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Jeep customer service focus starting to show

Turnaround: Jeep says its increased focus on aftersales and customer care has started to result in a change in brand reputation.

Improved brand perception a result of Jeep’s customer service and aftersales push

Jeep logo5 Feb 2018

By ROBBIE WALLIS

AFTER a concerted push to improve its brand perception, customer service ratings and aftersales, Jeep Australia is finally starting to reap the rewards, according to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia head of Jeep brand Guillaume Drelon.

Following a steady decline in sales and an increasingly negative customer perception associated with the brand, Jeep has focused on rebuilding its image through a number of avenues, including a bolstered warranty and greater focus on customer service.

Speaking to GoAuto at the Australian launch of the Jeep Compass in Tasmania, Mr Drelon said that the brand’s key performance indicators (KPIs) indicate the brand is recovering from a negative perception.

“We are pretty proud of all the improvement that we have put together,” he said.

“We are not at the end because it is something you need to improve every day, and we do that with every single touch-point with the customer.

“We do that together with the dealers, so we have dealers who are really aware and engaged into this, so it goes to the training of the sales force, training of the aftersales and parts availability, and we have so many elements that have gone to a much, much better place, so that is really positive for us, for the customer and for the dealers.”

With the concerted push towards better customer service and perception starting a couple of years ago, the turnaround is starting to become tangible, through results such as its net promoter score (NPS), which measures owners’ perception of brands and whether they would recommend them to others.

According to Jeep, there has been a 76 per cent improvement in its NPS score, to go with a “dramatic increase in customer satisfaction”.

Another way that Jeep has earmarked its improvement has been in the number of recalls put out for Jeep vehicles, which totalled three callbacks in 2017.

This compares to 2016 where the manufacturer was forced to issue 16 recalls over the course of the year.

Mr Guillaume arrived in Australia a year ago to launch Jeep’s ‘There and Back’ guarantee, which consists of a five-year/100,000km warranty, five-year capped price servicing and lifetime roadside assist, which he says has played a big part in the turnaround of its brand perception.

“I think this is a good way to bring our customers back, and we have seen so far in our surveys that some of our customers came back because of the warranty,” Mr Guillaume said.

Jeep will be hoping the upturn in its reputation can result in an uptick in sales numbers, which have been on the decline in recent years.

The American SUV specialist saw a 34.5 per cent drop in yearly sales in 2017, with 8270 units sold compared to 12,620 in 2016.

It was its lowest yearly tally since 2010 when it recorded 5975 sales, while registrations previously topped out at 30,408 in 2014 on the back of the Grand Cherokee which accounted for 16,582 units.

This year will arguably be Jeep’s biggest yet for new product, with the Compass, Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, facelifted Cherokee, refreshed Renegade and all-new Wrangler arriving before the end of 2018.

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