Stupidity, Arrogance, or both?

Either its plain stupidity or brazen arrogance. Or maybe even both.

Let me explain. The other day I take my Chevy Optra for a service. They tell me it'll take a day and a half. I am all right with that. But the next day, it turns out it'll take more time than what was stated. What am I forced to do? Wait till the service is complete. The wait proves quite long, plus it turns out to be no good. The car supposed to be washed lies in wait. I can't wait any longer, so take the car away sans the wash. But then I realise I was better off than a few others. For while waiting for my car, I overhear two other customers bemoaning the lack of spares at the center. One of them is hopping mad. He's spent 15+ lakh on an SUV. And in return a hitch in his vehicle gets him to visit the service center numerous times. Plus those visits don't do either him or his vehicle any good. Amidst all this drama, guess what takes the cake? The service center guys telling customers, 'don't blame us, we're GM, we don't make the batteries in your car. Go talk to the battery company.'

Like I said, it must be stupidity, or arrogance, or both. If product makers think they can exact consumer patronage on the strength of their tangible offerings, they need to think again. Just last week two of my colleagues decided to buy a Maruti car. Though GM too was in the running there was nothing to any particular brand of car to differentiate one from another. The brands being considered were Chevy Beat, Ford Figo, Maruti A Star and Hyundai i10. Maruti won the round solely on the value it offered (read, Price vis-a-vis what was on offer).

Businesses are living a fantasy if they believe their products can do the trick. The fact is, we live in a world where its next to impossible to build a truly differentiated product. And even if one's built, there's no stopping a competitor from adopting that differential. So the only way a brand can differentiate is by leveraging on services it can offer consumers. That means if Chevy wants to win the car-wars it has to gets it service act right. And pronto. Else I can promise you, it'll downhill, here on.


Abhay said…
Efficient and desirable service is what differentiates one from the rest

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