Business / Corporate

Nissan revamps after-sales services to take on bigger rivals in India's auto market

Nna/kyodo

Looking to expand its customer base in India, Nissan Motor Co.’s local arm is planning to expand and improve its after-sales services to compete with bigger rivals, according to company officials.

Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd., which has a limited presence and a market share of around 2 percent, is poised to increase its number of workshops by at least 80 to 90 in the next 18 months.

It has launched initiatives such as digitization of service related processes and eco-friendly waterless car-cleaning to achieve greater customer satisfaction and boost its brand image, according to Arun Malhotra, managing director of the subsidiary.

“In addition to these initiatives, we are also audio-recording our customers’ feedback through our dedicated call centers to analyze the call records and take necessary corrective measures to further improve our services,” Malhotra told NNA, adding that the company is “not leaving anything to chance.”

The company currently has 275 touch points, 148 workshops and 36 mobile service vans to serve its customers in the country.

“The service industry has been transforming fast, and we are increasing our reach month-on-month for customers’ car service and maintenance needs,” Malhotra said.

The move to strengthen its after-sales services in India — a key factor in the buying decisions of customers — is aimed at changing a perception in the market that only well-established, big firms can satisfy customers’ after-sales service needs, according to Malhotra.

“We have already broken that myth with our score being among (those at) the top on various customer satisfaction parameters despite being a late entrant in the market, as we continue to focus on customer satisfaction,” he said.

“The idea is that if you are able to satisfy your customers, then you will be in a better position to sustain (business) for a longer period of time,” Malhotra said.

According to global market research firm J.D. Power, which tracks automotive services around the world, Nissan India’s performance has been quite positive in the after-sales metric of the J.D. Power Customer Service Index Study.

Commenting on Nissan India’s strategy to boost its after-sales services, Kaustav Roy, director of J.D. Power in Singapore, said its headquarters has consistently stated that India is a focus market for the company, and there are strong product launches being planned practically every year from 2018 onward.

“Given that kind of business plan/product launch plan, it is important for original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, to ensure that their service processes are aligned to customer expectations and their performance is in line with the key players in the market,” Roy said.

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