After having received a negative reputation in the market, Skoda Auto India was looking to change the perception of their customers and prospects. Quasar helped the company establish their presence in social media and start a dialogue with the end user who till then had no means of communicating directly with the company.Through their social media presence, the company has now developed a platform that their audience trusts and through the activities and interactions, keeps the audience engaged like a friend. Now, with trust and loyalty on their side, Skoda Auto India is confident of always being aware of the online chatter while the customer knows that Skoda is a company that cares and will deliver on its promise.
Skoda Auto India suffered from a negative reputation on the online platform due to its perception of poor after-sales service and also a recent negative interaction on a popular automotive forum. In order to connect with the online population and also create a more personal, direct platform that gave the Skoda customer and prospects, a chance to connect with the company, Skoda India decided to be present on the social platforms.
Since it was not a matter of only repairing a tarnished reputation but also start to build a trusting relationship with the end user, a long term social media strategy was devised that would allow the user to know more about Skoda in India as well as in the global market, provide a channel to the customers to express their grievances, if any and of course broadcast the message of Skoda India online.
The Yeti Trail: The Skoda Yeti was displayed in the various Skoda showrooms across the country as a sneak peek . The Facebook page was the only place where the viewers could get an itinerary as well know exactly how to contact the dealer/showroom where the Yeti was at any point of time. A custom tab was created that was updated daily to keep track of the Yeti movement
The European Yeti Trail: A few auto experts were taken on a Europe trail by Skoda Yeti which was done in collaboration with Mid-Day. The online promotion for the same was done through the Social media community of Skoda to showcase how the Yeti performed on cross country trails and long distance handling. Retweets, images and expert opinions were shared at an almost real-time basis to give the audience the real experience of the Skoda Yeti.
The Right of Way Expedition: Even though the event was offline, online support was provided through the social communities and a microsite developed for inviting entries. A set of ‘common’ people were selected as the participants of each leg of the series and the ‘star factor’ was added by a famous musician/actor and a well renowned wildlife photographer. The Facebook channel was one of the sources of participant entries before the start of the series. Users were to submit their photograph of themselves doing adventurous activities in addition to registering on the microsite.
Everyday engagement: The casual community audience was engaged on an everyday basis through various topics like
Customer Service: Every query / issue that came in was responded to within 2 hours of being received and passed to the right department as per the response mechanism decided by the company and Quasar. The company directly took care of the issue through their dealers and once resolved, the confirmation was posted back to the originating channel
Listening: Facebook, Twitter and Google Alerts were used as main channels for listening. For all complaints, the response mechanism was put to use whereas for queries, immediate replies were posted to create a sense of urgency and responsiveness for Skoda Auto India
Impact and Outcome
Total fan Growth till March 2011 was 65,000 from scratch without paid media spends. Today, the Facebook community has grown to 4,43,024 (August 2012)
Perception Change: Many users used the Facebook and Twitter channels only to either voice their issues or ask queries. The customer service responses were also noted by the bloggers and the rest of the online community .