The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic in India and all over the world has virtually changed the dynamics of every business. With safety and sanitisation key focus areas in a time of social distancing, employing a digital-first strategy is now par for the course.
From a motorist or vehicle user’s point of view, the pandemic has also driven the need for personal mobility, and with a large number of cars being taken to OEM workshops for servicing and routine maintenance, companies are keeping no stone unturned.
As a result, Tata Motors which has shown a robust sales performance over the past few months, has undertaken a series of initiatives to ensure contactless servicing and secure delivery at its workshops across the country.
The company has intensified its actions to ensure safety and security of its customers as well as its employees at its 675 authorised workshops across the country. The topmost among these is the ‘No touch by hand’ mandate.
Tata Motors’s hands-free connect
Under this guideline, the company has instructed its workshops to introduce bio-degradable-disposable covers to be firmly placed on the steering wheel, driver’s seat and gear knobs of incoming vehicles for servicing or repair. These covers are put inside vehicles when they enter the workshop and are disposed off in front of the customer after the vehicle is completely sanitised before delivery.
To reassure customers that their vehicle is being delivered in the safest possible manner, Tata Motors has also launched the ‘Sanitised by Tata Motors’ campaign. This sees the pasting of specially-designed 'labels of love' on the vehicles after sanitisation, and keeping them safely parked – untouched by the dealership staffers – until it’s time for delivery to the customer.
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Dimple Mehta, head, Customer Care – Domestic and International Business, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors, says: “The coronavirus pandemic has made it necessary to ensure contactless and sanitised vehicle delivery after service and repairs. Tata Motors has introduced multiple SOPs that are being adhered to at both dealer and workshop levels.”
For customers who are eager on a contactless service experience, the company is also offering a vehicle pickup-and-drop facility and keeps the customers updated about the vehicle status through SMS or its Service Connect App, which also accepts digital payments for convenience.
Driving digitisation in aftersales
The Tata Motors Service Connect app is claimed to beused by customers to access information regarding vehicle servicing, authorised dealers/ service centre locations, as well as information on extended warranty, annual maintenance contracts (value care) and 24x7 roadside-assistance support. “In our constant effort to make all procedures seamless, we have digitised the process of registering repair orders at workshops among other things,” says Mehta.
“Our workshops are designed to promptly respond to customer queries, provide cost estimations and work in sync with the app, which relays real-time data to the concerned aftersales teams. The app provides services such as online vehicle pickup requests, updates on repair status along with repair estimates for scheduled and frequent jobs,” he adds.
Some of the back-end digitisation initiatives include automation tools such as vehicle tracking and bay scheduling, and cloud-based software solutions which are helping improveproductivity in dealer operations by providing real-time data for workshop management as well customers. The company has also set up online technical support, warranty and spares help desk, VIN-based online parts catalogue and an inventoryexchange portal that helps its channel partners source parts from their co-dealers, thereby reducing the slow/non-moving part inventory.
With the customer becoming more demanding as well as the passenger vehicle market rapidly expanding into Tier 3 and 4 towns, the company is forward looking to address the need for reaching out to these customers and fulfilling their servicing requirements. As a result,the Door Step Service (DSS) – an extended workshop facility – is bringing full-fledged workshop to people’s homes even in remote areas.
“This service facility is being appreciated by our customersas it is bringing the convenience of a workshop right to their doorsteps. While customers are able to save time on travelling long distances to get their cars serviced, additionally the facility compliments the servicing business of the dealer partner by ensuring retention of customers in the long run. It also improves the brand image of Tata Motors along with the reputation of the dealers by increasing customer outreach and enhancing dealer revenues,” explains Mehta.
At present, the carmaker has over 42 mobile service vans and is also upgrading its workshops with comfortable lounges and state-of-the-art technology to better serve customers.“At Tata Motors, we continuously strive toward ensuring customer satisfaction. To achieve this, we facilitate customer-relationship building through various activities and encourage employee development in both technical and soft-skill areas. Additionally, we are working on increasing the number of service stations across the country for better reach and have deployed a committed team for grievance management as well,” concluded Mehta.