Over the years I have observed that the automobile sector is one of the most thriving industrial domain today that witnesses stunning growth figures year on year. Clocking a global average of 4.8% growth annually, it sees rapid traction across geographies and is one of the hotbeds for technology innovations. Automobile companies have constantly embraced ground breaking technology solutions to solve challenges in sectors such as Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Logistics, Sales, Marketing, Customer Support and everything in between. If you ask me as a car owner, the biggest win-win situation for an automaker is when a customer gets a great vehicle coupled with an excellent after sales support service. Being a technology expert in addition to a die-hard auto fan, I would love to see companies investing in Blockchain that makes the after-sales service support an enjoyable experience for owners like me.
Buying a car was itself a very time and effort consuming task for me. After going through all the hassles and regulations and tax complications involved in buying a vehicle, I would prefer the after sales-support to be efficient, transparent and the least cumbersome with minimal documentation and data inputs. This is where my respect goes to Renault, the French automotive giant that recently invested in setting up an after-sales support ecosystem on my favorite technology at the moment- Blockchain. Before I explain the merits of using blockchain in automotive after sales support, let us examine what’s the present-day status of vehicle service data.
All the data pertaining to a vehicle’s maintenance history is now shared across a number of people who handled the vehicle’s service from time to time. The parties include the dealership, authorized service centers, private workshops and even self-repair data. All of this data may not be in the same format as well. Thus, it becomes quite a time consuming and tedious task to access the correct service log each time a new maintenance activity is to be performed on the vehicle irrespective of where it is being serviced. Also, it becomes difficult to track the age of components that were installed at multiple locations and at different times without proper billing or supporting documents. I really hate asking my local workshop guy for a bill every time I take my car to him for an oil change or tightening by brakes.
The way Renault has devised to grow my love for the brand is to make all this process accountable with a blockchain log system for maintenance history. Now you must probably have heard pretty much about Blockchains and how they are immutable right? Coming back to Renault’s case, there would be a blockchain-controlled log book or ledger as in blockchain terminology accessible to all parties involved. It would be created at the time the vehicle rolls out of the assembly line and as further parties handle it from buyers to service personnel, every activity that is carried out on the car is recorded in the log. This log would serve as a central repository for information access.
To put things in perspective, a blockchain based ledger can serve as a log which contains information
What does this information mean for customer support?
Remember the last time, you had to fight with your insurance agent over a repair insurance claim? Well, I certainly had my share of nightmares because my car dealer did not believe in the authenticity of a 3rd party mudguard I installed in my car and refused to vet for its authenticity in the claim form. With a blockchain oriented service maintenance book or Digital Service Book for that case, this problem is a thing of the past. The 5 key highlights for a blockchain powered service and maintenance system according to me would be
Such an organized data and information bank can be utilized by dealerships and vehicle owners to determine the price of their vehicles in the used car market using intelligent price calculation assistance powered by AI. I recommend you read how that entire process works detailed exclusively in one of our previous blogs. Overall a Blockchain powered customer support system will fundamentally change the way automakers will provide after-sales support and thereby improve customer relations.
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