NEW DELHI: In India’s smartphone market where competition is extremely intense, most players including Xiaomi and Motorola are taking their after-sales services up a notch through niche offerings.
Xiaomi has begun pilots for pickup and drop of phones from homes, in Delhi and Mumbai, for Rs 99. Motorola plans to expand its Moto Care on wheels service to 10 cities within months. Xiaomi is considering launching its Mi Home, a large-format experience-cum-service centre, in India towards the end of this year or early next year, on the lines of Motorola that opened its first global store in Bengaluru a couple of months ago.
“Customers only need to call us and our people will arrange an appointment to collect the phone, repair it at the authorised service centre, and deliver it back,” said Manu Jain, head of India operations at Xiaomi. The service will be expanded to other major cities this year.
The service, which has been under pilot stage since April, gets a few hundred requests every day in the National Capital Region of Delhi, and about a 100 in Mumbai. In Delhi, trained staff of a startup partner, GadgetWood, pick up the device and repair under company guidelines. It promises one-day repair.
According to industry insiders, after brand, price and product specifications, customers look for after-sales service as they want to have the assurance of easy availability of repairs in case of a mishap with the phone. “After-sales service is a hygiene factor in India,” said Motorola’s head of India operations, Amit Boni.
“Customers think it’s a given and therefore it doesn’t pop up in our research,” he said when asked where it ranked the service in the levels of importance. Motorola has a 30-day no-questions-asked return policy through Flipkart. It also has an app pre-embedded on every Motorola phone which allows users to call or chat with tech support. The app also supports chat in Hindi.
“We’re expanding our care-on-wheels pilot within Delhi and to 10 other cities within the next few months. If the customer is buying the phone online, why should he have to come to the store to get it fixed,” Boni said.
Care-on-wheels service was launched in January, where qualified personnel repair Motorola phones for free at the customer’s doorstep up to 30 days from purchase. At present, the company uses vans to offer the service in Delhi. Motorola may also launch the service on motorbikes, for crowded areas like Delhi’s Chandni Chowk.