What is the definition of a good service experience
I don’t want the car to be in the workshop overnight unless I have planned for it beforehand
BHPian 1.2TSI7DSG recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
A lot of the reviews keep me pondering what a good service experience really means.
We often confuse service experience with ownership experience which also says that “car should not fail ever” or there are too many niggles (or hidden features as we know them) in the product.
I personally have experienced Maruti, Tata, VW & Honda and very frankly I have expected different things out of each brand in terms of how the front-end team actually interacts with me.
But across all the brands, there are a few fundamental things that I have always expected.
- I don’t want the car to be in the workshop overnight unless I have planned for it beforehand (body shop stuff)
- I prefer a longer (day long) but good quality service over a quick non-TLC service
- I don’t want the service center to cheat me (eg non-required stuff, not changing stuff)
- I need the car in the same condition in terms of cleanliness I have left it for the service.
Things that were different for each brand:
- With Maruti, I always wanted no kit spares. I don’t need a set of glow plugs. If I need one, I want only one. Always say no to “Saab sab kuch change kar lo khol rahe toh”. I used service centers to buy spares, & do complex repairs. But normal service beyond the free ones & body work repair was always done at FNGs. Confidence in the FNG to know a Maruti car was high.
- With Tata I really didn’t expect anything at all. Filters and lubricants were the only things I did at the service center. Got every special repair done at a local expert mechanic. Never had the confidence to have a single FNG for all the work.
- With VW, it was the scariness of the DSG failure that made me do everything at the service center. Be it body/warranty/post warranty. That said, I was always pleased with the service facilities (esp the paint shops, service center cleanliness & technician (not Advisers) behaviors etc) checks the SA did before taking the car in, checking spare inventory to estimate the time and allowing me to take the car and plan it later if it was not going to happen in a day. It reaped its reward with a 1.1 l coverage on the stock DSG till date.
- With Honda, while I have had only 2 experiences, the expectation is that the car does not require anything else other than standard service. That apart I don’t expect anything. Let’s see how this pans out.
If you were to mark what a good service means what would be your must haves?
Here’s what BHPian Turbohead had to say on the matter:
Here’s my definition of good service experience:
- Transparency – I need to know why certain parts need to be changed before their scheduled replacement.
- I only want the car to be kept behind only for genuine reasons and not because they are overloaded.
- Fixing nagging issues reported by the customer. This is the biggest reason why I moved to an FNG. They simply wouldn’t want to fix the smaller stuff beyond regular service unless it’s big ₹₹₹.
- Say what you mean – we hate it when the SA gives a call stating that the car is ready only for us to wait an hour to get it because of xyz reasons
- Reliable RSA service. Only needed it once but would like a real estimate of how long it takes for them to come
- Cost is specific to vehicle class and is part of the ownership experience unless you are forced to pay for junk like AC disinfectant. So zero junk is mandatory.
Here’s what BHPian rpunwani had to say on the matter:
My definition of good service:
- Fast, same day delivery (considering routine servicing only)
- Great Infra – clean waiting lounge and possibility to see what is happening with the car
- Transparency – only parts that are required to be changed are changed with standard pricing.
We have a BMW, Ford & Honda in our garage. Out of the three, I have established excellent relations with the service centre people at BMW & Ford.
BMW has the best service facility in Turbhe, world class if I may say so. Extremely clean service bays – not a drop of oil seen on the floors. The waiting lounge is also amazing.
All three service centres are fast – generally same day delivery.
The Honda service centre is a bit finicky about letting me go in to see what is happening with my car.
Here’s what BHPian ssoni.1411 had to say on the matter:
My definition of a good service experience is:
- Transparency: I need to know which part and why is it needed to be repaired or replaced.
- I don’t need to visit the Service Centre again for any niggles and issues pending.
- Have a courteous and customer friendly bay and technicians.
I own a Hyundai Venue and the service experience has been really good. They offer pick-up and drop service as well. Give regular updates and pictures of every work that is done by them in the SC. Also have always been quick and on time with all my services, except one repair job which took days since part wasn’t available.
Here’s what BHPian anjan_c2007 had to say on the matter:
For me TLC, no unwanted spares push from SA (some of them are novices) and transparency matter the most. Yes it needs to be fast, same day car return if the jobs involved are simple, that can be done within working hours of the day. Here it’s the owners job to get his car at the earliest possible to the ASC to be the among the first in queue. Or else, reaching the ASC by noon after lunch or later and demanding “Same Day Car” to move out for dinner or for freaking out will be asking for too much – stress on ASC and injustice to the car.
The car gets there to the ASC only once in a while and it needs a thorough job done. Else, the car will be aggrieved like those gents who are stressed out and only in their 20’s and 30’s, suffer cardiac arrests.
Hee’s what BHPian Mystic had to say on the matter:
I voted same day service. No over night. I had never left my car overnight anytime and many times I used the pick and drop from my home.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “A customer is the most important visitor in our premises. He is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work, he is the purpose of it.
I think the above quote is religiously being followed by all automotive dealers now because of competition and close monitoring by leadership. Thanks to Twitter for giving us a forum to throw the frustrations on social media visible to the leadership team.
Here’s what BHPian Evyas had to say on the matter:
Voted fast and well kitted service centre.
Of course all others are also important but from my last ownership of a Duster, I used to hate going to even get a normal service done.
The first service centre (near Saki Naka I think) shut down. It was so tiny it could hardly hold 10 cars at a stretch. Then they shifted to Jogeshwari East which was massive and well equipped. But the waiting lounge was horrible and getting there and back meant the whole day is gone. And they could never really fix my engine check light issue. So I changed to a different service centre.
This was near Andheri East but in a service lane so getting to it was a small adventure. In the early days I wouldn’t even get a rickshaw ride to that place easily. Guess the only big real estate left is in hard to get to areas in Mumbai. This final service centre was the only functional one but they literally shared their car parking lot with Jeep Service, if I remember correctly. So it would take 5-10 mins to even find space, manoeuvre and park the car and get to the actual service centre. Then a long wait for your car to be attended. I’ve actually spent 2-3 hours on an average every time I’ve gone there since they were always overbooked. No idea why they gave me a slot if they were so busy.
And now this is a personal gripe but their ‘waiting lounge’ was a small room with 3 tiny sofas and a TV. Since most people sent their drivers with their cars, I would be waiting with them as they watched the latest soap or the oldest Hindi movie they could find, at full volume, on the TV A few would be asleep. It was so depressing waiting there for hours, I vowed never to come back to the service centre but had no other choice as it was the ‘closest’ by Mumbai standards to my place.
That and the fact that they were never transparent about the service, and couldn’t fix my engine check light in 7 years of owning it that I decided not to go for a Renault when buying my next car.
Loved the Duster and still feel it was the best car for me, but the service centre experience itself was enough to make me look for another brand now that I’m in the market. And funnily I’ve realised most service experiences are similar unless you go into the luxury segment as per my friends!
Here’s what BHPian Biker Ram had to say on the matter:
Competency and skill of the mechanics and the service advisors to acknowledge, identify and rectiy the problems. That’s more important than any other single factor. Or as important as a cominbation of most of the other factors. Depending on the make and age of a car the complexity of the problem may vary. For most people a service just means change of fluids and shining up the car. Service centers usually get away with impressing this category of customers with a neat lounge that serves coffee, tea, biscuits and wifi. I service my Maruti at Pratham, and their feedback questionnaire gives almost full emphasis on washing and waxing only. To me that sounds like a fully wrong format but who knows, may be it fits well majority of their other customers.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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