Posted: 29th October 2014

Nissan boss says recall policy is key to customer loyalty

Automobile Customer Experience1

Consumers can expect more car recalls as manufacturers work to keep customers happy and reduce upset over quality concerns, says Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of the Nissan Motor Company and Renault SA. What are the implications for customer experience?

“Everybody is particularly focused on the fact that they are fighting so hard to get the consumer for their brand, so they don’t want to lose him for a quality problem,” Ghosn said in an interview in Shanghai. “What you are seeing today is a tendency from all carmakers to recall the cars every time there’s any doubt, because the last thing they want is the consumer to have to deal with quality problems.”

Recalls are an “industry concern,” said Ghosn, speaking in his capacity as president of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Automobile manufacturers are under pressure to meet incredibly high expectations of quality – a symptom of the success of the high standards established by manufacturers, one could say – while also ensuring that responses to quality concerns are proportional and cost-effective.

Ghosn’s comments reflect a context in which global recalls of cars are becoming ever more common.Toyota alone has called back more than 875,000 vehicles in three separate campaigns as part of recalls also affecting Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) and Mazda Motor Corp. in the U.S.

What can automobile manufacturers do to better to manage customer expectations?

This first step is to engage customers meaningfully through a systematic programme of customer experience management. By bringing customer feedback into their organisations, leading automobile manufacturers have been better equipped to manage customer and partner concerns and develop more nuanced approaches to quality issues.

The challenges faced by automobile manufacturers by high customer expectations are not solved by reactive approaches to quality issues or by sidelining customers – the answer is more customer insight, not less – supported by outcome-oriented customer experience management technology.

To learn more about how customer experience can be proactively measured over time using metrics such as Net Promoter Score, with customer concerns weighted according to business impact.

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