Part of the Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Finance Australia provides a range of auto finance services for customers looking to buy a new vehicle. These range from its core motor vehicle financing options, to commercial loans for motor dealers, insurance for buyers and fleet management services.
However, Toyota Finance Australia (TFA) is having to adapt its customer service offering as buyers in the region increasingly want to carry out more of the vehicle purchasing process - including finance options - online. The organization is also facing increased competition from FinTech companies that have recognized the changing behaviours in the market and are offering fully digital auto finance options.
Toyota Finance Australia’s Retail Customer Experience GM, Craig Neville, explained:
It will be little surprise to hear that COVID-19 has hastened the transition of our customers to digital channels. The impact of the pandemic has significantly shifted customer behaviours, with more choosing to engage with auto finances online.
In fact, an incredible 97% of people now do online research for a vehicle, taking on average six weeks to collect all the information they need. And from this, 37% are willing to buy a car end-to-end online. Customers also have higher expectations of us to protect their privacy and protect them from fraud.
And this is inextricably linked to the ongoing regulatory changes being passed by the Australian Government. Then, of course, there's increasing competition from new FinTech enabled financiers who strongly responded to changing behaviours by rapidly delivering online features to customers. All of these factors combined have hastened our need for digital and customer transformation.
CIO Colin Mapp said that the organization recognized that its technology was slowing down its ability to respond to changes in the market, which was not only negatively impacting its customer experience opportunity, but was also having an impact on cost efficiency. Prior to the pandemic, TFA decided to partner with Pea to deliver a new end-to-end online loan origination platform, which it has dubbed Quantum. Mapp said:
Modern, digital, configurable - Quantum and the Pega platform became our building block, laying the foundation for our progressive digital transformation.
One of the first initiatives that TFA undertook with Pega was the adoption of e-sign, to eliminate the need for customers to physically sign documentation in dealerships. Neville said:
Since its launch, the response to this has been fantastic. Current e-sign usage is at 70%, which equates to significant efficiency savings, with the take up time, from application through to settlement, reduced from four days to just three hours.
Since the onset of the pandemic, TFA has decided to expand its use of Pega and evolve Quantum in a way that allows it to focus on customer experience and address the changing behaviours it is seeing in the market. Neville explained:
As I touched on before, more customers than ever are preferring online interactions. Quantum 2.0 will therefore support customers who prefer online channels, rather than in dealerships, with one of the most significant enhancements being a revamped consumer quote layout, enabling dealerships to manage the whole sales process entirely online.
And by working hand in hand with the Pega team we're also delivering a raft of other enhancements for our dealer network, including opportunity management tools, improved navigation, and smarter graphs and reports.
TFA is also adopting Pega’s Customer Decision Hub in order to make better use of the vendor’s built-in intelligence tools to initiate timely and personalized conversations with customers, with the aim of presenting them with the right opportunity at the right time. CIO Mapp said:
The result of this is TFA’s retention programme, which is smarter, more efficient, future ready and capability driven, meaning real benefits were delivered almost immediately, especially to our dealer network, who can segment customers and create personalized and local retention programmes.
TFA recognizes that its previous approach to customer service experience has relied too heavily on its people knowing how to navigate multiple systems, in order to provide effective service to customers. Neville said:
These systems mostly lack automation and don't update in real time, so not a great experience for customers who need to interact with different parts of our business.
But now by utilizing our Pega platform, not only will we have a complete 360 degree view of each customer, but there will also be advanced omni-channel servicing capability, meaning more rich customer insights that will be in one place. And the resulting increase in efficiency from this single view will have a direct flow on to the customer experience.
TFA is also adopting Pega’s authentication and identity management platform, in order to reduce compliance risks and improve security, by ensuring only its 1,700 accredited agents have access to Quantum. Neville added:
With over 1700 accredited agents to manage, the ability to mitigate our risk has been significant for our business. In all, by managing this authorization through Pega we've delivered best in class security, but we've also opened the door for exciting new capabilities, such as biometrics.
Mapp added that Pega is allowing TFA to both boost its security measures at the same time as allowing its agents to better serve customers. He said:
The impact of our digital transformation thus far has resulted in significant improvements, particularly in relation to providing better experiences for our customers, dealers and our employees.
We're striving to create a more flexible and targeted mix of customer channels and we're working to outrun emerging FinTech competitors. We're heightening compliance measures to protect our business, our dealers, and of course, our customers.