Seventy-five years of excellence. 75 years of passion. 75 years of Porsche. This iconic brand has stood the test of time and remains a symbol of speed, style, and class. But what sets Porsche apart from the rest is their unwavering commitment to customers. From rev to resolution, Porsche stands unmatched in supporting owners through whatever they encounter. Porsche’s customer-first mentality is a testament to the company’s character, drive, and brand endurance in an industry fraught with slim profit margins, global manufacturing complexities, and fierce competition.
To get a closer look at what makes Porsche so special, we spoke with Jeffrey Newman, Customer Care Manager at Porsche North America. Jeffrey is the gold standard and has dramatically elevated the experience that Porsche owners have come to expect. As part of our discussion, we wanted to understand what’s on the horizon for support, the role of self-service, and how AI might impact the future of interaction.
1. For many, Porsche represents the automobile of dreams. What would your dream state look like for the customer experience?
The purchase of a Porsche is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for many and one of the many factors that drive us (pun intended) to exceed the purchase and ownership experience expectations. Simply, the dream state in regards to when a customer feels compelled to contact us (the manufacturer) directly, the following must be achieved: they can easily find and use the channel of their choice and get the correct solution or clearly understand the next steps during the interaction.
2. With current operations, how do you make it easier for your support teams to serve?
I consider myself a customer and employee evangelist. There is no endpoint to this quest to make it easy to serve. It is an expectation of myself and all those supporting our contact centers to focus on improving existing systems and processes and ensure new rollouts exceed agent expectations.
Additionally, we choose to have human skills be the focus, the spine if you will, of which all other systems and processes need to be able to support versus trying to make human skills work within the confines of systems and processes. Making systems easy to use and keeping processes simple makes it easier for agents to focus on the quality of interactions.
3. How important is self-service to your vision of the customer experience?
Perhaps it is better to ask, “How important is self-service to our customers?” Thanks to so many great brands, as consumers, we no longer compare companies to their competitors but to great customer experiences. The ability for frictionless, easy service is no longer a goal with the companies we choose to interact with but table stakes. I never want to dictate how and where a customer can seek our support. We need to be where they want. Self-service is crucial for this to be successful. For those that would rather find the answers on their own, we must provide them with that ability to do so.
4. Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a hot topic in tech. In what ways can AI enhance human-assisted and self-service customer interactions?
Let me begin with this. I am in the camp that fervently believes AI will not replace agents. What AI will do, is require the quality of agents to be even higher than it is today. Because if a bot or machine cannot resolve a customer’s issue, think of how complex the situation must be. Additionally, AI will never have believable EQ and the ability to maintain or retain relationships. These human skills will always be needed.
That said, AI will greatly reduce the need to speak with agents by resolving a greater number of reasons for seeking support. Human interactions will ensure agents provide the quality of conversation we seek, increase first contact resolution, and increase agent efficiency.
5. Over the years, loyalty has been a big part of Porsche’s success. How has customer support factored into that?
First, we think about customer experience as being everyone’s responsibility. Our job and duty are to support our dealers with programs, processes, policies, and resources that will enable them to create legendary experiences for our customers. Whether it is support from our contact centers, our websites, or the operational policies that we put in place, we all need to be focused on the same result, and that is creating extraordinary experiences. We also realize that what worked to ensure loyal customers ten years ago won’t work ten years from now, and we need to be out in front of that curve.
Paving the Way for the Next 75 Years of Success
We appreciated our conversation with Jeffrey. His ongoing contributions to our Gladly Connect community are transformative. It was clear from the discussion that Jeffrey and the team at Porsche are prioritizing better, more efficient support methods through innovation and absolute customer commitment. Porsche’s willingness to face the challenges ahead is inspiring, embracing them with the same precision and force that served them so well these past 75 years.
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