Mazda cooperates with Mazda Group companies, dealers and distributors both in Japan and overseas to raise the level of customer satisfaction (CS) and fulfill its role as a company customers can continue to rely on. The Company grasps the needs of each country and region promptly and accurately based on customer feedback, and develops products and services tailored to each market*1. In addition, the Company strives to raise CS further through awards programs, training programs, and opportunities to share best practices.
Believing that listening closely to customers' voices is the foundation for developing better products, Mazda has opened two channels for communication with customers: the Mazda Call Center and the Mazda Official Website in Japan. Mazda not only responds to inquiries, opinions and requests from customers honestly, accurately and quickly, but also promotes information sharing among relevant divisions to reflect customer voices in product development, sales and customer service*2.
- *2Inquiries, opinions and consultation of overseas customers are accepted at distributers and dealerships in each market area. The contacts of each market area and FAQ are available on the Mazda website.
- In response to a customer's remark, "I don't know what to do when I lock the key inside with the rear gate of the wagon half-open," it was decided to add an easy-to-understand explanation to the users' manual.
Mazda Call Center
To listen to inquiries and opinions, and consult with customers within Japan via toll-free phone calls
Mazda Official Website
To listen to inquiries and opinions, and consult with customers within Japan via the Internet
Dealerships both in Japan and overseas are working to create a comfortable shop environment for customers.
Efforts are made to create a shop that makes cars look attractive to customers from the three viewpoints below.
- Product layout that encourages customers to comfortably see, touch, and feel the attractive features of each product
- Easily understandable display of customer's desired information
- Comfortable shop environment featuring a sense of hospitality
To create a more open environment, the show rooms for new models and the waiting room have been combined. Also, each shop has a space for kids to offer customers with children a comfortable time.
- *3Cleanliness: To keep the shop always clean and tidy.
To establish the Mazda brand through communication with customers, Mazda conducts and utilizes questionnaire surveys of customers in cooperation with dealerships.In Japan, using an online questionnaire survey on Mazda shops, Mazda analyzes each customer opinion and reflects the results in operational improvements. United States, questionnaires are distributed to customers who visit dealerships for purchase, maintenance or repair, and efforts are made to improve or enhance operations based on the opinions obtained.
The Mazda Sales Approach refers to an initiative to reform sales activities from the viewpoint of becoming a company that customer can continue to rely on, with the aim of establishing the Mazda brand. Under the basic principle of placing customers in the center, to establish a relationship of trust with customers by proposing appropriate lifestyles for them instead of just selling cars, all the Mazda Group employees involved in sales in Japan are striving through teamwork to develop human resources and improve their own skills as professionals of cars or customer services. While the Mazda Sales Approach activities were initially implemented within each dealership or shop, today, both dealerships and Mazda itself - as the maker - are working in unity to implement the initiative and reflect it in their sales measures and activities.
This initiative was initially introduced at 84 shops of 10 dealerships in 2010, and has been implemented at 589 shops of 22 dealerships as of March 2014.
- Co-creation activity, in which the development, production and sales segments cooperate in promoting sales activities to communicate the intent of the manufacturer to customers
- Jinba-Ittai (oneness between car and driver) Academy, a training program in which employees engaging in sales test-drive Mazda vehicles, to enable them to communicate the driving pleasure to customers
- Special websites and books created to communicate the intent of the maker (development, sales) to customers. For new Axela/Mazda3, etc.
To develop human resources that can communicate driving pleasure to customers, the Jinba-Ittai Academy training program was launched in FY March 2014. During the 3-day*4 program, which is held mainly at the Mine Proving Ground (Yamaguchi), trainees test-ride the vehicles of Mazda and competitors while receiving instructions by instructors with professional knowledge about driving. In FY March 2014, about 90% of the employees of Mazda's Domestic Business Div. participated in this program. In FY March 2015, the program is scheduled to be deployed to the employees of dealerships in Japan.
- *4The program also has a 2-day course.
Manager, New Model Sales Section Chiba Mazda Co., Ltd. Ichikawa Shop
To make our customer service satisfying for customers, I place high priority on cooperation among all staff members and encourage them to exchange opinions on good practices of communicating with customers regardless of the specialized roles of sales and service. I feel our efforts are increasingly accepted by customers; I heard the other day a customer comment that our shop has a welcoming atmosphere. We will make continuous efforts to create a shop filled with the smiles of our customers.
Mazda works to provide all its dealerships in Japan with information on mid- and long-term strategies, products, and services in a timely manner, and also makes proactive efforts to collect information from them. To cultivate relationships of trust, the Company strives to deepen communication among dealerships, and between dealerships and Mazda, via the Mazda Dealership Association*5 and Mazda Autozam Dealership Association.
- *5It consists of 63 companies including 49 sales companies from Mazda-,and Mazda Enfini-channels, parts companies, logistics companies, Mazda Chuhan Co., Ltd., SMM Auto Finance, Inc., Mazda Auto Leasing Co., Ltd., etc. Through specialized committees, they have close communications about various themes.
|Conferences for dealership representatives||Representatives of dealerships and Mazda directors||Twice a year||To communicate Mazda policies|
|Mazda Dealership Association in Japan Executive board of directors meeting||Executive board members and others from Mazda Dealership Association in Japan (with Mazda representatives also attending twice yearly)||Four times a year||Information concerning product development, service and parts requests, quality concerns, and other topics is exchanged and discussed.|
|Mazda Dealership Association in Japan Specialized committees||Committee members from Mazda Dealership Association in Japan and Mazda representatives||As needed|
|Conferences for division and department heads of dealerships||Representatives from each region and Mazda||As needed||Meetings regularly convened for relevant departments of dealerships to exchange information and opinions on specific topics including new models, used models, after-sales service, insurance, etc.|
|Board meetings for Mazda Autozam Dealership Association in Japan||Board members from Mazda Autozam Dealership Association in Japan||Four times a year||Discussion of marketing plans and provision of opportunities for training and professional development, as well as exchange of information and opinions on topics such as requests related to Mazda Autozam after-sales services and parts, and quality concerns|
|Mazda Autozam Dealership Association in Japan Specialized committees||Committee members from Mazda Autozam Dealership Association in Japan and representation of Mazda Autozam||Four times a year|
CS Initiatives Presentation Meetings are held annually, hosted by Mazda Dealership Association in each region to share examples of best practices from dealerships and shops, in order to boost the level of customer-satisfaction efforts throughout the Mazda Group within Japan. For FY March 2014, 55 shops of 37 dealerships took part in these meetings held in eight regions in November.
- *6CS: Customer Satisfaction
To encourage staff self-improvement, meetings are held on a periodic basis to award sales and service staff members according to their degrees of achievement of targets, improvement of technical skills, and contribution to improved vehicle quality. Besides individuals, shops that have achieved their targets as a result of their customer-oriented activities, demonstrating excellent teamwork, are also awarded. The awarding ceremony for FY March 2014 was held in Hiroshima, where the Mazda Head Office is located, with the aim of further strengthening of the unity between the maker and the dealerships in working from a customer viewpoint (with approx. 750 people invited).
At the ceremony, besides the presentation of awards, a speech was given by product development representatives and a tour of the Hiroshima Plant was offered, enabling the staff of dealerships and shops and the development/production representatives of the maker to share Mazda's spirit of manufacturing.
The Walk-Around Contest, a competition of customer-service role-plays, is held with the aim of encouraging sales staff to acquire product knowledge and improve their customer service skills. In the 17th competition held in FY March 2014, representatives from 56 shops of 36 dealerships participated in the regional competitions, and nine shops of nine dealerships joined the final national competition. The competition for role-playing of used-car sales was newly held separately. In FY March 2015, the national competition for used-car sales is scheduled to be held concurrently with the competition.
To enable all sales staff to provide customers with the correct and detailed information they need at the launch of a new model, advance training is offered throughout Japan.
In FY March 2014, in line with the launch of the new Axela (Mazda3 overseas), training was provided at seven locations nationwide with around 1,700 participants. In addition to test-driving the gasoline model, participants test-drove Mazda's first hybrid model and experienced acceleration/deceleration on a circuit simulating town roads, requiring repeated turns. Moreover, all the participants deepened their understanding of the Mazda HMI (Human Machine Interface) concept and the new MAZDA CONNECT system.
The following initiatives are promoted to improve customer satisfaction at overseas Group companies/distributors.
<Examples of Initiatives in FY March 2014>
Asia, Oceania, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Central, South America, etc.
Distributors are awarded/accredited for the points below, to encourage their efforts to improve customer satisfaction.
- Remarkable contribution to sales of Mazda vehicles (in terms of sales volume, share, etc.)
- Comprehensive capacity including growth potential of the after-sales service, parts business and response to quality issues
- Achieving first place in a CS survey for the sales service segment
- Excellent achievements in CRM*7 or marketing activities
- At Mazda (China) training centers (Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen), dealership presidents and sales managers underwent training in basic CS promotion activities and improvement methods.
- To increase test-drive opportunities and promote product understanding through test-drives, personnel dedicated to taking charge of test-drives were appointed for each dealership. Training is provided by inviting as trainers the dedicated test-drive personnel of dealerships that have achieved excellent results.
- Since "boosting customer satisfaction and strengthening owner loyalty" was made the top priority at the US dealers association in 2010, distributors and dealers have jointly strengthened continuous efforts in these areas.
- *7CRM: Customer Relationship Management
Mazda holds the following communication meetings on a periodic basis, to encourage Mazda Group-wide efforts to improve customer satisfaction.
|Product Launch Events||Representatives from major overseas bases of operation, such as the United States, Europe, China and Australia||Irregular||To share information and exchange opinions on global launch of products|
|Global Brand Forum||Representatives from major overseas bases of operation, such as the United States, Europe, China, Australia and Japan||3 times a year||Representatives of major regions meet to build common understanding and consensus on brand strategies, and share initiatives. In FY March 2014, a total of 150 representatives participated.|
|Regional Brand Forum||United States, Europe, China, ASEAN, Japan||3 to 4 times a year||Discussions are held and opinions are exchanged for each region to determine practical actions for implementing the brand strategies. In FY March 2014, a total of 500 representatives participated.|
|4A*8 Distributors Meeting||Representatives from Southeast Asia, Central and South America, Middle East, and Africa regions||Annually||Discussions covering a wide range of topics including business, marketing, product launches, etc. In FY March 2014, the event was held in October, with approx. 120 participants.|
- *8Areas except North America, Europe, China, Taiwan and Japan
To enable overseas sales staff to communicate to the customers not only the functions of products but also the Mazda philosophy embedded in the products and technologies, Mazda has strengthened communications between the Head Office and distributors.
Since the launch of Mazda6 in the 2012, in addition to the members from Mazda's overseas sales division, the program manager and the engineers in charge joined in providing the product training. Direct communication between the engineers and local distributors/dealers enabled them to share deep understanding of the product development philosophy and the high product performance embedded in Mazda vehicles.
Starting from the Mazda3, as for Mazda's connectivity technology "MAZDA CONNECT", a cross-divisional approach is taken to achieve a better automotive lifestyle for customers, through explaining and discussing on not only product promotion but also customer care activities at dealers, which should be promoted jointly by sales and service related divisions.
Marketing Department Mazda Motor Poland Co., Ltd.
I am in charge of product planning at Mazda Motor Poland. I took six months' training from January 2014 at Mazda Motor Corporation. The training allowed me to understand more of a "big picture" behind business and experience Japanese culture which is underlying Mazda brand values.. I was also able to recognize the future direction of Mazda's product development further. Now I am even more confident for carrying out my work and developing sales and marketing strategy in Poland with my experience at Mazda Motor Corporation.