Opinion piece by Vinay Nigam, Service Head – Nexzu Mobility
In today’s day and age, brand success is not just limited to sales. The new-age consumer is evolving – and fast. To truly succeed as a consumer brand in the current market, brands need to focus on service as much as they do on sales. While a product’s pricing, quality, and promotion still play a key role in determining how well a brand performs in the market, after-sales service will ensure the creation of a loyal customer base, ultimately leading to long-term success.
This is even more critical in the electric vehicle space. Why? It is no more a secret that electric vehicles are the future of mobility. In fact, with the Indian foray of large multinational brands as well as the consistent growth of homegrown companies, EVs are all set to become the mainstay of tomorrow’s mobility landscape. However, to ensure that this future is not too far away, brands need to start paving the way today.
The answer invariably lies in exceptional after-sales service, which is all the more important in the EV space which is introducing a novel concept to consumers. New-age consumers are no longer buying just products, they are paying for experiences. To ensure that EV buying is an end-to-end positive and convenient experience, brands will need to become transparent with respect to maintenance and support that will be offered once the purchase is made.
Creating a formidable after-sales experience
Maintenance is one of the most common concerns of potential EV buyers. However, it is important to note that the duration between services remains the same between EV and ICE vehicles. In fact, since EVs have fewer moving parts than their ICE counterparts, servicing them is much less complex. A typical EV service will usually require a series of checks. It is very rare for the need for replacing parts and even then, the only major replacement requirement is the battery which is a consumable part.
Another big part of the overall EV experience is riding, helping customers overcome their range anxiety. The current push towards more charging stations for EVs, and the introduction of EVs with detachable batteries that can be charged anywhere and anytime, will be a great step in this direction. This will ensure that customers do not have any qualms about being stuck in the middle of the road as the battery drains out.
In order to deliver an adequate service ecosystem, EV manufacturers will also need to focus on the continuous and high-quality training of their staff. It is only when they have the required skills and they will be able to pinpoint potential disruptions and prevent them completely. Once all these aspects are taken care of, EV companies will witness growth in customers and consumer interest in general.
Several new-age EV brands have already been rising to the challenge, allowing consumers to peek into the world of EV service with extensive service camps. These not only give consumers greater insight into the maintenance of their vehicle but also help them see the human side of the operation and see how passionate brands are to offer them the most exquisite EV riding experience. On the flip side, it also helps manufacturers and OEMs deeply understand the needs of their consumer base.
DIY – The evolution of EV service in the COVID-19 era
The COVID-19 era has transformed the world as we knew it and ushered in the era of digital. Now, most businesses are operating partially, if not completely, through digital platforms. How has the EV service sector transformed itself during this period? Leading EV brands are understanding the importance of self-reliance that has been demonstrated widely by the pandemic and even recognized and encouraged by our government.
To meet the need of the hour, such brands have introduced service videos that will essentially allow EV owners to conduct service checks on their own. With videos covering several important aspects of service, including, replacing the wiring loom, removing the motor, checking sensors, and much more, manufacturers are ensuring that when the going gets tough, their tougher vehicles keep going.
With such a commitment to service and an unmatched customer experience, EV manufacturers can contribute to the adoption of EVs, ensuring that the future of mobility is now.
By Vinay Nigam, Service Head – Nexzu Mobility