Published on February 18th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
IMI Urges Other Carmakers to Invest in Customer Service, Citing the Success of Mercedes-Benz and Mazda
The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) urged automakers and their authorized service centres in Malaysia to up the ante in customer service training to drive repeat business and higher customer lifetime value. A return and investment (ROI) study at Mercedes-Benz has shown that training and development of customer service advisors can have a positive effect on business.
The ROI study commissioned by the IMI at Mercedes-Benz focused on the role of Customer Service Advisor (known at Mercedes-Benz as Service Team Manager – STM) in the aftersales service and repair departments of the passenger car dealer network. The STMs underwent an IMI customer service training program known as the C-Service Certification, aimed to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge in them so that they can provide outstanding customer service.
The study analyzed the performance of the trained STMs who interface directly with customers from initial contact, through the workshop process to the safe return of the vehicle. The results demonstrated positive correlations between core customer service with customer retention and customer satisfaction index across the Mercedes-Benz UK aftersales network.
Central to good customer service is the service personnel’s ability to communicate effectively and knowledgeably to customers. By having an open line of communication with customers at every stage of the servicing process, as well as putting in place a communications strategy to keep in touch with customers, will help encourage repeat business and maintain customer loyalty.
IMI offers Level 2 and 3 certificates in Customer Service which is for customer-facing staff including sales and after-sales customer service advisors as well as for individuals who recognize that customer service skills complement their technical skills. Having been present in Malaysia for over 10 years, the IMI works closely with automotive players and education bodies here to enable them to become IMI approved centers offering internationally recognized IMI qualifications. One of IMI’s approved centers, Bermaz Motor Sdn Bhd which is the distributor of Mazda vehicles, scored the highest in the J.D. Power 2015 Malaysia Customer Service Index (CSI).