As you may have guessed from the heading, I drive a Mazda. In previous blog articles, I have commented on both positive and negative customer experiences from a few different companies I have interacted with and hopefully, they have provided useful insight into the good, bad and ugly marketing behind them. On this occasion, I will ‘un-pick’ my experience with Mazda to reveal the marketing formula behind the attributes I am commending them on and why I am a raving fan of this brand…
- Mazdas appeal to my lifestage (effective targeting and knowing their audience)The style and form of Mazda vehicles have appealed to me ever since I saw another mum park beside me in a Mazda6 at daycare several years ago…although I did not own a Mazda (CX5) until a couple of years ago. Generally, I don’t like station wagons (too much of a ‘sales’ car for leisurely use), however, the design was stylish and came in a range of colours that were not white. What’s more, there was plenty of room to store the ‘baggage’ that comes with kids! Turns out – females are a primary audience for Mazda. And Mazda claims to have targeted customers on psychographics rather than demographics – seeking to make an emotional connection between the brand and its customers. People who share a passion for driving – in fact, the person that sold me my Mazda said “it’s fun to drive”…he was exactly right!
- Mazda is proactive (they have a great CRM system and manage expectations)“I see that the last time you had your car serviced Mrs Johnson, you received the $199 special”…when recently booking in my next service I enquired about the price and the operator (centralised) was able to access pricing information that was relevant to the branch I visited. They were able to offer me the best possible ‘deal’ for servicing that is currently available. They also warned me that due to the water shortage that my vehicle would not be groomed this time around (must say, it did flash through my mind that they should at least be doing the interior of the vehicle or offering me a gift/voucher as a token since there is no reduction in price…we’ll see if that happens)!
- Mazda’s service team are great to deal with (invest in recruiting and training the right people and ensuring they ‘live’ the company values)Even though I have only had my vehicle a couple of years I am greeted as if I have been visiting the service centre for eons! I had an unfortunate problem with the gear mechanism not long after I purchased my second-hand car – it took considerable diagnostic work for them to uncover the cause of the fault. I felt their way of handling that was very empathetic and transparent – I was left with a completely different feeling vs when I dealt with a mechanic about a similar challenging problem on another vehicle years ago. Mazda did not make me feel that I was being ‘taken for a ride’ but that they were genuinely trying to sort the problem out in the quickest, most cost-effective manner without cutting safety corners. It feels like their staff do actually care about the work they do and are committed to keeping customers happy.
- Mazda is making sure I know about new innovations and chance to upgrade (a lifetime customer approach to their marketing)A courtesy car has always been made available for when the service centre has needed my car for more than an hour or two. I am supplied with a car that has literally just been driven out of the factory with nearly zero k’s on the clock. Invariably these courtesy cars have features that I wasn’t even aware are part of the new models, such as something resembling a button for the handbrake (that was a challenge finding that without being told)! A great opportunity for Mazda to showcase their latest ranges and make customers feel good about driving a pristine car…so much better than one of those ‘beat up’ cars you get from a panel beater! I will certainly be on the look-out for my next Mazda, so in terms of achieving a ‘lifetime’ customer…they are well on their way!
What conscious efforts are you making towards customer loyalty and creating ‘customers for life’?