Meet Mayank – A Digital Native
Mayank works in a senior product role in an Indian startup based in Bangalore. Like much of his peer group, he is now used to running a majority of his life digitally. This includes ordering food, groceries and even pet supplies, now that his neighbourhood store has started taking orders via Whatsapp. And why not? It’s very convenient and allows him to spend time on work or leisure.
Of course, this means Mayank now expects such convenience from other services too, the absence of which can be frustrating. “I had to get my car serviced, but I had to find the right garage, check if my model would be serviced, and hold for a long time before finally confirming. And then there’s the whole hassle of delivering the car in Bengaluru’s notorious traffic – and then the whole return trip too. I have had to take leave from work in the past just to do this!”, he says. “At a time when my neighbourhood store is going digital, I’m surprised that something as high-value and high-tech as cars still requires me to go through such a medieval process! I know friends who have delayed their car servicing purely because of the hassle of the whole process.”
The importance of after-sales service, especially for automobile
Mayank’s is not an isolated experience. Customers’ expectations are increasing, as they get exposed to better experiences from competitors or even from other sectors. According to Salesforce, 73% of customers said one extraordinary experience raised their expectations from other companies. A good number have made the shift as well. In a high-touch, high-involvement, high-word-of-mouth category like automobile, this becomes all the more important. A recent study by Deloitte found that this trend is accelerating thanks to Covid-19.
For the automobile industry, improved service stands to become a key differentiator. A study by Economic Times among Indian car owners shows while deciding on the next car, their current car/ previous car aftermarket service can ‘make or break’ their decision. In fact, a global Accenture study showed that 74% of customers are even willing to pay for digital-led, “invisible” service.
Over the past few years, 21North has witnessed the demand from vehicle owners and the increasing requirement among dealers to competitively provide exceptional aftersales experience. Providing a great after-market experience on par with other digital experiences is in the best interest of the company. “We believe that the purchase is actually the beginning of the relationship with a customer rather than the end of it”, says Praveen Surendiran, MD, 21North. “Time and again, we have seen that a great after-sales service almost always increases loyalty and word-of-mouth, and that’s more powerful than what any out-of-funnel advertising campaign can do.”
How our solutions benefit everyone in the chain
“Life would be so much easier if I could just digitally book a time slot, and even better, have someone come pick up the car for servicing”, says Mayank.
The good news is, that’s exactly what we offer! Essentially, by digitizing the entire experience and providing dedicated customer support, 21North makes everyone’s lives easier.
Automobile customers like Mayank can now benefit from the aftermarket revolution – from saving time to convenient servicing, to getting transparent pricing. Automobile companies benefit from customer loyalty, servicing within the ecosystem (less risk of the customer going to a third party), and savings arising out of outsourcing a non-core function. This process even benefits service centres, as things become more predictable for them and they spend more time doing their job rather than administrative work like scheduling, following up, fielding calls from customers, etc.
And finally, across the chain, the introduction of data brings its own benefits – better insights, analytics, and information, which has the potential to improve the whole process (and eventually, customer experience) with the magic of AI.
Driving towards convenience
It is very evident that in 2020 and going forward, customers expect everything to be as convenient as the other apps on their phone, and rightfully so. There is no reason for any process or industry to be left behind. Extremely successful companies in the past like Nokia, Blockbuster, Yahoo are classic examples of popular companies that could not keep up with the time and eventually lost their market share. Anything that aids inconvenience is something that we should strive towards.
“It’s time for dealerships and service centres to re-imagine the customer journey throughout the post-purchase lifecycle and create a frictionless aftersales journey for the consumer by addressing every interaction point the customer encounters to create a win-win for both.” – Praveen Surendiran, MD, 21North Europ Assistance.