10 tips to improve customer experience at Tata Motors dealerships

Tata Motors is trying to improve customer experience at its showrooms. Lots of effort has been put into this- to train sales people better, to re-design the showroom layouts and much more. However, after my visit to Concorde Motors, Velachery yesterday, I have identified 10 ways in which dealership experience can be improved, which is critical for better sales.

1. Proper welcome is important
As I walked in, no one greeted me. I walked around a bit, took photos of the car, then had to go to reception lady and say "I want to know about Nexon". Then she directed me to one of the sales person (3 of them were having a chat among themselves) and only after that I was attended to. Would have been nice if someone had intercepted me and asked how they can help. May be it was a busy day, may be it is a one off experience, but it is important to notice any new prospect walking in and engage with them within first few minutes.

2. Collect customer details only once
During my visit, I was asked for my details a total of 3 times- Once by the reception lady for general inquiry form, one more during gate pass (entered by staff), finally in feedback form. I think this process can be simplified. Collect details once, pre-populate it in other 2 forms with only additional fields (like actual feedback) to be filled again, not name, number, address etc.

3. Sales person not knowing the vehicle in & out is a bad thing
A customer who was taking delivery of a new Hexa asked where is the fuel tank lid opener. Very basic and genuine question, but the staff attending to this customer had to scramble for answer. This is not good. Employees should know the cars in n out. Best if they can be allowed to use the car for few weeks (like take it home, drive around, etc) they will automatically learn all aspects of the car practically, not just what is told to them during training sessions.

4. Missing top end accessories
Nexon's key highlight was wearable band that acts as access control/key fob. This was missing in the test vehicle, as it is an optional accessory. Customer should get best possible experience of the car during the test drive. Because I knew about it from media drive, I could ask about it. But a customer who is not aware of car's feature will never realize that this option exists, unless explicitly told to him/her

5. Giving optimal experience on the car's capabilities
  1. Sales person can have Android app/phone readily synced with the car and show the prospect how car can be controlled through the phone. (like Jukebox and various other features)
  2. In order to showcase chilled glove box, it could be a nice idea to keep a 10 Rs juice pack there and serve it cold to the customer at the end of test drive
  3. Keeping details of the accessories ready or keeping some photos/videos of how the car looks with various accessories or in various configurations (like when it is fully loaded with bags n stuff for a  picnic will help customer understand and appreciate the car better

6. Vehicle details/interactive solution for more details
At the showroom, next to the cars, a display of its key features will keep the prospects engaged while sales person is away. Best if it is an interactive one- like a tab that can show videos, animations, photos, specs etc. At the least a standee/print out of key information would help.

7. Missing Excitement while introducing the car
If sales person is not enthusiast enough, it kills half the prospect. There's a difference in how a car can be introduced to a prospective customer.  When I was shown Nexon, Sales person began with "Sir This is Nexon, you can take a look" That part is obvious. A more energetic way of introducing the Nexon could be "Sir this is our latest product, a feature loaded compact SUV much suitable for young professionals like you" or "Nexon has best power, ground clearance and features in its class- I am sure you would love it after the test drive" etc. In other words, the intro sentence should instill positive vibe about the vehicle.

8. Less paperwork and quicker test drive.
As I asked for test drive, sales person had to prepare a gate pass. He had to fill in a form with multiple fields while I waited impatiently. Lots of pen n paper work is still seen- should be converted to paperless as much as possible. May be this process can be simplified- like gate pass can be computer generated, with only 1 or two fields to be entered while rest are pre-filled. Better still, eliminate this process- have a more smarter tracking mechanism for test vehicles leaving the gate.

9. Offer to take the vehicle to customer's doorstep
Prospects usually visit the showroom alone for first round of enquiry/information. Once they shortlist the car spouse/family members are often involved in final decision, particularly colour, accessories etc. If a prospect says he has to consult his family, offer to bring the car to doorstep of prospect, so that his family can take a look at the car at their convenience, without having to visit the showroom. It also gets some visibility to the car in the neighborhood and induces a sort of social pressure on the prospect to buy the car asap. A visit to popular apartment complex or residential area can also trigger a series of inquiries about the car and may be more footfalls at the showroom over subsequent days.

I know door step demo is done by Tata Motors, but usually only if a prospect calls and asks for it. It can also be offered proactively for those who visit showrooms

10. It is important for people to see the new cars on the road.
From what I noticed, it takes two to three months for Tata Motors cars to be visible on the road from the day of commercial launch. Could be because delay in RTO formalities or delay in supply or other reasons. But somehow the process is much quicker for Maruti and few other brands. Within few days/couple of weeks of the launch, I am able to see their new cars on the roads. Good number of cars on the road instills confidence in to be buyers and triggers more enquiries and sales (It is like if First day first show review of the movie is good, subsequent days will go housefull). Of course for cars to roll out on the road someone should buy and there'll be other contributing factors. If not enough new cars get registered, good substitute will be to conduct lots of roadshows, displays at offices/residential complexes or simply conducting lots of doorstep demos and test drives. All of these ensure that more n more public will see the car in flesh and it substantiates any commercials and other advertising being done.

Good thing- the salesman I interacted with gave me two options- he can get me a 2018 make for late Jan 2018 delivery or if I am in a hurry he can arrange delivery by end of 2017 itself. I appreciate this gesture. Most salesmen tempt you to book right away, stating that prices will increase next year or other reasons.

Disclaimer: It is possible that some of these observations are one time or they are already fixed in other showrooms. My post is based my observation at Concorde Motors, Velachery Main Road, Chennai yesterday. Please use your discretion

My best wishes to Tata Motors

4 comments:

  1. I have recently bought a Tata Tiago, at Prerana Motors (PM), Bangalore.

    My experience is almost like your experience. Not much of a difference.

    The car is excellent. But the treatment given by PM is so worse, that I may not visit them for regular servicing.

    Not only the service was bad, even the sales staff were also not up to the mark.

    I will definitely not recommend them to others.

    But the vehicle is damn good.

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  2. The fundamental difference between a commercial car maker like suzuki and tata is the quality of the car as a whole -very very poor make of the car ,i would never ever even think of buying a TATA car due to the quality of cars they make .

    Regardless of how much better they get at customer experience as long as their product is not good they dont sell ,the proof is in their sales .

    If the car is good you can improve percentage sales by x percent .if the car is good it will sell even if your sales team is not good.

    Can you spot any Nanos today -they have just vanished into thin air.

    In terms of gate pass formalities while taking the car ,it has be done in the paper more so in case something goes wrong as in the case of driver damaging the vehicle due to wreckless driving or driver trying to flee in the car they have to approach the police where things such as the gatepass are the primary evidence

    Final nail in the coffin was their credibility. http://www.newindianexpress.com/business/2017/aug/22/tata-motors-took-unanimous-decision-to-stop-nano-cyrus-mistry-1646801.html .All Cyrus Mistry was trying to do working as a true CEO protecting interests of TATA motors ,got kicked off and also unceremoniously for doing his job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your detailed comment. Of late their products have been very good. Please experience Hexa, Nexon n Tiago- the cars are good. dealership experience and after sales service is being worked upon, I hope it begins to reflect soon

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