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Old 3rd September 2013, 16:54   #76
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Default Re: Root Cause Analysis - Why Customers Have Bad Service Experiences With Indian Deal

I think most of the times the good listeners and hard working guys set off on their own entrepreneurially. With their skillsets, they do much better than working for a dealer who would no doubt be rubbing their noses in the dirt for a pittance.

So I presume many of them are actually biding their time at the dealers rather than enjoying what they do. For those honest enough, the dealers try to twist their tails hard enough so they either blend in with the rogues or just stay plain incompetent.
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Old 11th November 2013, 20:24   #77
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Default Tidbits on customer service!

Post EDITED: Removing [Font] tags, please avoid copy pasting from external font editors, also do a Preview before Submitting posts. Thanks.

I wanted to share an interesting experience that I encountered recently. I have been driving a Honda City for the past 2 years and have always been regular in getting my servicing done every 3 months (as prescribed by Honda). I need not mention about Honda’s fuss-free ownership experience as everyone is aware of it. So my experience at Hallmark Honda Nerul is also no different. So this is the simple process that I follow. I book a day or two in advance and go on the appointed date in the morning. The girls manning the reception desk ask me to wait for some time and I sit on the sofa, after some time a courteous service executive comes to me and invites me to his desk. With a wide smile he addresses me as “sir” and asks me if I would like to have a tea or coffee. Then we proceed to my car and he inspects the car and both of us return to the desk and he gives me an estimation of the service cost. Then he writes his name and mobile number on the copy of the estimation bill and gives it to me, with a wide smile saying “sir please come at so and so time and collect the car.” Every 3 months I meet a separate service executive, but the process and their mannerisms remain same.

Now the real story begins. Last week my cousin requested me to get his Tata Safari serviced for some lingering issues. As I was free, I took his car to the Tata service station. I was waiting at the reception to give the car for servicing, after a long wait one service executive came to me. I recognized the guy immediately as he was one of the service executives I had met at Honda last year. Probably he changed job and joined Tata. But he did not recognize me. Anyway, I was expecting the same behavior from him as I am used to at Honda, and the guy was also the same former Honda guy. But I was surprised the way he behaved at Tata. He was like “Kya kya kaam hain aapka; time lagega; etc, etc”. He did not address me as “sir”, did not offer me tea, and did not make me feel special like he did at Honda! He disappeared for a long time and when he came back, did not apologize for the delay the way he would have done at Honda. Now less said better about the rest of the experience!

Now my question is why, why Indian companies cannot offer better customer service experience? In my case, it was the same Honda guy, but he got completely changed and became as “customer–unfriendly” as possible after joining Tata. What immediately came to my mind was “Salman Khan”, who had recently complained about his experience at Jaguar-Land Rover (I had read this at Team-BHP only). If they cannot even keep their most high-profile customer in India happy, then what is the fate of the lesser mortals! I know British companies are not paragons of customer-friendliness. But has their customer service become worse after being acquired by Tata? Don’t know! But wish Indian companies were a little better in customer-service, nowhere near the Japs and the Koreans, but at least, a little better!

Last edited by Jaggu : 12th November 2013 at 10:43.
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Old 17th August 2015, 18:40   #78
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Default Re: Root Cause Analysis - Why Customers Have Bad Service Experiences With Indian Dealers

Main cause is the incompetent mechanics.
Here is what I think happens.
1. A new service center is about to be opened and it sends its couple of mechanics to main parent company to get some sort of basic training.
2. At the time of opening of service center the owner recruits some ITI sort diploma holders fresh out of their course.
3. With passage of time the senior mechanic builds a rapport with customers and customers always look for this learned soul in service station.
4. Slowly, this learned soul gains experience and then starts throwing tantrums hoping to get undue bennifits in salary.
5. The owner fires such learned mechanic and the junior staff is left to take care of vehicles.

Also, the cars sell in high numbers with insufficient number of service station to cater.
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Old 17th August 2015, 19:56   #79
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Originally Posted by download2live View Post
This is going to be easy.
Because the Legal System in India sucks big time.
Dealers know they can get away with anything they want. And hence the Customer is nothing in their eyes.
Give teeth/implementation to law and this question will become irrelevant.

The customer service we see in countries like USA is not because they "Love" customer. It is because they can get "Sued" out of existence.
This.. +100

People are not held accountable for their results. Happens in every service oriented profession. Including mine.

Its too much of a hassle to follow up on any grievance if the cost of follow up is too high. In India it is very high. In such a scenario, regulators are supposed to do their job prudently to protect the public interest. But that too remains a distant dream as of now.
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Old 17th August 2015, 20:20   #80
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Default Re: Root Cause Analysis - Why Customers Have Bad Service Experiences With Indian Dealers

The root cause is not just those running the centres but the manufacturers themselves.

Let me take a stab - The sales is always easy and fun and a great experience for most of the customers.

The dealers have a set target each year and that includes how many warranty services etc that they can approve. This puts a lot of pressure on specific service centre and they will end up running in loss if they dont take steps that makes it extremely hard for users and customers to claim what they deserve.

The legal system we all know is so closed to being a Joke meaning you may spend more in that system than in actual service.

THe blame is with the manufacturers and the govt and i think the dealers are simply another point in that big picture where margin is derived by denial of service, parts or anything in the name of warranty. They make money through service.
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Old 17th August 2015, 22:43   #81
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Default Re: Root Cause Analysis - Why Customers Have Bad Service Experiences With Indian Dealers

Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear all - In this thread, I have read a lot of actual cases of your bad experiences (and some good) when you visit dealers as customers for getting anything done to your cars. The intention is to get to the ROOT CAUSE ...
Dear Behram, thank you for starting this thread. Very apt. So here it is from a fellow 23 year old

Some of the reasons for often (but not always) shabby service are spelt out below. These are all more or less of equal importance and their weightage would vary from dealer to dealer and situation to situation.

1. Customer Protection Laws: Weak implementation of consumer protection laws. The dealer and his staff know that few car buyers/owners have the resources (money, time, knowledge and energy) to fight a consumer court case. Thus customer service becomes something that must spring from within the culture of the dealership and the OEM. As an example we have seen the shamelessness and stubbornness of large OEMs towards major customer issues tabled on Team BHP. Which is why we see the likes of Skoda or BMW or Audi conducting themselves in a devil may care manner at times.

2. Turnover of staff & training: Other than Maruti I do not know who else are investing in rigourous training of dealer staff - maybe Toyota & Hyundai. Most dealers keep poaching staff from each other all the time. The wages start to creep up without competency or attitudes showing a commensurate improvement. The attrition also leads to broken connections with the customer. Cars have become shockingly complicated especially with the electronic based controls. a quarter of a lifetime ago I could fiddle with a M800 with some degree of success. Today I don't open the bonnet. I wonder how well trained are the mechanics at a dealership to handle the complexities of a car that has dozens of embedded micro-chips.

3. The OEMs: The OEMs with maybe two or three exceptions do not organize the processes and procedures and workflows of the repair workshops or often even the sales outlets. A repair workshop is an industrial unit that needs proper PERT/CPM, planning and what not. Go to a Skoda workshop and then visit a Toyota one and you see the difference yourself (as an owner of one of both I can speak for myself). The attitude of the dealer is often a close reflection of the attitude, policies and incentives of the OEM. The OEM gives a dozen direct and unspoken clues of how it wants to interface with the customer. The OEMs policy of part replacement or customer resolution or re-imbursement to the dealer will determine the dealers behavior.

4. Investment & Profits: Other than Maruti and maybe one more OEM no one seems to be making a cash profit which then leaves less budget to invest in training and dealer development. If the OEM is cash strapped it becomes harder for the dealer to be making a healthy profit because some of that cash shortage pressure must be flowing down to the dealer. Running a car dealership I suspect requires a lot of working capital to hold inventory. Do the margins they make allow for enough profit - I don’t know. Inventory holding costs in India for an SME is around 1% to 1.25% per month.

As a businessman I get enthusiastic and energetic about those divisions that are doing well profit wise or are on the path to doing well. The division that is consistently not doing well and is being hurt be short selling competition the attitude becomes to batten the hatches and bunker down for a while and talk starts of 'should we sell it off'. If the dealer is not making enough money his incentive to invest evaporates. Seriously doubt dealers of small volume OEMs can turn a profit in India.

5. And finally the customer: It takes two hands to clap. The dealer and its employees are all human beings. How they react to you is at least partly a function of how you deal with them. A firm, courteous & confident tone helps - the operative word here is firm. Be known as the rogue who will both compliment you to your manager/owner or send a stinking letter to the owner/OEM. It helps to cultivate individual engineers in the workshop.

Ultimately competition could improve matters. Permier And HM were known for their poor A.S.S. till Maruti came along. And Maruti were compelled to improve their A.S.S. to keep pace when the new OEMs - Opel, Daewoo etc entered in the mid-1990s.
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Old 19th August 2015, 22:06   #82
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Default Re: Root Cause Analysis - Why Customers Have Bad Service Experiences With Indian Dealers

Originally Posted by MSC View Post
Main cause is the incompetent mechanics.
Here is what I think happens.

Also, the cars sell in high numbers with insufficient number of service station to cater.
Add to this - Incompetent service advisers. Our Figo went in for a routine 40,000KM Service, Bill came to a whooping RS - 20,666!
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Old 10th September 2015, 00:11   #83
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Default Re: Root Cause Analysis - Why Customers Have Bad Service Experiences With Indian Dealers

I guess this isn't too OT, this is about how things go about during an RSA SoS, and how "Customer Service" seems to sound like "Customer ko looto" at dealership/ground level, IMO simply thanks to managements inefficient control mechanisms in Operations within whats supposed to be a professionally run company :

My Nano's foot brake cable had snapped, called RSA.

Call 1, 9:30am

"Helpline" personnel took 18 minutes to understand this simple thing. (14 year old kid next door understood in under a minute). I had requested her to try & ask the mechanic if it was possible to do this on-site (like how they'd done for my Nano's accelerator cable about a year ago).

11:30am Got call back with a towing guy on conference who offered to tow my Nano to the Service Center for Rs.1,700/-. (lol this is for ~7-8 kms)

(N.B.: 2 hours, and they hadn't spoken with any mechanic. When requested again they claim "he only is mechanic no sir?" while was the just towing guy.)

Then they offer me a "membership" saying I'll be eligible for RSA anywhere in the country, for any distance, any number of times, all through the next 1 year, for just Rs.1,220/-. Shes like "Can we assume you'll buy the membership", & even confirmed I'd be able to get the car towed tomorrow without charges.

*Knowing from my past experiences, I had a doubt that they're simply trying to sell me something unnecessarily. & As I've left for a busy day at work, I guessed I'll call my insurance RSA tomorrow anyway. (Didn't mention that though, to them I wanted this to be an SoS call for RSA. Just incase.)*

So asked if this membership's benefit could be used today itself. She's not sure, says she'll call back.

3:50pm (4.5hrs later!) Got a call clarifying that membership is for 6 breakdown assistance incidents & 2 towing charges. I dunno how they're different, asked her. No clue - she'll call back in 10 mins.

4:16pm Calls back clarifying Rs.1,220/- is just for membership while towing charges infact will be applicable separately over & above the 1,220/- and will depend on dealership('s mood?)! I asked if it could be purchased at any time, again, didn't know & another call back in 10 mins.

4:20pm Calls back confirming membership can be bought anytime in future.

Point is : This is the kind of support they've kept for emergency services!

If I had agreed to that "Membership" gimmick the first time assuming (as informed over call) it'll cover present towing charges & future contingencies I would have got a rude shock later that the amount effectively includes nothing and I'd have to pay not just as towing charges (@Rs.200/km) this time, but even at other times at whatever prices dealer felt.

Either the people are uninformed OR (more likely) they're just trying to rip-off people at their most vulnerable moments (during possible emergencies).

If that went through, I'd have accused Tata Motors of fleecing me & never considered buying anything from them in future.

Hope, from this, someone is able to extract some learnings about (partly) why their company isn't able to sell cars even at "VFM" prices in this market.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 10th September 2015 at 00:41.
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Old 10th December 2016, 11:04   #84
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Default Re: Root Cause Analysis - Why Customers Have Bad Service Experiences With Indian Dealers

I will narrate one incident that would explain why majority of car owners rank Maruti high in terms of customer satisfaction.
If I have to explain it in once sentence, its because Maruti Management exerts tight control over their dealership network and would not allow them to take customers for granted.

Five years ago I was in process of purchasing a car, and had finalized Wagon R . One of colleague's husband held a big role in Maruti's Management and was in charge of dealing with dealers(no pun intended). I had jokingly asked her if I could get additional discounts over and above what dealer was promising to me.

To be honest I was not really expecting any favors, but to my surprise I got a call from her husband to announce that there is additional manufacturer discount of 5K which I can avail.

The story does not end up here. I had inquired in two dealerships for the car and had decided to go ahead with one of the dealers .

I received another call the same gentlemen from Maruti management, who wanted to know why I chose one dealer over another. I gave my honest opinion and explained why i did not go ahead with dealer, citing SA's lack of knowledge and experience.

I guess he was tracking what I was upto and whether I would go ahead with purchase or not.

Later I came to know from my colleague that she was with him when he made that call and he had put the dealerhip in question on conference to receive direct feedback.

Now that was some nice detective work happening behind the scenes.

Last edited by born_free : 10th December 2016 at 11:07.
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Old 30th December 2016, 11:06   #85
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Default Re: Root Cause Analysis - Why Customers Have Bad Service Experiences With Indian Dealers

It all starts at the manufacturer end. They set the culture of the dealers and service centers. I have experience of Hyundai, Maruti and Honda over the last 20 years. The companies are very tough on the dealer/service center when a customer complains. That's enough normally and of course they must have a good system for booking the complain, job cards, and most of all feedback from the customer. All in all the JD Power survey provides all the auto companies a good amount of independent information about their customer satisfaction on all elements including the dealers.

I have just bought a Tata car and have seen signs that they might have overhauled their customer handling at dealers and service centers. However, it will take some time before the rank and file get tuned to the more customer centric dealing.

It goes without saying that if the customer is also composed and polite he/she will get much better service even in a badly managed environment.
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