When purchasing a new car, you’re not just buying the car. Sure, that shiny set of wheels is what you’re taking home, but a car needs servicing, parts and updates – congrats, you’ve just started a new relationship with the brand that will last for a few years, at the very least.
And like human relationships, not every example is 10/10 perfect, but effort is important. We’ve noticed for a couple of years now that Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) – official distributor since 2016 – has been putting in significant effort in building a relationship with its customers.
Sure, the brand has a past in Malaysia – as some ex-owners will be ever ready to share – but who doesn’t? What’s more important is the present. The products are different, but more importantly, the focus of the people behind the brand have changed to be more customer-centric.
VPCM’s latest initiative is the new Volkswagen Cares app, which is unique to the Malaysian market and very relevant in pandemic times such as this. The pre-Covid relationship between owner and brand was forced to change overnight – now, convenience and accessibility are main priorities, and Volkswagen has been quick to digitalise the end-to-end ownership journey, from purchasing a car to scheduling after sales services, and accessing the latest promotions and vouchers.
VPCM developed the new “one-stop centre” app by taking into account customer feedback for new functions and enhanced features. The main function would be online service booking, where customers can choose their preferred date. The SC will confirm the slot via call or WhatsApp message. Emergency contacts for roadside assistance, police and hospitals are also in the app.
Users can also get in touch with Volkswagen Malaysia and its dealerships, and receive VIP (Volkswagen Insurance Plan) reminders. The app will be constantly improved and users can expect a rewards system and payment gateway in the future.
“We have our customers at the forefront of everything we do, and the launch of the new Volkswagen Cares app is an example of this. Our app has been a true success story for us, especially among the markets managed by the PHS group. We have about 30,000 owners with us to date, and more than 50% of this figure are VCP (Volkswagen Care Plus) members, those with cars that are five years and older,” said VPCM’s MD Erik Winter.
“It is heartening to have our customers stay with us, and we see this as a testament of our service improvements and how passionate we are in serving them. Having listened to their needs, we took the initiative to revamp and develop this app for a more immersive experience,” he added.
By the way, PHS stands for Porsche Holding Salzburg, one of the largest automotive distributors in Europe. The Salzburg, Austria-based company was founded in 1947 and today operates in 26 markets across the world. VPCM is a part of PHS, and not a subsidiary of Volkswagen. Basically, VPCM is a dealer and not the principal.
Digital is the buzzword these days, but since its entry, VPCM has been bold when it comes to going online – back in 2017, it was the first in Malaysia to sell cars on an e-commerce platform with Lazada. It has since sold cars on Shopee and Instagram as well.
“Customers’ needs are constantly changing with rapid digitalisation. VPCM has always embraced and adapted to the current reality, so we will continue to push boundaries to make the ownership experience as effortless and fulfilling as possible,” Winter said.
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