A customer-focused approach

To ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, the Group’s product and service offering seeks to respond to the diversification of existing and emerging mobility needs.

The Stakeholder Engagement events held during 2013 confirmed that customer-focused services, and product quality and safety are among the issues considered of primary importance by the Group’s stakeholders.

The Group is continuously monitoring customer satisfaction and developing new channels of interaction with customers to improve the quality of services and product safety.

Interaction with Customers

To ensure a consistent and high standard of quality in the interaction with customers, the Group has established Customer Contact Centers (CCC) dedicated to managing relationships with existing and potential customers.

A total of 26 Centers with around 1,000 customer care professionals manage approximately 10 million contacts a year. The services provided range from information, to complaint management and coordination of roadside assistance. Together with dealers, the Customer Contact Centers represent an essential channel of communication with customers.

In order to respond to the constantly evolving needs and expectations of customers, the CCCs regularly monitor customer satisfaction levels to identify potential areas for improvement in service levels, as well as customized, on-demand channels of communication.

Given the vital importance of transparency and professionalism, particular emphasis is placed on training for personnel who communicate directly with customers.

Sustainability - Customer focused approach - Interaction

Integrated On-board Safety

The Group is strongly committed to its efforts to enhance safety for all road users. Research in this area includes solutions that assist drivers in avoiding dangerous situations and in taking evasive action to prevent accidents.

The Group applies an integrated approach to the development of on-board safety systems – which has been proven to significantly reduce the probability of injury in the event of an accident – focusing on the following key areas:

  • accident prevention: systems that assist the driver in recognizing potentially dangerous situations
  • driver assist: systems that provide active assistance in controlling the vehicle and maneuvering to avoid collisions
  • damage mitigation: systems to minimize damage and injury in the event of an impact

Proper vehicle maintenance and responsible driving are also essential to vehicle safety. The Group contributes in this area by conducting driver safety courses and awareness campaigns on the importance of proper vehicle maintenance, as well as raising public awareness of the dangers of driving while distracted.

As a result of thousands of hours of virtual simulation, testing of components and sub-systems, as well as extensive crash tests, all of the Group’s new models have been recognized for their safety performance.

In 2013, the new Maserati Ghibli and Jeep Cherokee were awarded the Euro NCAP 5 Stars. And, as evidence of the Group’s emphasis on vehicle design in all markets, the Fiat Panda also received an ANCAP 5 Star rating in Australia. In the U.S., the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recognized the Maserati Ghibli and Fiat 500L as “Top Safety Picks” for 2013 and the Dodge Dart, Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200 sedan as “Top Safety Picks” for 2014. In addition, the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD was awarded the NHTSA NCAP 5 Stars and the Jeep Grand Cherokee 2WD and Jeep Compass received a 4 Star rating.

The need for affordable mobility and efficient infomobility systems is expected to be even more vital in the future. CRF and Magneti Marelli have both been actively working on wireless technology solutions for effective Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications, which together represent one of the key technological challenges for sustainable mobility. Both organizations continued experimentation with systems to support safe and eco-compatible driving, as well as researching advanced driver interfaces that improve recognition of dangerous situations. By alerting the driver of potential dangers and assisting in taking evasive action, such technologies help maximize the level of protection for vehicle occupants and other road users. In addition, systems that use real-time information to reconstruct and predict conditions around the vehicle represent significant progress toward the concepts of assisted driving and autonomous vehicles.

Sustainability - Customer focused - Safety

Product Quality

The Group is committed to offering customers vehicles of the highest quality, in all markets and segments, while addressing the specific requirements of each market and leveraging the opportunities offered by the Fiat/Chrysler integration. To ensure achievement of that objective, standard methodologies and processes have been introduced for all operating areas worldwide.

Vehicle quality improvements are implemented by both dedicated model-specific teams and cross-functional teams. Their activities include preventive checks and controls for processes, definition of areas for improvement and implementation of improvement measures. Quality assessments address the following areas:

  • Reliability: minimization of vehicle defects
  • Perceived quality: level of perception of all aspects of a vehicle
  • Performance and dislikes: how the vehicle compares to competitors’ vehicles and satisfies customer expectations
  • Service quality: level of customer satisfaction before and after purchase
  • Regulatory compliance: conformity with strictest safety and environmental standards

Definition and monitoring of specific indicators for each of these characteristics throughout the vehicle design and production cycle are key to ensuring customer satisfaction.