The standard approach companies take for managing service tickets is to purchase a tool that does the work for them. Tools like SalesForce and similar products can cost a fortune on a reoccurring basis, and often leave the company wanting for features, as they lack full flexibility.
Of course, Tesla is many things, but “standard” isn't one of them. As if needing further proof that they're a tech company and not just a car manufacturer, they've created a rather unique ticketing system that is much more than just a bundle of APIs that integrate a couple of databases with a knowledge base.
One of Tesla's major critiques--and one for which CEO Elon Musk in the past has reiterated the need for TLC--is service. To improve on it, it seems a fresh set of eyes was needed, as well as some major innovation to address the issues. So, they "hired" talent.
All, please welcome MacGyver on board!
As a fan of the original series of the 80s and 90s, the well known Jack of all trades, MacGyver was every geek's hero. After all, the Swiss Army Knife of a dude saved the world on regular basis with a paperclip and chewing gum.
During a service appointment, personally, I like to pick the service technician's brain for skill and knowledge, as well as pry for the newest info on incoming tech.
This is where I was recently introduced to a whole new way to process servicing tickets.
MacGyver is activated as soon as a customer opens a ticket through the phone app. At that point, the system reaches out to the vehicle and gathers all pertaining information as well as any other possible issues, creates a folder with details, lists all in-house articles and videos on troubleshooting the issue(s), and finally, orders the parts for the technician.
The last part seems to be the most important aspect of the system since, based on the technician's statement, and can be the most time-consuming process. The controversial Model S handle was given as an example, where the kit has 10+ individual order numbers to be located and attached to the parts order. Doing this manually leaves plenty of room for error, time delays, and finally, the potential for low customer satisfaction.
Relying on software to make decisions on purchasing and ordering parts seems to inspire confidence in a system, which, in the past has fallen short. But now this confidence can ascend to a whole new level. Based on behavior, MacGyver seems to be a narrow AI. And since this is a home-brewed program, details will probably remain behind the curtain, yet the applications to such a system seem infinite.
As the service tech provided me with more details on how these things come to life, I've concluded that vertical integration isn't just the core of the business at Tesla but the lifestyle of their employees. The streamlined process for new ideas is incredible. But, more on that story in the next article.
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