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Old 13th May 2016, 09:21   #31
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

The way dealerships operate depends upon whos running it. Majority of older dealerships in Bangalore and many places in the country are run by old school businessmen who believe that an employee is also a labourer and therefore does not have much rights. He will in all probability ask you to get lost.

Let me share my experience, while I joined the dealer ship before my degree to tide over a financial crises, I was doing distance learning from IGNOU, while my boss was aware, he would snicker about it in the morning meeting saying, 'professor sahib has arrived', and he would say, what will you do with an education, work more, take home more money', take your degree certificate, roll it up your...

Thankfully, the dealerships of today have stringent SOPs to follow which sadly does not include day off for the employee, however are run by 2nd generation of young businessmen, but these guys believe if employee works on a sunday, the turnover is better, reputation for the dealership and they can proclaim in the newspapers "SUNDAY OPEN". As someone pointed out above that if employee rights are taken care of, he will serve better. Very True.

I must inform that as compared to an IT company, employment in the dealership is a low end unskilled job, dealership staff are there because they need the job and whatever money that comes. There is no glory, if sales is good, the management gets the credit and sales bad, sales officer takes the brunt. I remember targets being doled out and incentive not getting credited on time. Situation is not so great even today.

I wish there were a guild for the staff that worked in automobile showroom, you don't get to hear horror stories do you? Everything is hushed because the dealer reputation is at stake.

Festivals like Ugadi and deepavali are living nightmares when staff are expected to come by 6.30AM and leave only by 11.00pm, what about working comfort for them? The entire 10-15 days is living hell.

While I do agree that dealership to be open and staff attentive for us to go do shopping and stuff, there is a greater need to voice out these unsung heroes who tide over personal challenges to still go and deliver a car on a sunday/festival day to the person to make his wishes come true.

Thanking you everyone for such a lively discussion. I have not come across any other forum that does a 360 coverage of an entire car buying sales cycle

Best Regards
Andy
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Old 13th May 2016, 12:17   #32
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Most two wheeler showrooms are like that. These show rooms run at less than required man power. A sales guy also pitching in as service adviser etc. Its simply cost equation a dealer wants to manager to maximize his own pocket-able profit.

KTM showrooms are closed by 6 also i guess. Its just the norm and nothing to do with market dominance.

.
I had a similar experience with Bajaj recently in Mumbai. My dad wants to replace his 8 year old Honda Unicorn and one of the bikes he is looking into is the Bajaj V15 (he needs one for his short distance commute). I call up a Bajaj dealer and ask for a test ride on a Saturday evening at 5:30 PM. The guy tells me that its closing time and hence the test ride is not available. I enquire for a test ride on Sunday. He says no test rides possible on a Sunday. And hence, the only way to get a test ride is to visit the showroom on a working day during the regular working hours.

Now, isnt that a bit illogical for any company aiming at maximizing sales. Look at any mall around you. The workforce is the maximum on Saturdays and Sundays. Look at any restaurant. Same there.

Its difficult to comprehend as to why the same is not being implemented by these auto companies. Hope, some of these companies are reading this thread.
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Old 13th May 2016, 13:40   #33
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

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I remember reading somewhere (or hearing about this from someone) that Sunday crowd at automotive showrooms are casual visitors and the %age sales vs footfalls is not worthwhile.
While I would agree that the casual crowd will be more (everyone is out for time-pass on Sunday!), so will the serious crowd. A lot of folk simply don't have the time or bandwidth on weekdays, or even Saturdays, to spend 2 hours in a car showroom.

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Originally Posted by Tanveer_2558 View Post
For some reason, I have always avoided going to any dealerships on sunday, Reason? Lot of people! Long queue for test drives
The key to avoiding queues in India is to get there EARLY! Indians just love to start late (and are last minute champions). Whether a lunch / dinner place or a car showroom, get there early. As an example, Sunday morning @ 10 a.m. should be perfect.

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The life in a dealership is absolute rat race. The CEO expects you to work 24/7.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Andy. However, I do think it was specific to the management as Blackwasp had a positive experience working Sundays at his dealership!

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Working in a dealership, I have totally opposite experience. Its actually profitable to work on a Sunday. We can come a bit late, and leave early and we get a comp off as well that can be used later. Staff is less, and many are reluctant, but I will always try to get myself on the Sunday rotation! This way, when I want to do actual work - pay bills, visit some office etc, I can take a leave during week day and do all my chores.

I've done deliveries on Sunday as well. The customer feels good knowing we accommodated his request. TD are available on Sundays as well. Since the RTO is not working, no paperwork (back office ) is done on Sundays. And generally the mood in the showroom is casual and the seniors are in a jovial mood as well. This is a good opportunity for a new person like me to develop a rapport with seniors.
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Old 13th May 2016, 14:07   #34
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

I agree with blackwasp. This he experienced since he was only an intern. Usually on holidays such interns are put to work and explicitly told 'This is the best way to gain experience in short while'

Only singles can afford to come and work on a sunday ( and they are targetted too). Experienced sales officer often depute junior guys or more often those people who have missed their target. And they are told "we are giving you an opportunity to catch up on your target".

Pray tell me bhpians, how many years you would agree to slog your weekends away like this,? BPO case is differant if work does not happen the BPO misses target and may be out of work what with wafer thin margins. Auto showrooms arent so hardpressed for money.

A lot of bhpians above have complained that only inexperienced staff are there on a sunday. Why?
Reason being dealer managent deputes them to collect ENQUIRIES. That is to collect a walkin prospects contact details. Database buildup. Thats all. No questions asked. The intern is supposed to collect customer name and contact number.

When you ask for TD you are the bakra. you have to fill up TD enquiry even before you get behind the wheel. Did you observe that after filling the form and 20 minutes of wait the salesman tells you that either car is on its way or not avlbl today or gone for an event? And all the while unbeknownst to you the test drive car is actually parked in the backyard?

Sirs, the agenda here is to collect database. For that the dealership does not need to run AC and keep experienced folks. We know customer will not wait his entire sunday to take TD it is humbly suggested to the customer we can offer a TD on a working day at your home or office as suitable to you.

The customer goes away feeling good and dealership staff are feeling good at having skimmed the custimer on his contact info

Best Regards
Andy

Last edited by Grace : 13th May 2016 at 14:17.
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Old 13th May 2016, 14:08   #35
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

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Its difficult to comprehend as to why the same is not being implemented by these auto companies. Hope, some of these companies are reading this thread.
May be labor law requirements that is simply making this cost ineffective. Secondly i am thinking if there is also inconvenience of closing a deal as banks are closed on Sunday meaning simply additional day of work for processing the same deal indirectly duplicating the effort.

And if they have to keep it open to only do test drive and hardly getting any bookings, its operationally a day wasted for many coming to work. We should ask a dealer to respond here
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Old 13th May 2016, 14:57   #36
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

Would I like to work on Sundays? Definitely not. Would I like others to work on Sundays? Again,definitely not.
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Old 13th May 2016, 16:15   #37
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

This is true.
Had a harrowing experience recently on a Sunday.
Maruti flatly refused.
VW was at it's sleepiest disinterested best.
Honda was abuzz (BRV) - but not TD vehicles and lots of ifs & buts.
Tata (Concorde and Wasan) both were sprightly best on a Sunday. Morning 10:30 TD vehicles of multiple cars were made available (we had gone for the Zest. Not Tiago). Showroom was short staffed but all demands were met. Another Sunday I got a proper and good TD of a Tiago as late as 8 pm on a Sunday ! Mighty impressed.
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Old 13th May 2016, 17:38   #38
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

Not exactly showrooms for me but I face this problem regularly with the Bajaj service center, Bajaj's service center is closed on Sundays. I own a pulsar and whenever I've to give it for servicing, it has to be on a weekday or a Saturday.

Weekdays I need my bike for travelling to and from office, so end up giving my bike for servicing on Saturdays. Hence, as expected, the service center is super crowded on Saturdays and sometimes I've been asked to return as they cannot promise to deliver the bike on the same day. Obviously i cannot wait till Monday as i need my bike for travelling on Monday. So end up waiting till next week. Would have been ideal if the service center was open on Sundays Its really inconveniencing and annoying.
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Old 13th May 2016, 17:42   #39
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Originally Posted by Grace View Post
I agree with blackwasp. This he experienced since he was only an intern. Usually on holidays such interns are put to work and explicitly told 'This is the best way to gain experience in short while'
.......
Pray tell me bhpians, how many years you would agree to slog your weekends away like this,?

Working on Sunday is totally voluntary, and initially even I was reluctant to work on Sunday, but after weighing the pros and cons, I now prefer Sunday workings and Monday off.

I think this is just like folks working the night shift. They work only at night, not 24hrs a day. Similarly, people working on Sunday will get an off on a weekday. So it's not like you are slogging 7 days a week. There's no merit to work on Sunday if you are not getting anything in return.
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Old 13th May 2016, 18:08   #40
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post

The key to avoiding queues in India is to get there EARLY! Indians just love to start late (and are last minute champions). Whether a lunch / dinner place or a car showroom, get there early. As an example, Sunday morning @ 10 a.m. should be perfect.
I did this in my last car purchase and was told by watchman/staff that the Sales Advisor would arrive only by 11/11:30. You get to see only empty car showroom with the car
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Old 13th May 2016, 18:09   #41
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

A pretty lively and valid discussion going on.

My 2 bits. Since my background is advertising/Marcom, had had a fair bit of experience in understanding the purchase funnel for automobiles in particular.

Today's Consumer's

1) Over 78% of the decision making of cars/SUV's (Brand, model, variant) are made prior to entering the showroom. Now this includes aam janta too and not a few enlightened janta in this forum including myself.
2) Can a sales person sway today's car purchaser into buying a brand that s/he has not not already shortlisted? nah..
3) Baring a few, we don't find showroom guys that are know much of the vehicle being sold. Have been on a few TD's myself and never could the sales guy who came with the vehicle and the competitive set that variant operated in.
4) Yes, buying a vehicle today is still a 'family' affair for most of us, its the second costliest investment post a house.
5) So, IMO, a showroom visit is mostly to have a touch & feel of the vehicle & possible for a TD. For most of us, including A segment cars, the TD normally happens at a location convenient to us. Very few go to a showroom for a pre booked TD.
6) As a potential consumer, Sunday would be convenient for many of us to get the 'family' over for a touch and feel experience and I agree with most that the quality of service should be above par at any given day for a potential consumer. Wholeheartedly agree with the peeves and the suggestions of the group.

Coming to a different topic (mods please indulge me in this) - Why do we need Company Specific Showrooms??? Forum members who have a showroom or worked in one and understand the p&l's do correct me, but I believe that keeping in mind the investment (real estate, costs, margins, slowdowns) its not as profitable as it used to be mainly because of the competition.

In USA, apart from marquee manufacturers (Merc, BMW, Porsche et al), the concept of multi branded showrooms is really taking off.

Coming to India, thanks to the e-com revolution, most brick & mortar electronics showrooms are finding it tough to manage sales leading to deep discounting and bleeding p&l's.

For today's consumer, why does he need a company exclusive showroom? 3 reasons that I can think of.
1- Touch and feel and get 'more' info from the sales guy
2- Quotations and all the discussions that go around it
3- PDI (very few aam janta do it any how), registration & delivery

To me in the near future (2-5 yrs), I believe most auto companies will start to put up with the concept of a multi branded car showrooms. We all know the case of telecom networks (around the world) hiving off tower infrastructure due to capex and profitability reasons.

In believe the future for companies across industries with be "AGGREGATION". It's happened in electronics, travel & tourism, power and most other sectors. Cant wait for it to happen in the auto sector too...
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Old 14th May 2016, 01:13   #42
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

As many people here have rightly mentioned, I also don't like working on a Sunday. However, I must admit that if you choose to work in a service industry, the best days for business are weekends and holidays. I have a couple of friends in real estate who are busier on weekends than weekdays. At the end of the day it is then upto the dealership to ensure that people get a weekday off or, if they so choose, close the dealership one day of the week. I understand the hardship this causes families and do sympathise with them, but then the other option is to find a job in another field
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Old 14th May 2016, 07:23   #43
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

For those of us who live in this place of eternal traffic chaos, Sunday is probably the only day when we can do a meaningful test drive. It was not this big a problem the last time I bought my car (2010). But these days I find it extremely difficult to focus on the car when I accompany my friends for a test drive even on a Saturday afternoon when the traffic is relatively less. Many a time I have realized that I didn't check that one particular thing that I wanted to check out during test drive due to the fact I was actually trying to reach back to the showroom unscathed driving along 4 lanes of traffic on a two lane road. I don't want to look like a fool who couldn't complete even a test drive without a scratch! I do understand working on a Sunday may not feel good. But there are so many professions ( some that pay well and some that doesn't) where this is the norm. It's up to the showrooms to motivate the staff (in the right way of course).
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Old 14th May 2016, 16:02   #44
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

Why they need to work on Sunday? I am glad that still humanity prevails in India and the showrooms run on thin attendance and arranging for TD and delivery is not possible. Do you think an employee do not have human rights to have leisure time with his family. I work at a bank wherein we had Sundays branch and the employees were reluctant to come on a Sunday. The alternate holiday on a weekday cant be used effectively simply because it is an awkward situation for them wherein their entire family is out in office, school or college and only one family member is at home. Alternate holidays are not going to help the cause. After six pm on a weekday, I have a mental block and I can't work because, I desperately want to hustle for home. But, during my office hours I leave no stone unturned in providing class apart customer service.
Those who want to buy a car will not decide based on the showroom working on a Sunday. Let us protect the working class who slog for a square meal and are always squeezed by the dealerships. I am sure in the entire world people get SUNDAY as weekly off!
Let's not maul the human values of the employees at the cost of jacking up sales.
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Old 14th May 2016, 16:42   #45
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Inspite of being avid auto enthusiasts, majority of us here do not know how a dealership works and the immensely stressful jobs of dealership personnel; starting from sales executives, team leaders, GM, SM, CCM, back office or even a stockyard in charge.
One car sale may not seem like a big deal to us, but the amount of effort and legwork that goes into it by the sales executive is mind boggling.

It is quite natural that nobody in the dealership would want to work on a holiday or Sunday. They are simply way too tired and stressed out.
In any case a lot of holidays, festivals, month ends are working days for them, adding to their misery.

Being in this industry, i can assure you of one thing. Contrary to popular belief here, the number of customers walking in to showrooms are much less on a Sunday. ( and i am speaking with a lot of data to back me up)

There are however instances wherein customers ask for delivery on a Sunday or on a festival like Onam.

Test drive vehicles are usually parked in the stockyards, workshops or inside the showroom on an off day. Every test drive has a set procedure to be followed internally, which may not be possible on a Sunday (eg signing a fuel receipt, test drive register, availability of a mandatory driver, test drive request form etc)

To be honest, as much as I would personally love to go car shopping on a Sunday, i wouldn't want to force this on anybody.
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