New Norms for the New Normal
Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), the country’s first Smart Mobility Solutions Provider and the largest exporter since inception, is geared up to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and to keep addressing the mobility needs of millions of its customers across India.
Besides contributing significant donations to the state of Tamil Nadu, where its plant is located, and the PM Cares Fund, Hyundai Motor India has delivered globally proven COVID-19 Advanced Diagnosis Testing Kits to the Indian Council for Medical Research, which will benefit 25,000 people in affected regions. It has also teamed up with a French medical device manufacturer to produce ventilators.
HMIL has been been quick to assess and react to the situation, keeping in the mind the safety of its staff and the needs of its customers. Last month, after setting up SOPs and new post-COVID protocols in compliance with government regulations, it reopened 853 showrooms (dealerships and rural sales outlets) and 98 workshops across the country.
Hyundai Motor India recently launched the Spirited New Verna and the All New Creta. It has received over 24,000 bookings for the All New Creta since the SUV was launched on March 16.
Its workshops have serviced more than 1 lakh cars across 530 cities in India in May. It has also strengthened the synergy between its online and offline retail channels. (In January Hyundai Motor India launched ‘Click to Buy’, the country’s first automobile sales platform). Meanwhile, the manufacturer resumed production at its plant, near Chennai, on May 8, with shift operations in place, adhering to all the safety guidelines given by the government.
Ensuring safety and hygiene, HMIL has sent large quantities of sanitisers and masks to its respective dealerships and workshops. The new guidelines that its dealerships and workshops are following cover every aspect of customer interaction, from car preparedness and customer lounge sanitisation to contactless demonstration and servicing.
Hyundai Motor India is also training its employees to prepare them to keep hygiene standards high at its dealerships and showrooms, besides also offering them options for contactless sales and service.
So what exactly can a prospective buyer expect as they head out to a Hyundai showroom in their neighbourhood that now offers contactless sales and service? We recently paid a visit and here’s how it went.
Safety first at dealerships
Dealerships are sanitised at regular intervals.
The measures: Every Hyundai Motor India dealership open across the country conducts sanitisation of the entire facility at regular intervals. Dealer staff undergo thermal screening before entering the showroom. The layout of the dealerships has changed too, with tables scattered 2m apart from each other. Sanitisers are installed at appropriate points, including at the entrance, reception desk, customer lounge and on discussion tables. Apart from staff, customers will also be provided with face masks when they visit the dealership. Each dealership sanitises its washrooms every two hours and disposable tissues will be available at all times as well.
Both customers and staff have to undergo thermal screening before entering dealerships.
The experience: Seamless. In a sense, nothing has changed at Hyundai, and in many ways, everything has. The attention to detail and the service-oriented approach have been fine-tuned to accommodate the reality of COVID-19. It was great to see everyone from sales consultants to the valet follow safety protocols rigorously. Everyone wears masks and maintains a 2m distance and the security staff, while welcoming, also make sure customers undergo thermal screening and are provided hand sanitisers. It’s good to also know the sales consultants recommend customers seek an appointment before heading to the showroom, as staggered visits avoids overcrowding. The preparedness of the staff and the measures taken by the dealership inspire confidence in the customer. If this is the new way of doing things, Hyundai Motor India has got it down pat.
Display and test-drive cars: The checklist
The measures: Every display car at Hyundai dealerships has its interiors sanitised on a daily basis. The windows of the display cars will remain open and the doors will be shut at all times. The most important touchpoints such as steering wheel, gear knob, door handles, centre console, seat belt and buckle are sanitised after every demo. Disposable covers go on the steering wheel and gear knob and these are put on in the presence of the customer. The same care is taken with test-drive cars.
Important touch-points such as steering wheel and gear lever among others are sanitised after every demo.
The experience: The interactions with the sales consultants were smooth and informative but at a reassuring distance. Queries were answered, finer points explained, and yes, it was reassuring to see the disposable covers go on just before the customer entered the car.
Customer first — and at a distance
Digital interactions are encouraged.
The measures: Any object that may be touched by several people and is not essential has been removed from the customer lounges. In its place are several sanitiser bottles. The furniture as well as the television remotes are sanitised every two hours. Digital kiosks, too, are sanitised after each interaction, and use of gloves is encouraged. The sales consultants at the showroom are at hand to ensure customers sit 2m apart.
Kiosks are sanitised after each interaction.
The experience: Even if one doesn’t spend a long time in the lounge, it is enough to notice that it is a fuss-free, comfortable and, yes, sanitised experience.
Customers are requested to seek appointments at dealerships to prevent overcrowding.
A new way to deliver
Cars are completely sanitised before delivery
Hyundai Motor India’s measures don’t just extend to customer visits and interactions, it also comprehensively covers the delivery process. Deliveries are staggered to prevent too many people in the showroom and delivery cars are compeltely sanitised before being handed over to the customer. The covers on the seats, steering and gear knob will only be installed and removed in the customer’s presence. Ownership documents are handed over in a bag.
Ownership documents are handed over in a bag.
Spick and span: Inside the workshop
Customers are encouraged to seek service appointments on the Hyundai Care app.
Strict safety protocols are followed at all workshops.
Social distancing and a sanitised environment are ensured at every workshop lounge.
Service advisors maintain strict social distancing.
Details about the service are noted down and displayed on tablets.
Every car is thoroughly sanitised....
...and covers put on important areas before delivery.
The measures: The workshops run by Hyundai dealerships are regularly sanitised and employee health is monitored every day. Besides the thorough thermal screening conducted by security personnel, the service advisors and other staffers at workshops also practice social distancing. Customer touch-points, as well as the lounge and washrooms, are sanitised every 2 hours. While repair orders are displayed on sanitised tablets, Repair order (RO) copies and invoices are emailed or sent to customers through WhatsApp communications. Customers also have the option of going in for interior smoke/interior surface sanitisation services at all the workshops. After the car is sanitised, a mirror tag is placed on IRVM, and the key fob, duly sanitised, is housed in pouch or ziplock bag. The disposable seat, steering wheel, gear knob and parking lever covers are installed and removed in front of the customers at the time of car delivery.
Safe and sound, ready to take on the road.
The experience: Hyundai Motor India’s workshops have often been much praised for their service, and it is no different today. As you arrive at the workshop after booking an appointment through the app, things flow smoothly. Social distancing is maintained at all times and staff are at hand – obviously, 2m away – to take you through the new ways of functioning. While it does take time to get used to checking repair orders on tablets, it’s reassuring to know that nothing is left to chance.