Title: High performance in after-sales support services in the automotive industry

Authors: Frank Huber, Sebastian K. Bauer

Addresses: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. ' 2hm & Associates GmbH, Mainz, Germany

Abstract: In the automotive aftermarket industry, market development has become more than merely the offer of a core product portfolio. With the aim of genuine differentiation and increased customer loyalty, the so-called value-added services have been brought into the market as separate/independent services or as product-supporting services by the automotive industry. However, owing to the increasing price erosion and budget pressure in practice, it has become essential for companies to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the services offered. The groundwork of effective and efficient service is a market- and customer-oriented service portfolio. This in turn requires a service-controlling system based on well-founded market research within the automotive sector. Automotive managers should not hesitate to conduct market research to achieve optimised service, since customers in this sector have considerable knowledge of market success factors and an enormous aptitude to judge. To this end, market studies can provide significant insights and support a performance-oriented management of service actions. The manageable number of target customers in the automotive sector also supports the market research approach. Furthermore, the costs of market research are comparably minimal due to the fact that the customer base in this sector is very narrow. Moreover, the highly involved customers in the branch lead to higher rates of return, compared to the fast-moving customer goods branch, for example.

Keywords: after-sales service; automotive support services; automotive aftermarket; performance measurement; conjoint; commitment; effectiveness; efficiency; automobile industry; differentiation; customer loyalty.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2009.027171

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2009 Vol.9 No.3, pp.334 - 347

Published online: 17 Jul 2009 *

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