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Godrej Appliances Attempts New Service Approach
Sep 18, 2003
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Godrej Appliance Division announced it is launching Godrej SmartCare, a new service approach that the company hopes will help it to convert consumers using non-Godrej appliances into loyal Godrej customers.

Speaking to FE, Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co Ltd (appliances division) executive VP (marketing, sales & services) Soumitra K Ghatak said the intention now is to make the service into a brand which customers can identify and relate with just like the Godrej brand. "In order to make it into a brand, we are giving it more visibility, like advertising the toll-free number in the top eight metros in dealer outlets, door-to-door activity to make customers aware about the concept and giving complimentary check-up for appliances," said Mr Ghatak.

The SmartCare service started by the company essentially aims at meeting the service/maintenance and replacement needs of household appliances (refrigerators, washing machines, and air-conditioners) of customers. Godrej Appliances has 120 SmartCare centers spread across 50 towns across India. The four metros have call centers for customers, while in smaller towns, the toll-free number is advertised through dealer network. Mr. Ghatak said the plan is to consolidate in these towns first, by roping in more customers, before there is any increase in footprints of SmartCare centres.

Interestingly, the company through the service is looking to convert customers owning appliances of other brands. Mr. Ghatak said the service, like replacement schemes and annual maintenance contracts (AMCs), is available for appliances of other brands as well, giving Godrej the gateway to further market the brand.

"In the replacement scheme around 30 per cent is competitors’ brands, while in AMCs too it is also around 30 per cent. This gives the initiative (SmartCare) as well as the brand tremendous leverage and also an opportunity to convert or convince customers about our brand. Brand loyalty among customers is also built because the relationship does not end at the point of sale but is taken ahead through SmartCare," Mr Ghatak said.

He added that the call centers also act as an important medium to understand consumers and then devise strategies accordingly. "Even technicians attending calls at customers’ residences are now taught to be more receptive to consumer feedback which is essential in the overall gameplan," he said. (Financial Express)

Micro marketing initiative, which involves touching consumer points through individual regions, is another emotional tool which the appliance division has employed. Marketing and promos have been weaved around festivities in each region.

“Micro marketing initiatives are undertaken in synergy with the pan-national communication of the brand,” Mr Ghatak said.

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