s a simple, but very efficient solution — with impressive results!
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The first positive outcome of the WhatsApp chatbot automation were faster responses. Customers were able to receive updates on their cars immediately, and whenever they wanted.
Our service quality has greatly improved with the new communication channel.
Albert Rösch, Head of Service at BMW Munich
Furthermore, the chatbot reduced the number of customer phone calls, which allows BMW to save resources. In fact, the chatbot works so well that it can solve about 80% of customer queries.
If there is a more complex question, the bot delegates it to the agents, who, in turn, now have more time to thoroughly deal with more complicated issues.
BMW not only uses WhatsApp to answer customer questions faster. The service agents also use the channel to reach out to the customers. If, for instance, they need an approval to install a new part, and can’t reach the customer by phone, they can now just send a text message. That has simplified the process for everybody, says Rösch.
We get almost only positive feedback, both from our clients, and our agents.
That’s why BMW wants to expand the WhatsApp system to more shops in the future.
We will keep working with our competent and commited partner, MessengerPeople by Sinch, as we are more than happy with the collaboration.
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