Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has continued to be the top automotive distributor in the country and it is attributing its uninterrupted success to the numerous measures the company has made to adjust to the new normal.
The leading local vehicle distributor said that it is adopting a two-pronged approach to provide customers fast and reliable service while prioritizing safety.
“While the company is accelerating its digital capabilities, on-site operations are enhanced to provide worry-free customer experience,” the company said, adding that it is practicing the kaizen philosophy (Japanese term for continuous improvement).
“This philosophy in mind is what keeps Toyota ready to quickly adapt to the changes brought about by the different quarantine protocols and shifting customer needs and buying behavior amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company added.
TMP lists the following initiatives:
Easy-to-use online platforms
Saying that many customers are espousing the usage of the online platform in going through activities and transactions, TMP said that it has been proactive in developing digital access and shopping tools. This led to the development of the MyToyota.ph, the TMP and respective dealers’ websites, as well as the TMP’s virtual showroom.
Launched May last year, MyToyota.ph, lets users conveniently set appointments with their chosen dealers for selected services that they need. On the other hand, the 24/7 company’s virtual showroom provides a 3D virtual tour with a 360-degree view of the showroom, and visitors can explore the interior and exterior of the vehicles with just a click.
Client-focused on-site services
For on-site programs, TMP made sure that it complements the online service.
Lee Junia General Manager of Toyota Makati (TMI)—the first Toyota dealership in the country—expressed belief that the “business of selling cars cannot be purely inanimate.”
Among the safety measures that made it (and the whole TMP dealer network) ISO safety-compliant are the mandatory wearing of face mask and face shield, no-touch temperature scanning, alcohol dispensers found everywhere inside the dealerships, as well as clients and visitors being required to fill out a health declaration form through a QR code.
Aside from that, protective barriers and one-meter distancing for safety purposes are also enforced in the showrooms and other work areas.
With the current situation, Junia admitted that the level of engagement with clients is no longer as direct as it was before the pandemic.
“It’s a whole new ballgame doing business in the new normal. I used to train the marketing professional to sit close to the customer to be able to engage or establish a relationship. That’s all out the door,” he said.
“But despite the new challenges, we remain fully committed to providing our customers quality service from sales to maintenance while staying safe,” he added.
Although they are accepting walk-in customers, Junia advises setting an appointment before going to any dealerships to ensure that a well-prepared staff will be able to assist the customers with all their needs.
Further, Junia assured that all vehicles, which also cover test drive units, are cleaned and sanitized before being handed over to every customer. Test drives are done by appointment and only one customer may have the test drive accompanied by a TMI staff seated at the back to observe social distancing.
Moreover, he said TMI's Customer Relations Department (CRD) is maximizing its reach by utilizing the social media as a business tool to touch base with customers.
Payment terms through in-house financing
Junia also said that they are also trying to make car ownership within reach, as they are offering their customers in-house financing via Toyota Financial Services PH.
“With Toyota’s various purchase programs such as low equity or low monthly payments depending on the kind of vehicle or payment method, people can acquire a car as easily as possible. We are able to create a package that will help customers especially during this time,” Junia said, adding that they also offer the motoring public with affordable maintenance terms.
Each vehicle purchase in every Toyota dealership comes with the standard warranty of three years or 100,000-kilometers, whichever comes first.
Customers may opt to have their vehicle serviced in the comforts of their own home. TMI technicians, on board a van or motorcycle, can go to the customer’s location and have the unit attended to. For retail clients, a minimum of two technicians are sent while at least three to four technicians will go to one’s address for fleet accounts. For parts, inquiries can be done online and arranged for delivery if necessary.
Going out of their way to serve
There was even a point when Junia went out of his way to deliver the vehicle personally to their client.
“When the lockdown was first imposed last year, a client’s car brought to the Makati dealership for oil change could not be released. Toyota Makati, Inc. went out of its way to deliver the car to the client despite limited operational capacity. Worried the client might need the vehicle for emergencies since they have three senior citizens, the dealership’s General Manager Lee Junia himself delivered the car to the client’s home a few days after a request for vehicle release was sent,” TMP expounded.
Photos from Toyota Motor Philippines, Lee Junia