Published on December 14th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Good Customer Service, a Game Changer for Automotive Companies
Good customer service can be a game changer for automotive companies when it comes to customer retention, says Institute of Motor Industry (IMI). The professional body for individuals working in the automotive retail industry today urge automakers to look into training for their customer service advisors in order to better meet the rising customer expectations.
According to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 Malaysia Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM, Malaysian vehicle owners are looking for better service experience from authorized car service centers when it comes to aftersales service maintenance and/or repair work during the first 12 to 24 months of ownership. This includes having service centers provide them with more knowledgeable service advisors, in addition to faster service turnaround times. The study finds that current service levels are not at par with customer expectations and in a separate report by the National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC), poor aftersales service are among some of the 4,915 complaints received against the automotive industry last year.
“Many automakers have predominantly focused on training their service technicians but we believe training for the front-line customer advisors is equally important to ensure good service quality. That is why at IMI, we take a holistic approach to ensure both technical and non-technical disciplines are covered in our training so the entire service team is equipped with the relevant skills to provide customers with a positive service experience”, said Matthew Stuart, Senior Manager of IMI South-East Asia.
A recent IMI survey conducted in the UK revealed that 25 percent of the women drivers are averse to bringing their car in for servicing, due to a lack of understanding about cars. 36 percent admitted to knowing nothing about cars and being totally reliant on service centers for guidance and 31 percent said they were confused by the jargon used by the trade.
“In today’s highly competitive automotive market, providing exceptional service quality is key to retaining car buyers. This can be in terms of making car servicing experience more female-friendly with good customer service advisors. Especially in the light of new emerging technologies such as electric efficient vehicle (EEV) and electric cars, it is even more crucial for the customer service personnel to have the proper training and up-to-date knowledge that can help them better serve customers”, added Stuart.
Having been present in Malaysia for over 10 years, the IMI has been working closely with automotive players and education bodies here to enable them to become IMI approved centres offering internationally recognized IMI qualifications. The training offered in partnership with IMI, helps automotive players raise the quality of their human resources in the servicing line, from their aftersales service technicians to their front-line customer service advisors.
“By helping employees upgrade their skills and capabilities, Malaysia’s automotive companies stand to gain from an empowered workforce that can help further strengthen customer loyalty by delivering world-class customer service”, ended Stuart.