“There would be nothing glamorous about what we do if we didn't have the right team and strong systems in place,” said Susan Guyer, Chief Communication and Engagement Officer for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. “Without the passion and enthusiasm of our people or the technology enabling them each and every day, our services would be stagnant.”
Especially over the past year-plus, which was defined by COVID-19.
The driving force behind Hoosiers statewide.
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (IN BMV) is dedicated to serving Hoosiers by providing best-in-class driver and vehicle services in a timely and accurate manner while ensuring security and transparency. And Guyer and team bring this mission to life by offering a truly omnichannel service experience, such as issuing renewal notifications via email, extending services through 24-hour kiosks, and more — a stark contrast to the stereotypes most people think of when “contact the BMV” shows up on their to-do list.
“Our mission says nothing about speed or cost. It is 100% focused on providing a good experience every single time you visit the bureau. Thus, we strive every day to make the BMV experience a good one for everyone,” Guyer continued. “We’re not trying to force consumers into one behavior, rather provide options best suited to their individual needs. I don't want to mail you a preprint if you would rather engage with us online, just like I don't want to force you to only speak with us over chat if you prefer the familiarity of a face-to-face conversation. I want all of these options to be available and be a great customer experience.”
IN BMV develops a digital, diversified communications strategy on the cloud.
IN BMV manages roughly 6 million registration renewals every year. Prior to implementing Salesforce, each customer would receive a pre-print renewal notice in the mail; a big envelope that would include a packet of paperwork as well as a return envelope for them to mail in their check.
Guyer and team started offering email as a replacement option, following a journey in Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder: “Let’s say I’m up for renewal. 60 days out, I get an email letting me know. If I renew, I am dropped from the journey. If I did not, I receive another email notifying me I have 30 days left, and that drop or continue pattern continues until I renew,” said Guyer. “And there was no greater glee than the day my boss received her renewal notification via email. She came into the office that morning so excited as she said ‘I got the email renewal! It’s working!’”
Traditional communications channels, like phone or in-person visits to a branch:
The unpredictable impact of IN BMV’s digital diversification strategy.
Like the rest of the world, Guyer and the team were forced to suddenly shift their “anytime, anywhere” customer service mentality with the sudden onset of COVID-19. Indiana closed the doors of its BMV for 14 days, creating a backlog of service requests for those in-person preferences when the bureau was able to open its doors two weeks later. On top of that, social distancing guidelines and safety measures limited the number of customers that could be seen, further impacting service delivery timelines. Wait times went from an average of 30 minutes to above two hours, lines wrapped around the parking lot, “horror stories from other states that we never thought we’d see in Indiana,” said Guyer. “Plus, we have 1,100 associates that sit behind Plexiglas every day, serving the public in this difficult environment. And they've been doing it for a year-and-a-half. Helping those associates feel some sense of security and support is really, really important.
The team relied even more on their digital diversification strategy, redirecting as many communications as possible to email and text message, helping to bring the wait time back down to 20 minutes in April and 18 minutes in May, by encouraging customers to use out-of-branch options whenever possible. The efforts we put in communications were supported by “our associates who showed up every day, still as competitive as they were before COVID hit. Our teams know online or kiosks are a great options, but many of our customers prefer in-person. The branches can see how they are doing against other branches through metrics like customer service rating. They want to be at the top of that list. They continue to find ways to make it fun, support each other, and cheer each other on, even during this COVID time period,” said Guyer.
Outside of COVID-19, the Indiana State Legislature began encouraging some and implementing other more digital-first policies. The IN BMV has begun exploring mobile driver’s license as a service to its customers. In addition, the Legislature instructed the Bureau to implement electronic lien and title in an extraordinarily swift timeline, to implement a broad impact amnesty program, and more. Guyer and the team responded by adapting more programs and services to fit the direction of the larger state goal and are collaborating to build a plan to educate Hoosiers of the continual enhancement of services.
“COVID was just a reinforcement of what we already knew: that if you have the right team and you have strong systems to support them, you can weather just about any storm,” said Guyer.