My last 13 years’ work experience has been in the automobile industry only with different car dealerships. That’s a pretty long time, isn’t it?
During this period, I got the chance to work with various brands, viz, Ford, Honda, Skoda, BMW, Audi, and Porsche.
Today, as I look back, I feel that although each brand is trying hard to fight competition by trying to stand out in the crowd, BMW is the only one that has managed to achieve this aim through its strong association with an object that reflects the same qualities that it represents, luxury, refinement, elegance, dignity, and beauty: a jar of white orchids.
Whether you visit a dealership or you go to a BMW office, you will always find these jars strategically placed at all the external touch points.
Here is a pic that I clicked last week…
A beauty indeed! I love it because everytime I look at it, I feel a strange kind of calmness and spiritual joy descending on my soul…The same transformation probabably happens to customers too. That’s important when you are constantly dealing with irate customers. It helps when everyone is cool and relaxed.
On 2 June 2016, my team members and I attended Honda cars Dealers’ SSI (Sales Satisfaction Index) meeting, North 1 & North 2 regions, on behalf of our dealership (Samara Honda). A major highlight, apart from the Quarterly presentations, was the Awards and Accolades ceremony. For the 4th time in a row, a Samara showroom appeared among the top 3 in Sales Satisfaction in North 1 region. Being a Departmental Head responsible for management of my dealership’s SSI levels, it was a proud moment for me…
In case you are wondering what I mean by sales satisfaction surveys of Honda cars dealers, well, here is the inside story. Honda gets them done by J.D. Power, a highly reputed and well-known market research organization. These are called proprietary studies and are done for dealers on a quarterly basis, in contrast to J.D. Power’s annual syndicate study which independently surveys customer feedback on various brands of cars. Honda has full control over a proprietary study, unlike the syndicate one, as the data is provided by Honda itself and it is commissioned by Honda. Its results are shared by Honda with the dealers and are not published publicly. They are like quarterly report cards of dealers and they are always considered authentic since they are done by a completely impartial and a highly esteemed organization.
A proprietary study, as far as Honda is concerned, is like a terminal exam in high school, since it helps it in proactively analyzing how each dealer is performing and finding out the weak areas. Once you know what is wrong, you can easily take countermeasures to rectify it. If every dealer of Honda performs well, the chances of Honda topping in JDP’s syndicate study as a brand become brighter…That’s the logic behind it.
A syndicate study, on the other hand, is like a school Board exam over which no one has any control. Brands like Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Maruti, Mahindra, Ford, etc give a lot of importance to this study because it contributes to their brand image and more and more customers these days base their decisions regarding future purchases of cars on these studies.
Being a poet, I gave myself one more prize, a bright red Carnation flower which I brought back from the hotel. One important fact I learnt about this flower is that it can stay fresh for almost 5 days if kept in water, unlike other flowers commonly used in bouquets such as red roses. See this pic below along with a few more of the SSI session.