Fiat Chrysler Automobiles worked with Surrey-based Deeper Blue on a campaign to keep customer satisfaction and profitability up and, importantly, costs down
Since 2015, agency Deeper Blue has helped to improve Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Net Promoter Score by 113% in Australia, and dealers in South Korea are 12% above year-end target. Labour and parts sales also rocketed as a result of a sustainable, culture-change programme.
The story began in Australia where FCA’s brand perception needed to improve. Headquartered in Shanghai, FCA called in Surrey-based Deeper Blue to create a coaching and communications programme. It was called ‘Service Driven’.
Successful in Australia, the programme has expanded into a pan-Asian initiative, supporting FCA’s quest to improve its dealer service quality in all Asia-Pacific markets.
“We chose Australia as our starting point because the opportunity for significant quick wins was evident,” said Laurence Croneen, co-founder of Deeper Blue. “We have now rolled out Service Driven across in South Korea, with other countries lined-up.”
A Deeper Blue team spent four weeks immersed in the aftersales business in Australia, interviewing the FCA HQ team, visiting dealerships, speaking with customers and examining data.
The team then constructed Service Driven, a long-term change programme. The initial focus was on how to stabilise the quality of service. The goal being to improve all aspects of the customer experience, with the FCA brands being recognised as a symbol of service excellence.
Service Driven is a coaching programme at heart. Teams of eight aftersales experts spent three weeks over a three-month period in each of 40 dealerships. The programme was tailored to local dealer and customer needs and adopted a bold visualisation of dealer performance, proper control metrics and daily team meetings. The coaching then moved onto softer skills, supporting touchpoints along the customer journey and applying processes to improve loyalty with the dealer.
Rolling out Down Under
To generate a fast-start for Service Driven, FCA management and dealer teams are brought together for kick-off meetings. The vision is shown through presentations, interactive exercises and films.
An app was created that allowed a simple iPad camera system to record short ‘video diaries’ from dealers, voicing their successes and challenges. A constant feed of video footage from across Australia created vital authenticity and dealer buy-in. All material is housed within a Service Driven portal, alongside updated daily metrics showing business performance progress.
Attention was turned to South Korea in 2017, which has its own set of challenges. “We quickly realised that this isn’t a programme which you can ‘rinse and repeat’,” notes Dominik Brinkmann, FCA’s head of customer service quality APAC and programme manager. “We adapted the principles of Service Driven to suit the needs and culture of the country.”
So far, half the dealer network has been involved in the programme.
“Since the roll-out began in April, we have seen how effective Service Driven is,” says Si-Oh Yoon, aftersales director, FCA South Korea, “not just in terms of productivity, but also in the enthusiasm from our dealers. And our customers tell us they can see a positive difference in their experience.” The programme reached a 9.6 out of 10 satisfaction rating, although Croneen says continuous measurement is vital to ensure real ROI. In the meantime, Deeper Blue continue to rack-up the air miles.