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Old 22nd October 2008, 10:03   #31
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I think, we need to have hassle free consumer laws (and yes if it does ever happen I am very sure it would be abused! ). Apart from that we also need the manufaturers to take pro-active corrective measure as part of responsibility and not a favour to the customer. How many recall of products have we had in this country ? Does it mean that the quality of the products is better than the east or west ?

Once these two are in place I am sure we consumers would take their rights seriously. Today, many of us (me inclusive) would not want to go through the painful redressal process, which many a time leads to a dead end, not knowing how we could proceed further.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 10:45   #32
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Default First Exp with Ford Showroom

Here is my first Exp...
1. I want to renewing Extended warranty. The CS told 7000+ over the phone.
2. Went to shop and one person came to help me to filling the Form and Other Stuff. As I was the new Owner of the Vehicle I also wanted to update the Details on the Database. He did all and asked me to wait for CS Manager.
3. Meet CS Manager in her cabin,gave my Credit Card to her for swiping the amount. She gave to Card for swiping to account dept and came back to Cabin.
4. Now the drama !!! She suddenly started asking me about the car. And I told its a Good ... Petrol. Now the shock.
5. For Petrol Extended warranty Cost only 4000+. Where ever she cut amount of 7000+. Now what ???
6. She called the above guy who filled the form and started scolding. But the guy behave such a way that nothing happened and went off.
7. Then the normal process canceling the amount and re-swipe... About to loose 2000+ in a moment.

It shows how responsible they are ? Or How much they know about the Car ? ... Don't get surprise if some day these service people put petrol in your diesel car or Vice-Versa.

Moral : Please specify your fuel type wherever you are mentioning your car.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 11:03   #33
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my two cents: this situation is not unique to India. I lived in the UK for several years and had forgettable dealer experiences there too. The reason was monopoly - as someone said, a large city has <5 dealers who are in effect run monopolies. The customer is obliged to service his car there because of warranty issues and availability of specialized equipment/tools.
In the UK, the government finally forced auto manufacturers to sell cars without servicing ties as part of warranties. The code from the SMMT, who represent all sectors of the automotive industry in the UK, says that you are free to get your car serviced anywhere in the UK and still benefit from the manufacturer’s new car warranty, as long as the service is carried out to the car manufacturer’s recommendations, even if this service is carried out by an independent service or repair outlet.

The reason Bajaj/BSNL etc. improved service levels is because of competition. The lack of it results in bad and indifferent service.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 11:16   #34
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because we indians aren't process driven, but individual driven.

Except Hyundai, where quite dumb individuals seem to be following amazingly good processes - atleast in CRM.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 11:49   #35
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In my opinion the main reason for bad service experience is:
1)There is no trained staff to welcome the customer and attend him immediatly. Guide him to the right department ( 2 guys per showroom can handle this very well. )

2)There is no individual trained team to take care of service needs. To be precise, There should be a dedicated team of service engineers trained for:
a) rectifying Suspension related issues
b) Another team for Wheel & RIM
c) Fuel injection system
d) Electrical
e) Gearbox,Clutch & Brakes etc,
f) Body &Paint shop.
The Customer Service Adviser should be in charge of coordinating the teams as per the complaints received from customer. He should shift the vehicle from one shop to the other for the repairing activities. And at every stage he should make sure that the complaint is resolved 100% with 0 occurrence. And the adviser will be 100% responsible for answering customer queries/doubts regarding the work done. Any revisit for the same problem should add a -1 to the teams service record. I think this will solve the issue to an extend.
what you guys say?
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Old 22nd October 2008, 12:54   #36
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Communication/Listening skills - Most often the service advisor is in such a hurry that he notes down general/regular comments. Specifics are missed out. Sometime even goes ahead and writes down the resolution for the mech. This is read by mech who goes ahead and do a regular affair job. Problem is compounded if you have a language problem with the SA and mech.

Details - Some customers are ok as long as there is a difference and the car is not really breaking down in the middle. Others look into details and there the SA and mech goofs up, this will result in repeat job.

Time - Dealerships are busy and have tight schedule, most often they just work like a clock and dont like to get into R&D and diagnose the problem first, before tackling it. Try to avoid peak seasons at workshops, that helps to an extent.

Attitude - Its hard labor and humans in general dont like it and take it as thankless, how many mechs you know really love what they do and are not there just for the money. So if the passion is lacking lot of things can go wrong.

Confirmation of work done - How many SA/Mech actually refers and tick out the actual complaints recorded, when they do a final test drive? Big embarrassment can be avoided with customer if they follow this. For me a missing clip in mud flap is a big issue and it costs 3 bucks BUT will take half a day if i need to attend to it later.

Customer - Yes we are also partly responsible, sometime we overdo it with our inputs and anger, just like any other job personal interaction helps to a great extent, both ways. Sometimes we are in a hurry to get the vehicle back, this adds to their pain of keeping the customer happy. Another issue, covering up the cause to get a free warranty job and thus misguiding the workshop, trust me it does more harm at times.

Lack of ownership from Dealer/Manufacturer - How many dealers/manufacturers we know will actually catch the culprit and put him to task? Quality is a way of thought which requires support and commitment from all the parties, then only things will improve.

Trained mechanics - This is the era of specialization and wrong specialist can screw up. egs: i have seen specialist for electricals working on AC (mech bit) and he eventually did it wrong. Yes he was getting trained and widening his area of expertise, but when in doubt, refer to a manual/ask for help, instead of experimenting on someone elses precious property.

Cheap jobs - To keep the customer happy avoid some parts or work and give a smaller bill. Avoid following the job list and guidelines for a service, especially if the car is new or has run very less. Anyday i prefer a good dealer compared to friendly road side/local guy who might be very cheap, especially for major jobs and service. General jobs like paint touch up, polishing, wheel alignment and balancing can be done by specialist outside but otherwise no thanks.

These are few thoughts that came to my mind.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 13:24   #37
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The real question: Is it manufacturer driven? One thing that strikes out from the thousands of Team-BHP ownership reports (and counting) is that, a majority of after sales satisfaction comments were identical for the same manufacturer. More like 60 - 70% commenting giving after sales good / excellent reports to the same brand. Or the majority giving a brand below average / poor ratings. Very few brands were neither here nor there.

Consider now that the sample includes actual owners from all parts of the country. And products at different price points too! When you have a majority of Skoda & Honda owners (as an example) complaining, and an equal majority of Maruti, Hyundai & Toyota customers praising...that's enough to tell a trend. Internationally too, as an example, Lexus dealers fare exceedingly well on customer satisfaction.

The above-mentioned fact has convinced me that the onus of customer satisfaction starts with the manufacturers efforts:

1. Choose dealerships / workshops carefully.
2. Set recruitment standards for dealer personnel.
3. Train, train & more train. And then train some more.
4. Conduct independent surveys.
5. Take the strongest action against negative ratings. If a dealership consistently fails, final warning leading to cancellation of license.
6. Base dealer incentives on customer satisfaction ratings as much as on sales targets.
7. Service advisor incentives based on customer satisfaction.
8. Keep one executive on their (manufacturers) payroll at the workshop only to monitor customer satisfaction
9. Operate a dedicated customer service cell (full time staff, toll free number, active website, effective management etc. etc.) ONLY to keep their existing customers happy.

How much would these initiatives cost a popular manufactuer? Chump change from the multi-crore branding budgets that they have. And when you consider that the dealership is their FACE to the customer, any manufacturer skimping on customer satisfaction is an idiot. No more. Dealers can, indeed, make or break an automotive brand.

Great topic, Behram!
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Old 22nd October 2008, 14:49   #38
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mods
i am not sure,but can we have a poll on this,with list of options (common ones).
i think it will give a better answer to the question.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 15:13   #39
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I see it in 2 ways.

1) Over possessive customers- asking for too much from dealership---Nothing can be done in such cases where a customer is not willing to see things which he actually has to see, in one typical case, saw a customer arguing about change of spark plugs. it was evident that the product had completed its life cycle, vis incase of a puncture also customer complaining of a wrong tyre.

In few genuine cases,i.e., one cars oil and filter change was not done in the said services , just topped up, car washed cleaned and ready for delivery. Me too faced this, but after a big showdown the dealer the required service was rendered.

There are no proper supervisors who are assigned to a particular vehicle who actually understands a customers problem.

2) In other case Dealership feels all customers ask for more than what they are supposed to get, so dont entertain. In this kind of situation what else can a customer expect than a cold shoulder from our dealership

I've seen a few instances where the Manufacturers come to play and the problems are minimised, in case with me TATA's and also Maruti's. Few issues with service were ironed out with intervention of the Manufacturers.

These issues are cyclic and doesnt seem to change at present.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 15:42   #40
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One of the reasons is lack of proper consumer laws and their implementations. Like in US,UK and many countries people sue the Dealer and Manufacturer if they get a raw deal and they get the compensations from courts in a quick time as well.
However in India Dealers and Manufacturers know noone will bother suing and even if the customer does Sue them case will drag for 10 years and then die its own death. Customer also know nothings gonna happen if they Sue so they too avoid it.
With better Consumer laws and their implementations the fear can be installed in Dealers+Manufacturers to care for their product even after they had sold it and a car, be it an A segment or D segment always has a lot of hard earned money involved.

Last edited by harry10 : 22nd October 2008 at 15:43.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 15:48   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The real question: Is it manufacturer driven?

1. Choose dealerships / workshops carefully.
2. Set recruitment standards for dealer personnel.
3. Train, train & more train. And then train some more.
4. Conduct independent surveys.
5. Take the strongest action against negative ratings. If a dealership consistently fails, final warning leading to cancellation of license.
6. Base dealer incentives on customer satisfaction ratings as much as on sales targets.
7. Service advisor incentives based on customer satisfaction.
8. Keep one executive on their (manufacturers) payroll at the workshop only to monitor customer satisfaction
9. Operate a dedicated customer service cell (full time staff, toll free number, active website, effective management etc. etc.) ONLY to keep their existing customers happy.
Toyota is a perfect example the world over.
All the customer centric thinking, be it long term strategy or the processes for manufacturing a car or selecting a dealership can be found in the book 'The Toyota way' by Jeffrey Liker.

Manufacturer has a lot to say in these kind of scenarios. It is interesting to see how the dealerships are selected and sustained in the present Indian scenario. As someone pointed out, the processes for selection of the dealers to maintain and sustain quality A.S.S is not available and there in lies the problem.

Great thread!
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Old 22nd October 2008, 16:14   #42
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This thread is turning out to be great as I expected, thank you guys. Now let me add what I wanted to convey.

The only deliverable on customer care should be:
NOTHING HAPPENS TO THE CAR - EVER - THE CUSTOMER ONLY ADDS FUEL AND DRIVES - EVERYTHING ELSE IS OUR PROBLEM. By the way, that word "EVER" is most important.

In order to set a car really right, the person attending to it must have the core competence / unique ability to "feel" the car. As soon as you sit on the driver's seat, even before you turn the key, the car starts talking to you and will tell you amazing things about itself if you choose to talk back to it. If you have developed this feel (it comes only the hard way, you have to slog for it), then all you need to do is drive for maybe half a kilometer and you will start dictating a list of "to do" things to the service advisor sitting next to you. Break this list into specific jobs, assign them to a correctly motivated workforce, provide the correct environment and "really correct" spares (not just part numbers), control the operation and you will have the car ready at the scheduled time, down to the last minute and you will get much more work / profit output in one working day, even with less number of people. Working to a realistic time schedule / work schedule is not difficullt, it is actually easier. Actually it is the only way. Believe you me, it works. When people in our great country will understand this, I do not know.

But the "cine-que-non" (absolutely necessary primary quality) to achieve this level is professional knowledge and professional competence. If you don't have it, don't ever enter this line of business.

Unfortunately, most don't have it and they are in this business because they have money, not passion. So they pretend to have it, then they try to do something which does not work. As they get internally frustrated, they surround themselves with high fundas thinking that customers will be fooled. For some silly reason, they also believe that those who have the above capability must be used as such, a pittance of a salary must be thrown at them and then they should be tossed aside or they should be made to rot away. YEH ANGREZON KE ZAMANE KE JAILER HAI. YEH NAHIN SUDHRENGE.

Customers ultimately suffer. Sad but true. QED!

I will give more insights shortly which will amaze you. Let the comments / debate continue.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 22nd October 2008, 18:05   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
IMO, the real reason for the dealer attitude is the monopoly situation. Think about it, You buy a car of any brand, and the maximum number of dealers in a big city is 3 or 4. Now in a city as big as Bombay, 3 or 4 dealers is way too little, considering the geographical spread. Smaller cities have only 1 or 2 dealers. So, where are the options?
IMO this has to be the main reason for the Indian Car Dealerships to be in this current situation.

I tend to see myself moving from one to another depending on which one is offering better service during that particular period of time.

To be honest even big car companies like Mercedes Benz have horrible service centers. Since it is a monopoly in most parts of India, and the fact that we do not have chain franchise Service Stations like there are in other western countries, customers have no option but to take it to the respected dealership and go through the regular trauma of the horrible *** experience.

If OEM wants to practice monopolies in India there is one important thing they need to double check every time they audit dealerships, viz - what they(dealership) have been doing and how much they have been spending to expand from their current establishment.


For example, in a city like Hyderabad, Honda dealerships that have originated way back when then the OHC was launched have gone through minimal or no changes in infrastructure, so how do they plan on accommodating the NHC, Accord, Civics and CR-Vs that they have been selling like hotcakes. There is a huge baglog of cars, delays, service reprasentatives filling you with blind promises telling you that you wil get your car back way before they estimate it to finish etc, etc.

Even the Mercedes Benz dealership which surfaced in 1990s has gone through no major such development since it came out. It can accomodate no more than 5-6 cars at a time (with work going on them) and less than 10 parked vehicles(waiting to be worked on).
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Old 22nd October 2008, 19:27   #44
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I have the following to say

With the automobile dealers, accountability is very poor. They know that whatever happens to the customer due to them (dissatisfied, fed up etc), nothing will happen to them. There may a few customers who would be persistent enough to take action on them through consumer courts, or a few Team BHP members circulating feedback through the forum , the majority will just grumble and move on. Worst case, the majority will go to another dealer. The actual incidents where the dealer is made to pay compensation can be counted and may be still in single digits.

The number of cars per dealer is high so even if a few dont come back, the dealer is not bothered. He has enough customers to make his money.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 20:34   #45
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Default My experience

From my experience on heavy vehicles. The events happened several years ago. So, the details may not be valid, but the lessons remain.

Quote:
WHAT ARE THE ROOT CAUSES FOR THE DEALER TO FLAUNT A "CHALTA HAI" ATTITUDE?.
1. Ignorance.
2. Lack of will - to get hands dirty.
3. Misplaced trust.

I will deal with things in order.

1. Ignorance.

The steering of one of the buses is vibrating. (the column, AND the steering wheel). "Change the kingpin assembly" says the asan, from under the vehicle.For the non-mallus, the asan is the equivalent of service advisor, owner, works manager, general manager all rolled into one. He is very happy, this takes about two shifts of work for a team of three or four people.

I refuse to accept the diagnosis. I bundle the asan into the vehicle, open the engine bay, and ask the driver to start the vehicle (I am underaged then). The engine is shuddering, shaking and vibrating. "But the foundations (mountings) are ok" says the asan.

"Look at the chassis cross members of the engine mounting" says the young brat.

The chasis cross member was cracked. Problem is solved.

2. Lack of will - to get hands dirty.

Engine is sputtering. Obviously, air is getting into the fuel lines. Staff say "problem with fuel lines saar, some leak somewhere".

Me takes a stick and puts it into the fuel tank. Tank empty. Fuel bills were fake. Couple of staffers lose their jobs.

3. Misplaced trust.

Incident 1.

This alternator is giving repeated trouble.

The shaft and the far end (far from the pulley, that is) fuses with heat and fails. The thing would look like spaghetti from the foundry when taken out. We had to re-machine the shaft and alternator body to fix things again. (those were the yonder old days!!!) Happened twice.

"Saar, the staff are not greasing it properly" says the mechanic.

"Saar, there is no way to grease the far end" says the staff.

I enquire around; and find that "sealed" bearings are available, which pack grease inside the seal. I ask the mechanic to use such bearings next time. "ok saar".

On day 3, same problem. I blow my fuse. A teenager with a blown fuse is difficutl to manage.

I decide to take things into my hand. I personally supervise the machining of the shaft and alternator body. I personally go to the shop to buy the bearings. I take out the bearings offerred to me, and check them. I take the bearings to the mechanic, and insist on them to be installed in my presense.

The alternator lasted for 1 year - its usual life.

Incident 2.

The starter motor is frequently failing. Every 3 weeks or so. Into the 3rd month, I again get my hands dirty, and look into the components when the motor is dismantled. Find a particular part - "clutch assembly" (IIRC) which pushes the rotor into the flywheel and retracts it when the starter switch is released to have failed. Have a good look at it, and find it to be from some unknown brand. I go to the spares dealer, and insist on a product from Lucas TVS. The thing works fine.

The spares dealer complains to dad "your son is buying expensive parts!!!".

I put my foot down, point out that the problem has disappeared for ever, and and stop buying from that particular shop.

In the present day, I think some of the tactics we used in those old days are still valid - and find that some of you still follow them.

1. Insist on the replaced parts to be returned to you. They may be trash, but make sure that You are the person to put them into transh bin.

2. No substitute for knowledge. This forum is a good place we can ask around for tips on trouble shooting.

3. No substitute for willingness to get hands dirty. How many of you touch the oil on the dip stick before giving the vehicle for oil change / service and do it again after the beloved comes back from service?

4. Have faith in your service advisor. But ask him for reasons he is doing a particular job (esp. the repair ones). That way, you put faith in the reasoning, rather than just in the individual.

5. Have some control over the spares / parts going into the repair / service job. Not easy in all cases - especially authorised / large workshops where parts are directly sourced from the stores. (Of course, I know that most spares dealers have shut shop).

Would asking for the original cartons to be given to you work? I dunno the modern scenario. I hate it when my SA at my MASS saying that fuel / oil filter has been replaced, and I have no means of verifying. But, then, I have no means of finding out.



Quote:
Also dear Brabus E V12, please don't call me "uncle" you make me feel old. I am only 23
Is that the sum of digits in your age? (grins, ducks and runs!!!)

And apologies - have not gone through the entire thread.

Edit:-
Quote:
As soon as you sit on the driver's seat, even before you turn the key, the car starts talking to you and will tell you amazing things about itself if you choose to talk back to it. If you have developed this feel (it comes only the hard way, you have to slog for it), then all you need to do is drive for maybe half a kilometer and you will start dictating a list of "to do" things to the service advisor sitting next to you.
How true!!!

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 22nd October 2008 at 20:37.
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