Volkswagen customer satisfaction rating increased by 80%, repeat repair cases in Malaysia decreased by 86% since 2016
With a wide range of products in Malaysia, Volkswagen has something for almost everyone in the market. However, the brand’s presence in Malaysia has not had the easiest of times and through a new brand manager the brand boss has been working to rectify the situation.
We ask the aftersales director of Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM), Deenan Nadar, to take a look at the improvements behind the scenes.
Question: Has aftersales improved significantly since VPCM took over brand responsibility in 2016?
Deenan Nadar: Yes, of couse. We saw a huge improvement and one of the metrics is customer satisfaction which has increased by 80%; this was measured by an external company without our influence.
The other measurement we’re looking at is repeat repair, where the customer could come to the dealer more than once for repairs, which has been reduced by 86%. We achieved this by training our employees to properly repair the car the first time.
The third point concerns customer loyalty. We have digitized aftersales in many ways. One of them is the Volkswagen Cares application, which offers us interactive ways to get in touch with our customers, which is particularly helpful for our dealers.
Question: What additional measures has Volkswagen Malaysia taken to improve the aftersales experience here in Malaysia?
DN: Our customer satisfaction and customer experience is our focus. The first thing we do [set out to do] was the establishment of our training academy to qualify our dealer employees – sales, aftersales, frontline, back office and more – in which all employees in the dealership go through a qualification process. We really follow the recommendations and qualifications of Volkswagen AG in order to bring our employees to the right level.
In addition, we have launched a new platform called Car Advisor to get in touch with our customers to hear from them about their experiences. Now you can search Car Advisor on Google and find out what customers are saying about us. We have been rated by over 6,000 people since early 2021, and we’re currently at 4.7 out of 5, an 80% improvement over 2016.
[We have also] the aftersales landscape is digitized and with the [various stages of the movement control order] we had to adapt very quickly. That’s how we did it [by introducing] Service Cam that we used to check the condition of the vehicle and send the video feed [of the inspection] to the customer.
For example, when a vehicle comes into the workshop and needs new brake pads, you as a customer can imagine: “You need brake pads” – you cannot imagine it. With the video feed from Service Cam we can show the old brake pad and the new item together with the offer and the customer can decide whether he would like to continue with the part exchange.
At the end of the repair, we can then use the Service Cam to describe the work that has been carried out, describe the invoice and finally hand the vehicle over to the customer. The customer only has to hand in his key or we pick up his vehicle, the customer pays online and then we either bring the vehicle to the customer or he picks it up.
We also have many initiatives and programs for our customers within the Volkswagen Cares mobile app. So I recommend our customers to download the application (from Google Play for Android or the App Store for Apple iOS) and check out the Engagement Points we have for you.
Question: Customers who are normally skeptical about Volkswagen customer service tend to talk about problems with the DSG (dual clutch transmission) and its mechatronics. Have these been fixed?
DN:I can confidently tell you [that the issue] Is fixed. This is a success story for us; the mechatronics, clutches and co., which you have heard about in recent years, have been taken seriously by Volkswagen and DSG transmissions and clutches have been specially adapted and repaired for our local market conditions. We don’t have these problems anymore.
Of course, it could also be older cars [of the type] out there, but we’re also there to support customers. We have goodwill and guarantee plans for these cases and are therefore happy to come to our dealers to carry out repairs. Even so, we are driving new technologies with the cars we currently have on the market. We now have completely different transmissions, like the DQ380 in the sedans and the DQ500 in the Tiguans. In my opinion, customers will have very good experiences with DSG in the future.
Question: It is said that Volkswagens are primarily intended for European use and are therefore not so well suited for use in Malaysia compared to Japanese cars; is that still a concern?
DN:No, that’s not true, our cars are actually built by Malaysians for Malaysians. The models we currently offer are models that are built on site and the cars are tested and adapted to local conditions. We are really proud of German technology and precision engineering, [but which are] adapted to local conditions. This applies to the flagship Arteon R-Line 4Motion.
Question: Compared to their Japanese counterparts, Continental cars like Volkswagen tend to have a reputation for being expensive to buy and maintain; What do you think?
DN: I don’t think that’s true. First, our service intervals are each 15,000 km or one year, which already reduces operating costs. All in all we have a lot of programs to get in touch with our customers and we are really competitive from a price point of view.
For customer cars from the age of five there is the Volkswagen Care Plus program, in which customers from the age of five receive a 20% discount on their services. The Volkswagen Care Plus program is free and, depending on the age of the vehicle, the customer receives a discount of up to 20% on the entire service bill.
The Volkswagen Care Plus program offers two years of breakdown assistance and on-site battery support. On the one hand, the operating costs should be reduced, on the other hand, the program should give the customer security.
We have also introduced the Volkswagen Cares repair packages for customers with cars over the age of five for general wear parts. With the package, the customer receives a 30% discount on the total bill, which also significantly reduces operating costs.
There is also the simple payment plan where customers can pay their bills with their Visa credit card interest-free over six or 12 months.