CUSTOMER SERVICE IN AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRIES

By now, most of us knew about the King Nijam of Hyderabad with the Rolls Royce story. When the King Nijam went on a trip to London, he ordinarily dressed like a common man and when on to the Rolls Royce showroom in London to inquire about the car but unfortunately the salesman of the showroom mistaken him for a poor soul or a person without any buying power and the salesman had insulted the King and unceremoniously chased him out from the showroom. King Nijam without showing any anger or embarrassment, went to his hotel and call up his aide to arrange a meeting with the showroom. Now, the King was given a red-carpet treatment and he had purchased 6 Rolls Royce to be shipped to India. On India, the King instead of using the car for his travel, he had used the car to transport garbage in Hyderabad and when the news flashed around the world it had dented a big blow for the Rolls Royce image and reputation.

Embarrassed by this, Rolls Royce had sent a Telegram and apologized to the King for the showroom incident before that where he had been insulted and at the same time offering all six Rolls Royce that the King had bought for free without any cost. Upon this, the King had stopped using the Rolls Royce as a transporting garbage. Although this story may be a rumour or it may be a true stories which are subject to debate but one thing can’t be denied is the embarrassment that happened to King Nijam and the same thing that had happened to Rolls Royce due to the King Nijam retaliation of using the luxury car for transporting garbage is due to the bad customer service that he had received in the Rolls Royce showroom earlier.

King Nijam on the left and the Rolls Royce car as the garbage transportation on the right

If the salesman in the showroom had respected the King when he had come in an ordinary dress this will not happen and this is some of the small things that can affect the sales of the showroom or the car brand name and it is called as the customer services. The customer service operation will operate with a principle that had been founded and pioneered by the retailer like Harry Gordon Selfridge, John Wanamaker and Marshall Field  “customer always right” or “customer comes first”.

With this principle the business maker will ensure that the customer will get the right treatment, right preference, avoid abusive from showroom person and get pampered as the business maker believes and rightly so that the customer provides the sales. Similarly, in the automobile industries especially in the showroom, the customer is very important in ensuring the potential buyers or any new buyers contribute to the sales.

In the pre-sales, the car lovers as the potential sales contributor will be provided information in term of brochure and face to face conversation and maybe a test drive to ensure that the car lovers will contribute to the sales of the showroom and enhanced the car brand reputation. Some customer also will watch the car review, read the car forum, comment from the existing user, and followed the current trend asking from WhatsApp group or Facebook group. The pre-sales are important for the sales contribution in the showroom.

However, the post-sales are the most important to ensure customer being loyal to the brand and do not have the feeling of regret on purchasing the car brand. This is part where many of the car lovers will be upset, happy, regret, irate and many more. The post sales happen in the service center where any misinformation from the service advisor can lead to the customer regret on buying the car brand. For example, the customer gets irate when the Volkswagen user had made their dissatisfaction known to everyone when they had assembled in the Volkswagen Tower in Bangsar in 2012 with regards to the DSG issue and also, they are some Facebook group or page on these DSG dissatisfaction issues too.

With the Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and YouTube any dissatisfaction can get viralled easily and worldwide and further damaging the car brand reputation. This is a similar thing that was happened to Rolls Royce when they had disrespected King Nijam as King Nijam takes payback by using the Rolls as a garbage transportation in Hyderabad. If during those days where the social media is nonexistent it still can a gave a big blow to the car brand reputation and now with the social media, it can cripple the car brand further not only in the country but also worldwide.

To ensure that the customer can be provided the best treatment as possible, the customer services person will be trained with technique on how to speak to the customer politely even when the customer is irate, provides latest information about the car, being updated in the any latest information of the car model in term of the technical aspect and many more. The training will be provided occasionally or in some showroom, they may provide some incentive for the best customer service officer or agent who had the best rating among the customer. Usually, as a customer, we will be more than delighted to speak with service agent who is polite, patient, and have great knowledge about the car in term of technical aspect and financial repayment aspect too.

On the other side, “the customer always right” also can be used by the customer to be more demanding and abusive to get what he or she feels is the right treatment for them. Unfortunately, most of the business maker will listen to the customer whom is demanding and provides the best solution for them as possible although it may not be the best solution according to the customer. However, the customer always uses to be demanding and angry when he or she feels that the car showroom or the service center does not provide the best service for him. This is another aspect of the customer service where the customer gains an upper hand and will use to get what the customer feels is the right solution for them.

The story of the King Nijam and the Rolls Royce maybe a myth or fact but one thing that can’t denied from the story that is all happen due to the humiliation that he suffers from the Rolls Royce when he comes like a common man and King Nijam as an angry customer take this opportunity to embrace Rolls Royce hence forcing Rolls Royce to apologies and getting the Rolls free of cost as payback or compensation for the humiliation that he had in the showroom. And according to some business maker, the customer whom always come like a common man will end up as the sales contributor than the customer who dressed magnificently hence all the customer must be respected and treated or pampered like a King based on the “customer comes first” principle in order to gain their trust to contribute to the sales and again treated well in the post sales to ensure the brand reputation and also to gain some loyalist in the car brand . Simply, the customer service is also an important part of the automobile showroom and service center.

 

 

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