How RAC WA used AI to unearth member data insights
- 28 June, 2018 15:40
Digital transformation projects are normally pursued for their ability to improve engagement between an organisation and its customers. But there is much to be said for their ability to boost staff engagement levels too.
For 113-year-old Perth-based roadside assistance organisation, RAC WA, its digital alignment program is doing both – approving the agility with which it can respond to member requirements, while enabling its digital and data teams to gain greater recognition within the organisation.
In 2017, RAC WA had completed a three-year journey to migrate its core presence on to Sitecore hosted on Azure. According to RAC WA senior digital UX manager Richard Quance, it was time to look for ways to demonstrate the agility that new platform unlocked.
Quance said initial interest focused on the machine learning capabilities within Azure and how these could be linked with Sitecore.
“The data team and the digital team got together to work out what could be a simple proof-of-concept using AI capability that would change that mindset within those teams that we could deliver change quickly and effectively,” he told CMO.
The two teams began working with implementation partner, Ignia, to determine how AI could be used to unearth new insights from member data.
“What we created was a next-best-product recommendation engine that we put at the end of the roadside assistance renewal sale process,” Quance said. “When you have completed your purchase the AI engine shows product recommendations based on what we know about that member using some key data points.”
The result has been a significant increase in member dwell time and engagement, and an increase in sales. The entire project took just eight weeks.
“It proved we could deliver things quickly and efficiently in an agile manner,” Quance said. “And it created a sense of achievement and empowerment within the digital and the data teams themselves in terms of delivering value.
“Many in-house teams are fairly put upon, and often feel like they are at the end of decisions and not really seen as valuable purveyors of customer and user experience. With the implementation of Sitecore and working as a blended team with our implementation partners, that has created a sense of ownership in the process.”
That project in turn led to a measurable uptick in the engagement level within the team, which now sits at 93 per cent, and has built overall confidence in its capabilities both internally and across the organisation.
“Having gone through that process and gotten the whole business comfortable with a small-scale implementation of AI, it means the next time we do this it will be much easier and much faster,” Quance said. “But the big bonus was that we did achieve significant sales results. And if you make a sales recommendation based on information that you know about a customer, they are much more likely to engage with you on another service or spend more time on the site looking at other stuff.”
The next project is to look at a chatbot, but RAC WA also has another significant implementation taking place in the form of Microsoft Dynamix CRM.
“The vision is the digital channel will hook up with CRM and then hook up with our physical channels, both on the phone and in store, to start driving consistency of experience,” Quance said. “That can allow us to rachet up our ability to excel the way we deal with members on a regular basis.
“So now the team is fully empowered to determine the value they create, and work with the business to demonstrate that.”