You’ll Like This…
Well, imagine your Toyota needs its battery recharging – you could send an alert to the company, and you’d be connected with a dealership to get maintenance tips and service information. Although Toyota Friend will be a private network for owners of Toyota’s, customers will have the ability to expand into public channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
CRM company, Salesforce’s involvement is that the network will be powered by their ‘Chatter’ platform, alongside Toyota’s own telematics platform, and the first cars to be shipped with this functionality will be their first battery electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid cars, scheduled for release in 2012.
What’s It Cost?
Apparently, Salesforce will invest 223 million yen (£1.7 million), and Toyota, 442 million yen (£3.3 million), into Toyota Media Service, who are in charge of Toyota’s global cloud platform development. The internet facility will be provided by Microsoft, who entered a strategic partnership with Toyota in April, and will be putting-up 350 million yen (£2.6 million) for the platform’s development.
I’m not sure if the platform will be used more for networking with fellow owners, than customer service accessibility; only time will tell. But believe me, Toyota won’t be the only company going down this road. It’s a clever idea, and in today’s fast-paced world, having quick access to Toyota customer service via a CRM/private social network will be of great service to many of their owners.