Consumer durables company Electrolux Kelvinator Ltd (EKL) has de-linked its distribution network from the service function in a bid to boost its image as a consumer-friendly company.
The company is in the process of rolling out a customer service enhancement programme called Insta Service, which will include the setting up of exclusive Insta Service branded centres.
"The company has set a target to have 300 such exclusive service centres by the end of 2004 and one Master Service Centre in each metro by 2005," Mr Rajesh Sahni, General Manager - Consumers Services, EKL, said.
Incidentally, after-sales service has emerged as a sore point with consumers purchasing consumer electronics and durables in the market.
"We have set ourselves the goal of becoming the most customer-friendly brand by 2005. Our new initiative campaign also involves the Internet in a big way," Mr Sahni said.
The company has set up a Web site, wherein a customer can register his complaint and is assured of a response within the next 24 hours. Consumers can also specify whether they have been satisfied with the service or not.
The site will also serve to connect all the service centres with a centralised parts depot (which will be set up towards mid-2004). "The centralised depot would store parts or components of the appliances, the availability information on which would be available on the site. Therefore, if a service centre requires a part, it simply needs to log on to the site and order it. This would enable them to provide speedier service to the consumer," Mr Sahni said.
Electrolux would also be coming out with an `application lifeline' initiative targeted at consumers who own appliances with expired warranties. "Consumers will be able to buy `lifeline' vouchers off the shelves for about Rs 250 to Rs 400. This would entitle them to 12 months of free service apart from other benefits," Mr Sahni said.