Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Renault is in the midst of a global roll-out of Salesforce to be completed by March 2015, the automotive's digital and CRM manager revealed at Salesforce's flagship conference in San Francisco.
The Salesforce deployment is part of Renault's digital and CRM strategy, a channel that makes up ten percent of Renault's overall sales.
Laurent Laporte, Renault's director for call centres and CRM said that the 116-year-old carmaker had been "too distant and too transactional" towards its customers, and that integrating its legacy mainframes and regional CRMs was the next step to "leverage data for a better service".
He added that this global roll out would place "Renault firmly in the drivers' seat of change", to compete with other manufacturers for the best customer service.
Renault will integrate 34 countries' marketing, 5,000 dealer management users, sales performance, 10,000 call centre seats and its My Renault digital customer portal systems into a centralised Salesforce platform by March 2015, Laporte said.
It hopes this will give employees real-time information about website visitors, lead generation events such as interest in test drives that are consolidated by region, turning its 10 million annual leads into sales, while connecting with customers at the same time.
The project, named R-Force, uses three Salesforce products including the Service cloud, Marketing cloud and Partner Community.
Speaking at the Dreamforce conference, Renault's IT manager Nelson Andrade and Laporte demonstrated how R-Force is already working in Brazil, where the product was first rolled out.
R-Force will shadow a potential customer from choosing their first car to re-purchasing a second model several years down the line. The Brazilian 'org', which is an environment that connects a company to a partner on a multi-tenant platform, also uses the CRM for customer satisfaction for car maintenance.
In this instance, a Renault call centre will receive a notification about a Facebook or Twitter post from a customer with a complaint or query, and their dashboard will show their history, so the call centre employee can add to the case notes.
After dealing with the complaint either through social media or over the phone, Renault can contact the customers' closest dealership directly and instantly through its salesforce dealer management system integration, allowing a dealership employee to view the same dashboard. The customer query is then left with the dealership, who will update information and potential vehicle issues on the CRM and then notify Renault of the outcome. Once the query is rectified, Renault's CRM will send a customer satisfaction survey directly to the customer to get feedback.
Renault currently uses four separate orgs to integrate with its dealerships across Europe but hopes to move it to a single unified environment as it continues the Salesforce deployment, Laporte said.
The R-Force CRM platform will also be used for test drive information, IT manager Andrade said. Renault can send information about a potential customer through its online test drive booking system to a local dealership, allowing the dealer's sales team to contact the customer for reminders about their appointment and to follow up after their test drive.
Andrade said: "This way we understand that we have a single solution for questions that really matter for our customers, when and wherever they are."