Defining Customer Experience

  • By Sergio Vidal Lopes

 

At Accenture, we keep up with the world around us. Implementing innovation in everything we do and by leveraging our global reach of talented experts, we bring expertise and experience together to develop innovative, tailored solutions to the needs of our clients - regardless of their size, type, or location.

Over the past 5 years, we collaborated with ŠKODA AUTO, part of the Volkswagen Group. We helped them transform a product-focused business into one that is focused on customer experience. Together with Fjord, Accenture Interactive’s design agency, we developed a new digital customer experience strategy, as well as innovative solutions to drive this change.

Embracing change

The ever-changing expectations of consumers in today’s landscape is changing the conventional thoughts of car ownership. Consumers increasingly conduct more activities online on a collection of devices, always expecting instant information wherever they are, and with whatever they do. No industry is exempted from these changing expectations, technological revolutions and new regulations, and mobility services are no different.

Recognizing this changing landscape, ŠKODA AUTO recognized an opportunity to become a different kind of company – one that embraces the change and offers consumers the experiences they want. The automaker needed to accelerate innovation in all aspects of their business; organizational, processes, technology, and more. To help navigate these changes and deliver a new type of service from initial idea to market implementation, they collaborated with Accenture and Fjord.

A shift in focus

Driving the change that ŠKODA AUTO was looking for, exploratory consumer research and testing were carried out. Unveiling that a new customer-based approach was needed, Accenture and Fjord combined the best of their abilities to define a digital customer experience strategy. By identifying ŠKODA’s target customers and their new needs, we drove the customer experience to a new level, using innovation and technology to bolster the process.

The team created a list of innovative solutions and customer-oriented value propositions and services. Some of these were piloted in a “Living Business” environment that is more fluid, responsive, and predictive to ever-changing consumer demands and expectations. These included innovation accelerators hosted by Fjord in Berlin and the Accenture Customer Innovation Network Center (ACIN) in Milan. During these sessions, ŠKODA received hands-on recommendations on how to reinforce their strengths and overcome weaknesses regarding these new customer needs.

“Not only did Accenture bring us innovative thinking, but they also offered a diverse range of global resources to help bring innovations to life.”
Arno Kalmbach, Head of Customer Experience Management, ŠKODA AUTO

A connected ecosystem of tools and processes

During five years of continuous collaboration, ŠKODA has built several solutions – some live, piloted, or in development – co-creating with Accenture. Some examples:

Artificial Intelligence Assistant

First tested in Spain, the AI assistant supports website visitors in navigating through ŠKODA AUTO offerings while learning about their needs, which helps ŠKODA AUTO better tailor their products and services.

Responsive websites

New and responsive websites are live ( for importers and end consumers) in over 60 markets globally.

Unified online data model

Combines digital customer and consumer data from across the company, providing information about ŠKODA AUTO’s market performance.

Online car configurator

An all-new, flexible online car configurator, piloted in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, allowing customers to explore customization options online.

Innovation accelerator Berlin

An innovation center designed in Berlin where ŠKODA AUTO can explore new businesses quickly with a fail-fast approach.

Customer experience re-defined

Thanks to their new customer-centered approach, ŠKODA AUTO’s new responsive website in Poland has seen a significant decrease in their bounce rate, and a substantial increase in page views. They are now able to collect and analyze 360-degree consumer data online and offline, and better understand that data to more efficiently manage their customer needs. Customers are also on the winning side - they now benefit from a range of exciting new tools and services that creates a unique experience for ŠKODA AUTO car owners.

Innovation is a journey, and ŠKODA AUTO teamed up with Accenture and Fjord to help reach their destination: creating a strategic new service offering. Thanks to the full idea-to-rollout collaboration, they now have a reliable partner to quickly spawn new ideas that transform the customer experience, from dealership to the driveway.

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