As the vehicle manufacturers are gearing up for post lockdown sales. The South Korean auto major, Hyundai, has launched a unique initiative for its customers called the Hyundai mobility membership program.
Onmanorama talks to Hyundai Motor India Limited's (HMIL)'s AVP and group head for new business strategy, Brijesh Gubbi Suresh, about the mobility membership program and the technological innovations.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
Can you tell us what the Hyundai Mobility Membership program is?
At Hyundai, we have this philosophy of making the customer our life-time partners. This new initiative is also aimed towards that. Research shows that 75% of customers are likely to purchase from a brand that knows their preferences. The mobility membership program focuses on making the interaction with our customers more meaningful and personalised so that they recommend us in the future to others. We will provide offers and benefits to our customers through our association with some of the best brands in the country.
How is the program different from other customer loyalty programs?
Customer loyalty programs generally follows an 'earn and burn' method in which you earn more rewards or points when you spend within the company network and after accumulating them you can spend it within or outside the company network. We do not follow this pattern for our mobility membership program. All offers and benefits are available for all our members and are unconditional.
In case of a loyalty program, customers also have to pay a fee to enter it, that is not the case with Hyundai mobility membership program. In the first phase, all new customers can opt to be a member without any additional fee and it is a lifetime partnership with the customers. There will be continuous customer engagement and addition of new partners and offers.
What are the offers and benefits under the program?
The benefits have been divided into three categories, core, mobility and lifestyle.
In core, we have JK tyres, shell and Hyundai mobis as partners for the customers' car related needs.
Next is mobility, which is the heart of the program as the name also suggests. We are a mobility solutions provider and not just an automotive company. This is just the beginning and we have tied up with mobility partners like revv, zoom car, driveu etc. which provide ride hailing, ride sharing and on demand services.
In lifestyle, we have tied up with vedantu, sterling resorts, oyo, dineout etc.
At present there are three companies in core, five in mobility and 15 in lifestyle as partners. More partners are being added and subsequently more categories may also be added.
Also, it should be noted that this is a long term partnership with customers and all the offers can be availed any number of times.
What is the advantage for Hyundai and other partners?
We will be adding more partners to the program and will build a digital ecosystem for the customers to engage with the partners. We get to know the preferences of the customers and that will help us to engage better with them in the future. For our partners, they will get access to new customers and additional avenue to drive growth and expansion.
Brand engagement usually drops after the vehicle is purchased. Is this program going to be a game changer when it comes to car brands' relationship with the customer?
From our perspective, this will clearly increase our engagement with our customer and they will feel privileged and special. If it will be a game-changer only time will tell us, but from the Hyundai point of view it is about the experience. The new age digital customer looks for convenience, they look for exclusive treatment. If you give that they will engage with us and this will help us provide more personalised offers to our customers.
Post-lockdown many auto-major companies have been raining offers. Is this an impact of the lockdown?
Hyundai's vision has been there even before the lockdown. Many people asked us if 'click to buy' was launched keeping in mind that people would want to have online solutions during COVID-19. Our answer is no, 'click to buy' was launched in January this year and we went live in March even before the lockdown.
So, it is true that the Hyundai mobility membership program was launched during the post lockdown period, but we have been planning for this from much before the lockdown. We had to delay the launch because of the lockdown as some of our partners had to change their priorities. The mobility program as such, was conceptualised and strategised last year itself.
Even today, Hyundai is the only company which provides end-to-end tools for online purchase of car. When I say end-to-end, it means everything except the registration of the car is online. That is the convenience we have provided and now we are combining that with our mobility solutions.