However, if the company / dealers begin using the CRM solution, to follow up and address customer service issues, it could help to identify possible factors affecting vehicles after the initial purchase. This would help to improve customer relations by bringing those products which are having problems, into the dealerships, so that they can be repaired quickly. If the situation cannot be fixed, then the dealer should replace the vehicle at no cost to the customer. Utilizing this kind of strategy, would allow both Mercedes and its dealerships to be able to improve effective customer communication. Where, it will eliminate the lack of: communication and follow up that often occurs, once the customer has purchased a vehicle.
Another way that this technology could be utilized is: to identify possible design issues. Where, the various CRM tools would help to improve communication and identify specific factors that could be related to product defects. This information is important, because it will allow the company to see if a trend is developing in particular defects. If the problem becomes large enough, this information would serve as an effective way of recalling and repairing those products that are of inferior quality. At which point, the information can be used by company engineers, to address various design flaws in future models. Over the course of time, this would improve the underlying product that is being produced, by allowing various design issues to be rectified quickly, helping to improve the reputation of the company.
Recommendations for the Executive Committee
Mercedes Benz is at a cross road in its business model, where the company has an outstanding reputation for quality and high levels of superior performance. However, when it comes to issues of customer service, the company has been slow to respond to various issues after the vehicle has been purchased. This is problematic, because if left unchecked, it could cause the company to lose market share to competitors. To mitigate the fallout from these events, it is recommended that Mercedes begin addressing customer issues quickly and as effectively as possible. This means that a customizable CRM solution must be utilized. Where, both dealers / the company would use this software, to randomly inform customers about: various issues with the customer and find out what factors are affecting the vehicles that they purchased. This would provide an initial foundation for addressing the various customer issues over the medium to long-term, by identifying what factors could be affecting perceptions. At which point, a strategy can be utilized to consistently monitor and improve customer experiences after the sale of a vehicle.
The impact of using this technology over the three years is that it will help to: improve sales, customer experience and the design process. In a recent study that was conducted by Hewlett Packard, they found that the use of CRM technology, as a part of the business strategy will reduce operational deficiencies by 20%. ("Business Case for CRM," n.d.) This is important, because one could argue that the customer services issues that are being experienced are tied directly to a lack of operational efficiency. Where, the company and dealerships are not communicating, about how they can improve the customer experience and the underlying quality of the product. By implementing the CRM solution as part of the strategy, this will help to reduce operational deficiencies by 60% over three years (20% a year). At the same time, it would help to increase sales at the various dealers for a variety of products and services. Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than the Harvard Business Review. Where, they found that those companies that focus on customer retention / satisfaction increases of 10 to 15%; saw sales double for their organization. ("Business Case for CRM., " n.d.) Given the fact that Mercedes will focus on every customer, means that this could help to cause the overall levels of profitability increase by six times over three years. The reason why, is because the company would be going beyond the number used by the Harvard Business Review and would be focused on addressing all customer needs. This makes the assumption that profits would double every year after the implementation of the strategy, a conservative estimate. At the same time, the different design and service issues can be used to help improve the overall quality of products being sold. Where, the consistency of problems in select makes / models could be used to improve the designs of future vehicles. This information is important, because it would allow the company to be able to identify and fix any kind of design problems early on in different vehicles. As a result, if such a strategy can be utilized by Mercedes Benz, this would help the company be able to build upon the image of quality and luxury that it is known for, while allowing it to adapt to changes that are taking place. Over the course of time, this would help the company be able to improve customer relations and the underlying products that they are selling. It is through examining this issue, provides the greatest insights on how Mercedes can mitigate these effects.
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