Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Case Study Have your car serviced while you sleep

Case Study

Have your car serviced while you sleep

By Peter Hanami

This slogan has become a reality at a number of Ford Motor Company passenger vehicle dealerships. One dealer in particular, B.S.Stilwell in Melbourne, Australia, has been offering such a service since 1987 and aptly calls it the “Starlight Service”.

“Starlight Service” began as a way of clearing the backlog of cars booked for repair in the daytime shift. A number of cars would be booked in each day and some repairs would be booked in each day and some repairs would take longer than expected. Those cars booked in and not repaired would leave the service managers confronted with disappointed customers. As a result, a later shift was introduced, thus allowing all cars booked in to be repaired as a same day service.

The launch of the extra shift became so popular that dealers began operating the service as a full retail outlet open to the public. The service operates from 3pm to 11pm, Monday to Friday, and all cars must be booked in by 7pm. Customers wanting this service book in by telephone and up to twenty vehicles can be accommodated on a typical night. Peak nights are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Research has shown that customer’s cars seem to break down on a weekend, thus accounting for the high Monday through Wednesday demand. There are, of course, exceptions to this.

The vehicle servicing market in Australia is worth an estimated $45 million per annum according to Bob Harvey, B.S. Stilwell’s assistant service manager at Kew. This is a large market and those organizations that can meet customer’s needs will take the largest slice of the vehicle-servicing business such as Lube Mobile.

The trend in motor car manufacturing is to build more technology under the bonnet and dash. This development will see more specialist servicing agents emerge - such as those who can program the black box that regulates engine performance in much the same way as racing car driver; Dick Johnson’s mechanic tickled the performance of his racing Ford Sierra’s.

Copyright Peter Hanami. 1997. All Rights Reserved.

customer, service, marketing, case study, melbourne, australia, marketing in australia, ford, innovation, #customer, #service, peter hanami, www.peterhanami.com

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