Proton aims to win more customers with 'POE' formula

PETALING JAYA: Every time an individual sends his car for routine maintenance or to fix a problem at a brand's authorised service centre, he expects the matter to be accomplished quickly and to his satisfaction.

Or at least within a reasonable amount of time and with spare parts ready to be installed, allowing the car to hit the road again.

He also expects to be kept in the loop about what's happening to his car while it's having a downtime moment.

A satisfied customer is after all a happy customer, who is likely to buy another of the brand's car again or recommend it to a relative or friend. Positive word of mouth builds trust and rewards the business that pursues it.

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The current Proton management says it takes the need for a customer-centric approach seriously.

It acknowledges that Proton has in the past been found wanting and needs to strive for excellence in every aspect of operations.

To show that it's taking steps to improve aftersales and customer satisfaction, Proton has introduced what it calls the Proton Operational Excellence (POE) initiative.

This aftersales strategy seeks to improve the performance of Proton's nationwide service centres and build trust in the brand.

A media tour was organised to unveil the initiative at one of Proton's top 4S dealers last week.

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Present at the event held at The Apple Auto Services & Tyres dealership in Bangi, Selangor, were Proton Edar CEO Roslan Abdullah, its vice president for sales & aftersales Edmund Lim and its aftersales director Wan Hazran Wan Mustafa.

In essence, POE is a framework that covers adherence to high-quality service processes, technician competencies, future dealer management system integration, and fostering trust in the brand.

Measures include securing preferred appointment dates and aligning service processes with customer needs and technician development to ensure they stay abreast with automotive technology for efficient issue resolution.

Starting with 13 pilot dealerships, the POE initiative would progressively integrate into nationwide 3S and 4S outlets to achieve operational excellence at every customer touchpoint.

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Proton wants to ensure a premium level of service for every customer - from their first step into our dealerships, through the purchasing process and during subsequent service visits, said Roslan.

Fast service options (within the hour) and a cosy customer lounge with quality cafes are among the measures that Proton seeks to roll out to other outlets.

As a Geely-backed company, Proton is continuing to upgrade its dealership network as well as expand its parts distribution system.

It now has the largest 3S/4S network of 155 outlets to better serve customers nationwide.

It is also aiming to optimise parts availability, which Roslan concedes is Proton's biggest challenge.

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"Our increased warehouse capacities have significantly reduced lead time delivery by at least 30%, enabling us to store more parts, streamline order processing, handle overseas shipments, and maintain larger stocks of critical items for quicker customer car repairs."

At present, it has opened two new warehouses in Peninsular Malaysia, along with a new warehouse in Kuching and soon in Kota Kinabalu to cater to demand.

On dealer development, Proton says it wants to empower each dealership and help them reach their full potential. It believes this could be achieved by being communicative and collaborative as well as holding one-to-one coaching sessions, and sharing best practices among dealerships to strengthen the network.

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In addition, reward & recognition schemes acknowledge dealers for outstanding customer service or when they exceed expectations.

The national automaker has a lot of ground to cover — from customer touchpoints to backend operations.

With the POE initiative as its compass, Proton's future has never looked more promising.

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Service consultant attends to customer's enquiries
Customer waiting lounge
Media tour to unveil PROTON's initiative and effort to improve after sales performance
Autos Proton