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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Customer is "King" Indeed - And He Ought To Be Treated Like One


Indian Automobile Industry, one of the most dynamic industries of our country, has come a long way. Journey from Luxury to Necessity has been rather short and post liberalization Industry Dynamics changed for good. Last Decade further saw an Exponential Growth with Passenger vehicles (PV) & Commercial Vehicles (CV) now contributing 7.1% of country's GDP.

Last Decade too saw the entry of new players in CV as well as PV Space, that spoiled the end user with choices ranging from more refined Products and exposure to world class "Services". Gone are the days when the laid-back attitude & rigidness was overshadowed by the huge backlog of "Advance Bookings", with customers waiting for deliveries of the products.

You would all agree that today's markets indeed thrives on the "Customer is King" philosophy. In the world of Internet and Super Sonic communication networks it becomes yet more important to agree to it and mould towards being more agile and Service oriented. 

Today, as we move forward towards the new arena where we would see minimum Technological Differences in the products being offered the only differentiator remains in the form of Response Time & Value Added Services. 


We have seen companies’ offerings going up trying to raise the bar and gain customer confidence in the process. 


In November Maruti Suzuki introduced Extended Warranty Packages on its cars up to 5 Years and a step ahead Tata Motors from January 2018 raised warranty on its Trucks & Tippers to 6 years 6 Lakh Kilometer.


Still as a surprise where companies are working towards gaining customer confidence at times, customers still have to resort to Crude Tactics to get themselves listened and acted upon their grievances. 


Speaking about one such incident to Mr. Jai Gopal Shah of Shah Carriers, Amritsar had a very different experience to share. He had purchased Six BSIV Tippers from Ashok Leyland in November 2017. He is until date fighting to get one of his brand new Tipper to be made on road, which is stranded for the want of parts. Consecutive meetings with company officials failed to yield any result.



 

However, we rarely see the sight of roadside "Dharnas" other than the ones by Political Parties but the agony seems to be so high that the "Dharna" seemed to be the last resort to get his voice heard.

In the absence of Strict Policies on Product Recalls, Incidences like this do shake the overall customer confidence on the Brand and raise a serious question on the intent of customer focus of so called 70 year Old Companies leading to the adage - Is Customer Still a "King" or He will have to wait for some more time to be listened. 






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