Behind every shiny Mercedes-Benz is a bunch of people who work diligently and quietly to ensure that each and every car, from the A-class to the S-class stays that way. The German carmaker’s commitment to aftersales service is as exemplary as its drive to produce, arguably, the world’s best and safest cars. This is as true in India as anywhere else in the world. All you’ve got to do is pay a visit to one of the manufacturer’s many authorised workshops. (Mercedes-Benz India has 64 service touchpoints across the country, so its customers’ cars are never too far from one.)
Mercedes-Benz ranked highest in aftersales service satisfaction among luxury carmakers in the JD Power 2018 India Customer Service Index study; but what is it that makes the experience different from those of other manufacturers? One part of it hinges on being unobtrusively efficient; the other is knowing how to employ technology wisely and yet retain the human touch. These are values central to ‘My Mercedes. My Service.’ – the company’s comprehensive aftersales initiative that optimises technology to create both convenience and value for the customer.
Making technology work
Everything at Mercedes-Benz is a process. Even inspiration and creativity, which gives rise to automobiles such as the AMG GT, is part of a method that melds intelligence, emotion and forward-thinking. The same philosophy is followed by each and every one of its authorised workshops across the country.
And as with all other aspects of the Mercedes experience, its digitisation of a major part of
its aftersales service is so seamless, it almost goes unnoticed.
With Mercedes-Benz, customers can look forward to complete transparency regarding the service process.
The aftersales experience for a customer, regardless of whether it is his first Mercedes or the fifth, starts with discreet reminders over email and SMS from his or her customer services consultant, a month before the due date. A personalised service reminder SMS also directs the customer to the online service appointment booking page. The process is set in motion, and it involves everyone from a Mercedes-Benz technician, who has intimate knowledge of the cars, to a quality manager, who oversees each and every aspect of the aftersales experience. Every Mercedes-Benz dealership has a range of certified technicians, from bench technicians to diagnostics engineers with years of training under their belt. Their expertise, combined with the use of Mercedes-Benz Genuine Parts, results in cars getting impeccable service.
The digital experience continues with the day the car is dropped off at the service centre – either by the customer himself or by a chauffeur. Customers can also avail a pick-up and drop-off option, in which case one of the workshop’s car delivery executives comes into the picture. Armed with a tablet, the executive notes down the car’s condition, and, if needed, connects the customer to his customer services consultant. Should the customer drop in himself, for a Premier Express Service (in which a car is serviced in just 140min) he can make himself comfortable at the customer lounge, which delivers excellent hospitality with quiet sophistication.
The plush visitor’s lounge.
On the job
Screens – of tablets, computers and diagnostic tools – are a huge part of this experience. A customer services consultant or quality manager can track the entire process of the car on his tablet, right from the time it comes into the workshop and is ready for allocation. A few taps on the tablet screen and an estimate is sent to the customer for his or her approval, after the car has been checked by the certified technician.
Mercedes’ technicians have years of training under their belt
Should he be away from the workshop and want to track the progress of the work on his car, a video call from the customer service consultant’s end will get him the clarity he seeks. Similarly, a quality manager gets to know exactly at what stage of the service a car is in, or which bay of the workshop it is located in – even the time allocated to deliver it to the customer – thanks to the Job Controller screen. The Job Controller screen dispenses details on spare parts inventory and such. How does all this help the customer? He gets complete transparency on the work process, and has access to up-to-date information about his car.
Delivering the best
Once a car has been serviced and handed over, Mercedes-Benz’s customer services consultants seek instant feedback on the car from the customer. Did he or she find the car to be clean? Is there anything else that he or she would want to be done? The feedback form is mailed back to the customer service consultant, who gets in touch with the customer after five days for more detailed feedback, which is bookmarked and kept in mind when the next service is due. The comprehensive digitisation of the aftersales experience is but one significant part of the Mercedes-Benz aftersales universe. As always, it is backed by a human touch that helps the manufacturer live up to its slogan: The Best or Nothing.