MERCEDES-BENZ, a prestigious name in automobile industry, is enhancing its after-sales services. With the overall market slow-down in new car sales, the competition in the service field of the stably developing big car population is growing stronger. In this competition about service quality and novelty, Mercedes-Benz is taking the lead.
Competing with the Best
Last week, at the TechMasters China event, it wrapped up its final completion among 12 teams of dealership technicians. The TechMasters is like an Olympic Games of after-sales at Mercedes-Benz. Up to 4,000, out of its total certified 7,000 technicians in China, participated in the event. This year’s winning team will represent China in Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming TechMasters global competition. The TechMasters competition represents the manufacture and its dealer network’s efforts in ensuring best possible technical and service quality in the competitive service industry, and it has run for 9 years in China.
D2D Maintenance Services
Also last week, a pilot program called door-to-door-services was launched that spared Mercedes-Benz customers the trouble dropping off and picking up cars at dealerships for maintenance.
The D2D service, which is in trial operation at four dealerships in China, is expected to have big roll-out next year across the country. The new initiative aims to provide further convenience to its customers by D2D vehicle pick up and return service at customer’s preferred locations.
“We understand that sometimes that our customers are too busy to come to us, so we will come to them and take care of everything we could,” said Marc-Oliver Nandy, Executive Vice President for After-sales at Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Services Co., Ltd. “It is for those who would like to save their time and be independent from the location of the dealership.”
Customers can track their car on a smartphone, and there is insurance for any kind of unexpected damage to the car during the journey. Together, they sweeten the deal of convenience with transparency and reassurance.
The new service among other initiatives, such as their presence at T-Mall store for smart, used cars and Mercedes-Benz collections and services, indicates the manufacturer’s ambition in exploring a digitalized service experience to its customers in China, who lead the trend in digitalized lifestyle worldwide.
Personalized and Flexible Services
Five years ago, aftersales services was very standardized. But the time for the one-size-fits-all solution is fading with easy-to-please customers in China.
In the past 2-3 years, Mercedes-Benz started to meet highly diversified needs, which were eventually developed into an all-around concept of individuality.
Today, customers coming in a rush can choose between a 60-minute or 90-minute express service for maintenance. For those who wish to enjoy prestigious showroom experience, they are ensured with highly comfortable experiences and pleasant services.
The sense of being part of Mercedes-Benz community is also becoming something worthy. A pilot program has been running in China since May with five dealerships. Members of the community can share cars with each other, access high-level healthcare services, and enjoy airport pick-up and see-off services arranged exclusively by Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz’s personalized service is also provided through its Mercedes me portal and Mercedes me connect services, with which its customers’ could access information about their vehicles, and to enjoy exclusive services through the concierge services such as restaurant reservation, doctor appointment, golf court booking, etc.
The Journey to Make Their Service Value for Money
While pursuing new service experience to its customers, Mercedes-Benz is also dedicated to optimize its total cost of ownership. Nandy said the company’s after-sales team has been working toward offering better value-for-money services over the last two to three years, with rounds of price adjustments to the parts since 2014 and introduction of its service contract products. “Our goal is to make our service value for money for our customers”, said Nandy, “and that is a long journey with which we have taken solid measures in the last few years. We continue to listen to our customers’ to understand their needs, and try to fulfill them as much as we can.” Every quarter, Nandy and his team will have a face-to-face meeting with selected customers, and they also collect the customers’ feedbacks from various surveys.
Many of the feedbacks were reflected in their actions, e.g. it keeps sharpening its focus on the cost of maintenance parts and collision parts, like bumpers, headlights, brake pads and wiper blades, which customers have to buy from time to time.
“We try to provide the best cost efficiency and best customer experience for the Chinese customers, ensuring quality service that meet the Mercedes-Benz global standards.” he added.