In Focus: Mohsin Haider Darwish
6 months ago by Irum Naeem
Sherif Shawky, General Manager Sales at Mohsin Haider Darwish (MHD) Automotive in Oman talks about various advancements taking place in the automobile industry and how MHD Automotive is facilitating their clients with a diversified brand range and keeping a strong focus on customer satisfaction.
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Q: In terms of service, what factors set you apart from your competitors in the region?
Sherif: Customers equate experience with brands, right now we are innovating our workshop to be the largest in the Sultanate which positively impacts our work capacity in the after sales services. We offer different service packages starting from 3 to 10 years which gives our customers the peace of mind when making a decision on buying our cars as well as the variety between 65,000 KMs to 105,000 KMs service coverage.
Moreover, the warranty we offer on different brands also starts from 3 to 10 years on a bumper to bumper basis covering all mechanics electronics gearbox etc.
We are also available to pick up the vehicles from the customer’s place if requested as well as pick up and drop off for the customer himself if needed.
Q: Can you describe the customer journey once a visitor enters the showroom till the moment they leave?
Sherif: All our customers are treated as VIPs starting from the meet and greet by our receptionist/hostess who directs them to the right brand and salesperson who will assist them in choosing their preferred car based on their needs. After offering the customer a beverage of his choice and explaining the options of his preferred vehicle, customers are offered a test drive to feel, hear and breathe the joy of driving our products. Once back in the showroom, the customer is offered a quotation and a delivery date.
Q: How do you measure customer satisfaction and how do you use feedback to enhance customer experience?
Sherif: In all our brands we have our customer satisfaction surveys whether it is after buying a car or getting a service and it is designed to give us detailed feedback on the experience our customer had. If for any reason a customer is not satisfied 100% this alerts the responsible manager to attend to the customer himself and make sure he is more than happy.
Q: What kind of customer support do you provide at different stages of the sales process as well as post-sales service?
Sherif: During the sales process we can offer test drives at a convenient place and time preferred by the customer. If the customer is going to finance his car we do everything on his behalf. We have our specific staff and their job is to make our customer’s life easier. For service, we have a call center available 24/7 to assist our customers in case of difficult situations.
Q: MHD is amongst the top auto dealerships in Oman. What factors have contributed towards this achievement?
Sherif: The main reason is the vision that was set by Mr. Mohsin Haider Darwish when he founded the company more than half a century ago. The management strategy is to be on top of opportunities, work hard as a team, continuous persistence and ambition towards leadership and innovation. Another major factor is that we have products that meet the needs of all the market segments.
Q: How do you describe the change in customer needs in the last ten years?
Sherif: The market has changed during the last decade in terms of needs and demands. Most of the customers in the region are going towards the SUV cars. The needs are variable based on the nature of the car usage and depending on the customer preference whether he is an athlete, a businessman, a housewife or a speed enthusiast. These factors define the needs of the customers.
Q: Being the dealer of different auto companies, what innovations are taking place in terms of technology in the coming year?
Sherif: Most of the brands have future plans that combine efficiency and eco-friendly hybrid cars that are now available. The full EV is the future.
Q: What is the change in customer buying behavior with regards to electric and hybrid cars in the last five years?
Sherif: In the beginning it was just a vision and people were not accepting it but slowly it was embraced and became a fact in the entire region. The race now is who will have the infrastructure ready first to accommodate the EV. We now have a demand and customers are very interested and keen on asking when the full EV will be available for ordering.
Q: How often do you conduct training for your sales teams?
Sherif: We have two types of staff training, one is provided by the principals for each brand and the other is an internal coaching/training conducted by the management that happens during weekly meetings.
Q: What kind of soft skills training programs do you conduct for your customer support staff and what essential skills do you focus on?
Sherif: We focus on workshops that enhance customer satisfaction. Customer support staff is key in satisfying our customers and driving the business forward and some of the essential skills are the ability to listen, emotional intelligence, enthusiasm, working under pressure and customer satisfaction focused skills.
Q: Do you offer online customer support on your website and social media pages and is this available 24/7?
Sherif: We do offer online customer support on our social media pages and our website offers a contact us form. We reply within an hour max through our call centre agents. For each car that we deliver we assign a service advisor’s number that is available round the clock to attend to any emergencies.
Q: What are your future plans to enhance service experience for your clients?
Sherif: We are planning to get on the digital board by offering corporate car sharing in the fleet business through mobile application which will make us the first in the MENA region to apply the same.
About Sherif Shawky
Sherif Shawky is the General Manager of Sales for Jaguar Land Rover Oman that lies under the umbrella of the automotive division of Mohsin Haider Darwish L.L.C. which has been a strong contributor to the economy of Oman in the last few decades. Sherif is one of the youngest entrepreneurs and a bright minded automotive professional in the region who has 14 years of industry leadership covering GCC, Eastern Europe & MENA. He has worked for some of the top brands in the world like Porsche, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley & McLaren.