Automotive

 

For over a century, General Motors has been making iconic cars and trucks that have inspired fierce loyalty for generations. For that reason alone, you could say, that GM has always been a customer-centric company, innovating to create not just cars, but customer enthusiasm.

When Mary Barra became GM’s CEO in 2014, she said she expected the car business to change more over the next five years than it had in the previous 50. With that prediction, she inspired one particular technology team at GM to think about how to create that kind of customer enthusiasm in ways that went beyond car body and engine design.

With more than 7 million current subscribers, GM OnStar is a benchmark for in-vehicle safety, security, and communication services. OnStar advisors are on call, 24/7, at the push of a button, to answer just about anything. But in looking at how OnStar could do even more to connect to customers, the GM OnStar team stepped back and thought about how the service could be part of the new connected car experience.

OnStar AtYourService came about from a new understanding of how customers were using the OnStar functionality. By partnering with leading retailers and hotels to offer deals, coupons, and other location-based services, OnStar could tailor offerings to each customer’s preferences and location. In other words, AtYourService could point out to each driver the closest hotel or gas station with the best prices. It could even offer a coupon for a free cup of coffee at a nearby café.

To make this dream a reality, OnStar needed a proven, secure, reliable technology to build on that could also provide a tailored experience for each customer — at scale.

 
 

After doing some research, the OnStar team chose Salesforce as the foundation for its next generation of in-car services. Salesforce Salesforce Platform provided the scalability and speed required to bring the idea to life, and the Salesforce platform already had the core functionalities GM needed to make it all work, fast.

The ability to grow, evolve, and scale has put the OnStar development team in the driver’s seat for business. “What we think is really fantastic with the system we put together with Salesforce is that it’ll grow,” Lloyd said. “We can do new experiences; we can do new things, as they emerge. It could be connected to your home, connected to a merchant, connected to anything.”

With the push of a button, drivers can speak with an advisor and get assistance in locating the closest vacant hotel, booking reservations, and even navigating there without ever lifting a finger in the car. On the back end, advisors find the locations and offers to fulfill the specific customer’s needs. They do this by connecting to GM’s back-end system, supported by Salesforce Platform, that exposes content from a merchant community, also built with Salesforce Platform.

The platform is also integrated with OnStar's existing call centers, where teams use Service Cloud to manage cases with merchants, as well as Marketing Cloud to drive email communications, personalised customer journeys, and relevant offers to each consumer. Merchants have the power to put offers directly into Salesforce and get analytics to see campaign results.

Additionally, drivers can also use the AtYourService app on their mobile devices from the comfort of their own homes. So before jumping on the road, drivers can look ahead, get an offer, and send the directions for navigation to their car, before they ever turn on the ignition.

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