Mazda's approach to customer service has not only helped it win Customer Satisfaction awards, it has also helped the brand become the franchise of choice among dealers looking to expand their portfolio or switch to a more rewarding and innovative manufacturer as their business partner.
Mazda's very effective Customer Dialogue Programme is one example of this innovative approach, with communications tied in to key ownership cycle events such as routine maintenance. In part its success can trace its roots to Mazda's decision to launch its then unique Digital Service Record (DSR) in 2005.
DSR replaces glovebox records - the traditional paper logbooks - with an online digital service record to improve transparency, reliability and security for Mazda cars. It inhibits service records being falsified to improve the value of a car and allows insurance companies to correctly value a car involved in an accident if, for example, the insurers want to write it off.
Dealers have welcomed DSR and are now finding unexpected benefits. Part of the Customer Dialogue Programme is a Service Reminder Programme, operated by Mazda UK on behalf of the dealer network. This encourages owners to bring their cars in for service at the right time and also sends out a 'missed service reminder' which helps to generate extra business for the dealers.
"This year, recorded first service loyalty is up ten percentage points over last year's figures," says Steve Jelliss, Aftersales Director at Mazda UK.
The system also encourages owners of older vehicles to come back into the franchise as well. And when they do, they will find another initiative by the franchise of choice which is helping to boost the brand's reputation for first-class customer service. Dealers are allowed to use Mazda UK's money for what are known as "dealer self-authorised goodwill payments".
"This allows the dealer to make a contribution to out-of-warranty repairs without having to refer it to us first, which can delay the process," says Jelliss.
"The initiative was launched to both streamline issue resolution on the front line and maximise customer satisfaction." Contribution is subject to certain qualifying criteria which includes the vehicle having a full Mazda service history.
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