The amount of money spent on purchasing a new car is not a small sum; in fact, for most Malaysians, it is the second most expensive purchase after a house. Fortunately, Hire-Purchase financing allows many to own a car immediately rather than having to save for years to pay in one lump sum! For most, ownership of a car is expected to be for a number of years and during that time, they expect to have an enjoyable experience using the car.
Every car company understands this expectation and have their own ways of meeting it. For Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM), the approach is a comprehensive one which covers all aspects of ownership – from the time the customer first visits a Volkswagen showroom to the time a purchase is made and the car delivered, and then providing the relevant aftersales services that ensure the ownership experience is always enjoyable.
“Every company can promise and meet expectations of product quality and reliability and Volkswagen certainly has a proven record of that with German engineering in all its vehicles. However, when it comes to the experience owners have after they purchase a new vehicle, there can be many differences and we believe that for a Volkswagen owner to have a truly enjoyable experience, every aspect of ownership must be covered in the best way possible,” says Erik Winter, Managing Director of Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia.
“In the past, we looked at customer care in a rather ‘fragmented’ way; the sales department would be responsible up to the time of delivery and then the aftersales department would be expected to take over, for example. This is not the best way to start a relationship which we want to be lasting. The experience an owner has with the vehicle as well as the brand will be influential in whether he or she will choose a Volkswagen again so it is obvious that we must ensure that experience is nothing but the best,” he says.
To provide the best ownership experience which is unified all aspects, VPCM has created the Volkswagen Cares program, an aftersales-led initiative which uses a new platform for the brand to engage with owners and continuously improve the ownership experience. It is offered at no extra charge to anyone who owns a Volkswagen and supported by authorised Volkswagen dealers throughout Malaysia.
With virtually all owners possessing a smartphone these days and using it for many different purposes, it is understandable that they would also want that motoring life to be manageable using the same device. For this reason, VPCM has a Volkswagen Cares mobile app for both iOS and Android devices which can serve as the primary point of interaction with Volkswagen in general and VPCM specifically. Of course, Volkswagen Cares is also present at every dealership for those who prefer the human touch.
Once the owner creates an account with the Volkswagen Cares App, entry to the world of Volkswagen Cares can start and it is a big, wide world with service offers, owner rewards, educational videos, tips, and event updates.
While some companies often give lots of attention to owners in the first few years and then diminish the benefits to encourage them to purchase a new vehicle and enjoy the benefits again, VPCM regards those who prefer to keep their Volkswagens longer as being just as important. After all, Volkswagens are built to last and if an owner sees no need to change, that’s perfectly understandable.
For these owners who have older vehicles (5 years or older) which are no longer covered by a warranty, there is an extension of Volkswagen Cares known as Volkswagen Care plus which provides a 2-year extension of roadside assistance at any time when it is needed, every day of the year. While the level of reliability is high, there can be the occasional unexpected problem or even an emergency while on a balik kampung trip and with Volkswagen Care plus, there will be the peace of mind that help is at the push of a button if needed.
”VPCM does not differentiate between those who still have an active warranty and those who don’t because they are all Volkswagen customers. Therefore they deserve the same level of attention and caring which we offer with Volkswagen Care plus when the vehicle is older,” explains Mr. Winter. “We invite owners of older Volkswagen vehicles to visit our authorised service centres because that’s where they can get the best service from people who know and understand Volkswagens.”
During the initial years of ownership, a warranty covers manufacturing defects, should they occur, and replacement or rectification will at no cost to the owner. For cars bought in 2018, customers are offered free scheduled maintenance for 3 years (or 45,000 kms, whichever comes first), which reduces motoring costs. In any case, service intervals for the latest models are set at 15,000 kms (or maximum of 12 months) and for some, this may mean bringing in the vehicle just once a year.
“As part of Volkswagen Cares, we ensure that everything is transparent for our customers and information on the costs of each stage of scheduled maintenance are available through our website. Labour costs and the cost of parts required are all shown so there is no confusion or misunderstanding to spoil the ownership experience,” says Mr. Winter.
Volkswagen owners are assured of professional work at authorised service centres. Every technician must be fully trained to maintain Volkswagen vehicles and VPCM has even set up a Volkswagen Academy for the purpose. The certified service advisors and technicians use diagnostic equipment recommended by Volkswagen and needless to say, only genuine Volkswagen parts (or approved by Volkswagen) are used for replacement or repairs.
Consistent and high quality is a top priority for Volkswagen as it is what ensures customer satisfaction. To achieve this, there are regular meetings between the factory and VPCM to identify and resolve problems decisively. One example is the issue with DSG transmissions which was given full attention and has been settled.
“The car business used to be about just selling cars and providing the required maintenance services after that. Today, our customers have higher expectations with regard to their ownership experience and how the brand complements their lifestyle. With Volkswagen Cares, we provide a complete program that will make them happy owning and driving a Volkswagen every day,” says Mr. Winter.
Visit www.volkswagen.com.my/my-vw/volkswagen-cares to know more about Volkswagen Cares or contact an authorised dealership in Malaysia.