Mahindra & Mahindra gives dealers and customers a smooth ride across touchpoints with Salesforce
Mahindra & Mahindra has united 18,000+ dealership users and 400+ call centre agents on a single platform, enabling them to deliver connected customer experiences.
There are many reasons why Mahindra SUVs rank among India’s best cars. For starters, their safety is unparalleled, thanks to advanced driver assistance aids like automatic emergency brakes and adaptive cruise control. They’re also built like warriors with up to 200hp turbo engines that allow them to scale some of the toughest and highest terrains in the world.
But the Mahindra experience goes beyond the adrenalin-packed ride, plush seats, and powerful engines. It starts the moment a prospect is interested in a Mahindra SUV, to when they meet a dealer for a test drive, to the actual purchase and beyond.
“Across customer touchpoints, we have three key imperatives,” says Bhuwan Lodha, SVP & Chief Digital Officer, Auto Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra. “Deliver connected experiences. Simplify customer interactions. And future-proof our business. Salesforce is helping us put all these objectives into action across 400+ call centre agents and 18,000+ users working at M&M dealerships.”
Here’s how Mahindra & Mahindra is empowering its dealers and employees to deliver more value to customers with Salesforce Customer 360.
1. Integrate systems for a unified customer view
Previously, Mahindra had a limited CRM system that didn’t integrate with campaign management tools or the core dealer management system (DMS). So, leads from the call centre didn’t always reach the appropriate dealer, and neither did they always have the right prospect context.
With no centralisation, marketing campaigns run by dealers didn’t always align with those run by internal teams, resulting in haphazard customer communications. These limitations also resulted in a heavy load on the core DMS, which then suffered frequent downtime.
“We quickly realised that the key to delivering superlative customer experiences is to simplify and streamline dealer experiences,” says Ritesh Shah, Head, Digital Product Management, Mahindra & Mahindra. “When we empower our dealers with the right tools and data, they’re able to offer our customers more value.”
With this in mind, Mahindra set out to find a robust, integrable, and easily configurable CRM platform that would unite all dealers around the customer.
“Salesforce appealed to us for three reasons,” says Rakesh Dhar, General Manager, Technology & Platforms, Mahindra & Mahindra. “It’s cloud-first and scalable. It helps us connect customer interactions across touchpoints into one seamless experience. And it makes a 360-degree customer view possible.”
In Their Own Words...
2. Connect with customers 1:1 through contextual marketing campaigns
“With Salesforce, the entire customer journey from marketing and lead nurturing, to test-drive scheduling and vehicle bookings, is now managed on a single platform,” explains Lodha. “This makes our dealers’ jobs easier, and our customer experiences smoother.”
Using MuleSoft, Mahindra has integrated Salesforce with its customer portal and DMS to enable the smooth flow of leads. “MuleSoft acts as a buffer layer, connecting various tools while lowering the load on our DMS,” says Shah. “So, downtime is no longer an issue.”
Website leads flow smoothly into Salesforce Marketing Cloud where teams can personalise prospect journeys, and automate communications. With customer data harnessed from across sources, teams can understand prospects and customers better, and then deliver the right messages at the right time.
“Our campaigns are a lot more consistent, now that they’re centralised and templatised,” says Dhar. “We can even track the prospect’s preferred communication channel, and drive omni-channel engagement.”
Mahindra also uses Marketing Cloud Advertising to create targeted ads at scale on digital platforms. And with Marketing Cloud Intelligence, they can efficiently surface marketing insights on campaign performance.
“Marketing campaigns and customer lifecycle management have become much more effective with less effort,” says Shah.
3. Empower dealers to sell smarter
Mahindra’s 400+ call centre agents use Salesforce to capture over 100,000+ leads a month. With Einstein, these leads are scored to determine which ones have a higher chance of converting. “High scoring leads can be treated differently to improve the customer experience and optimise agent efforts,” says Shah.
These leads flow seamlessly to dealer sales consultants via a dealer portal built on Salesforce Experience Cloud.
“Dealers can now pick up the conversation with a lead right from where the service agent left off,” says Shah. “With automation, the lead response time has reduced by 50% from 30 minutes to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, the lead to opportunity ratio has gone up by almost 10 percentage points.”
More than 18,000 users at M&M dealerships across the country have been onboarded on Salesforce where they can view customer data, nurture leads, handle enquiries, schedule test drives, gather feedback, and manage bookings – all on-the-go through their Salesforce mobile app.
Says Lodha, “Dealers too are our customers, and we want to help them succeed with the right tools.”
M&M dealership users
managed on Salesforce
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Already, the feedback from dealers has been terrific.
“At one dealership, the ‘enquiry to test drive’ conversion rate has improved from approximately 40% to 70%, thanks to real-time enquiry data and focused follow-ups,” says Lodha. “Another dealer reported a 15-percentage point increase in their ‘test drive to booking’ conversion rate.”
Dealers have also become more productive since all the information they need on open opportunities, bookings, test drives, and other metrics is readily available through CRM Analytics dashboards on the dealer portal. One dealership general manager reported freeing up two hours per day with real-time reports.
4. Improve customer experiences and revenue with powerful insights
Salesforce Sales Cloud has been used to build a custom sales review process that maps to dealership reporting structures. So, if a dealer sales consultant is under-performing, or needs help closing a sale, the system throws up alerts for Mahindra’s area sales managers to provide assistance.
Mahindra will also use CRM Analytics to empower area sales managers with on-the-go insights on sales pipelines, dealer performance, number of enquiries per dealer, and more. These metrics can be used to guide dealers on how to improve their performance, and offer customers a consistent and personalised experience.
“Our vision is to become the benchmark for both dealer and end-customer experiences in the auto industry,” says Shah.
That vision extends to customer service as well. With Salesforce Service Cloud, call centre agents are able to resolve customer cases faster and more effectively.
“No longer do agents have to toggle between multiple screens to find information,” says Shah. “Everything they need – from FAQs to call recording tools – is available on a single screen. They can also measure operational efficiency, average call time and duration, agent performance, and other metrics. That’s something they couldn’t do earlier.”
Mahindra is now well on its way to achieving a 360-degree customer view that can be accessed and enriched by anyone in the organisation.
“We’re moving from the unknown to the known – from having very little visibility into customer journeys, to achieving an all-encompassing customer view that will help us truly hyper-personalise customer conversations,” says Lodha.
5. Scale up success with customers at the centre
To accelerate the Salesforce implementation, Mahindra partnered with the Salesforce Customer Success Group.
“The Salesforce customer success team played a key role in helping us focus on the right objectives, make the right decisions, and identify opportunities for success,” says Lodha. “With their support, we confidently switched from outsourcing the Salesforce implementation, to owning it ourselves.”
Going forward, Mahindra plans to expand its use of Salesforce - for example, make more dealership processes mobile-based, while also improving customer interaction monitoring.
“We’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible,” says Dhar. “There’s so much more we can do, especially with analytics. Eventually, we want to extend Salesforce to our other automotive segments, as well as to our other Mahindra Group businesses.”
The company is now gearing up to roll out its new range of electric cars. They’re also investing in emerging technologies like AI/ML and AR/VR to transform customer interactions.
“We want to become the most customer-centric company in the automotive sector and ultimately, the entire Indian market,” says Lodha. “Salesforce is helping us work towards that goal.”