10 Steps to Improve Customer Service in the Motor Trade

Customer service in the UK has received its lowest score since 2010, and although the motor trade was rated as the fourth highest sector, facing competition from the likes of tourism, retail and food retail, standards have gradually slipped over the last two and a half years and the bar needs to be raised back up again.

Customers are a vital part of any business; they bring the money in so keeping them happy is integral. The UK Customer Satisfaction Index, who perform the twice yearly study on customer happiness, found that 95% of highly satisfied customers are very likely to remain as customers. In stark comparison, only 5% of dissatisfied customers are very likely to return.

Out of 100 points the automotive sector received an average score of 78.6, which is down from 80.9 in 2013. Motor trade companies like Skoda have proved you can achieve great customer satisfaction in the motor trade, consistently being named in the 20 highest performing businesses in the UK with high scores between 82.9 and 85.7 since 2013.

In order to help keep customers satisfied and returning to your motor trade business, Think have collated some of the best advice from business experts and added a few tips from our own experience.

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Learn Your Business and Become an Expert


You may know how to sell cars, repair them or wash them, but do you know everything about your business? If you sell cars, get to know the market as a whole, know the specifications and prices of your competitors. On the other hand if you run a valet business find out if you can be offering your customers more services than just a car wash. Becoming an expert of your business will also help you field customer questions much more easily and give them confidence in your service.

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Make Your Customers Feel Welcome


Your customers should feel welcome before they even enter your business. An attractive, family friendly and clean store front will attract customers to your business. Once they enter your shop or garage, they will expect polite service, so look after them in any way you can. If you need to keep them waiting for any amount of time, make sure that comfortable seating areas are available.

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Be Available


Due to the nature of customers today, they want service to be available as soon as possible and when it suits them. So be attentive to the business phone and emails, if a customer cannot get in touch with you they may take their business elsewhere purely because that other business picked up the phone.

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Listen to Your Customers


Knowing what your customers want is essential to helping you improve your customer service and, in turn, your profits. Find out what they need from you and do what you can to help them. The more you listen to your customers and the more information you find out, the more services you will be able to offer them. Also, if your customer has a complaint with the service they have been given, listening and empathising with their situation is half the battle, once they have vented and you have listened they’ll feel much better and then you can deal with their problem.

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Be Time Conscious


Be conscious of your customers’ time, as no matter how good your service is, keeping them waiting an inordinate amount of time is bad service. To make sure your customers’ time isn’t wasted, tell them an estimated time for when the job will be finished, and then try your best to meet the deadline. Customers will always feel aggrieved if they have had to wait longer than you originally told them, without good reason.

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Look at Every Step in Your Service


Any weak point in your customer service will be picked up on by the customer, instantly. Look at every step and see if there’s any part that is not performing at its full potential. You need to create a consistently good service so that people will return.

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You need to receive feedback about your service otherwise you’ll never be able to better it. It requires a thick skin at times, but if there’s something wrong with your business you need to know about it. Offer feedback opportunities on your website, or give forms for people to fill in as they leave.

Also try following up after your service, if someone has bought a car from you recently, or had their car repaired by you, it’s really polite to send a follow up letter a month later letting them know that you hope that the vehicle is still running well and if they need to, they can contact you with any issues.

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Social Media

To offer customers the best service you need to create a social media page on Twitter and Facebook. This will allow them another way of contacting you and also give them the chance to endorse you to their friends.

You can also use the format to advertise offers and discounts. If you offer a one day extravagant price reduction once a month you’ll not only get some free advertisement as it is shared around the web, but you’ll also gain some loyal customers hungry for offers.

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Hire the Right Staff

The key to making your customer service the best is by hiring polite, friendly and dedicated staff. Hiring people that will interact with your customers in a polite and knowledgeable way will increase customer satisfaction tenfold.

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Continuously Improve Customer Service

You may feel like you have the perfect staff and service possible, but to maintain those high levels of service you need to continuously improve them. Learn from your mistakes, talk and listen to your staff about service and interaction on a daily basis.

Think Insurance are experts in providing Motor Trade Insurance and Part-Time Motor Trade Insurance. If you are in need of a new policy, then please get in touch with Think today.

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Choosing the Right Insurance Broker

When the time comes to renew your motor trade insurance, or take out a policy for the first time, finding and then selecting the right insurance broker can be a minefield.

With so many to choose from it can be tempting to stick with the same broker year after year without really understanding what you are missing out on.

So, we have devised a handy checklist for you, which should help you decide on which broker is best for you and your business:

Are they specialists in your industry?

If you work in the motor trade industry you want to make sure that your broker is a specialist in this field.  Trade policies can be complex and so it is vital your broker understands what you need in terms of cover.  Choosing a broker who doesn’t know the trade could cost you and your business dearly.

Where are their call centres based?

Many insurers opt to have call centres abroad to keep costs down. While this may not be a problem for some, others may prefer to talk to someone in the UK. So before you make any decisions, make sure you know where your call will be sent to, if you ever had to make a claim or amend your policy.

Are they regulated by the FCA?

Make sure your broker is registered with the relevant bodies. This provides you with reassurance that your broker is regulated.

Do they charge for motor traders to update their MID records?

Some brokers will charge businesses to keep their MID records up to date.  As this is a legal requirement for motor traders, you may want to make sure this service is free of charge. Or if it isn’t, make sure you factor this cost into your insurance premiums.

Do they restrict the number of hours you can drive?

Make sure you understand what you are covered for in the policy.  Some brokers will restrict the hours you can drive.  This may not be what you are looking for so check before you sign up.

What benefits do you get by using them?

Does the broker offer you any perks or additional benefits that others may not?  We all like a freebie!

At Think Insurance, our team is made up of several individual, specialist departments allowing experts to focus on specific products and give our customers the best impartial help and advice. Our call centres are based in the UK, and we offer exceptional customers service.  We are authorised and regulated by FCA for your peace of mind.  We don’t charge for updating your MID records, and we don’t restrict the hours you can drive.

And if that wasn’t enough, if you decide to use Think Insurance, we work with companies like the Motor Trade Club to help you get access to trade related offers and deals, to help save you money.

So, make sure you do your research and use the information above to help you along the way.

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Choosing the right cover for your traders insurance

The industry that you work in, and the type of work that you carry out determines the level of cover or indemnity that you should get on your motor trade policy. For example, an individual that makes a living from buying and selling cars is going to need a different type of cover than someone who works as a mechanic or valeter. In order to help you decide the indemnity you are going to take out, we have put together some information that will aid your decision.

Split Indemnity

One option that you may wish to consider is a policy that provides a split indemnity, allowing you to have one type of cover for your own car, and a separate level of cover for your customer’s vehicles. This insurance premium could especially come in handy if you personally drive a cheap car, as your split policy could be cheaper than having a single level of cover.

Type of vehicle

When weighing up your options regarding insurance policies, you should consider the make and model of the car that you will be dealing with. For instance, you will need a lot of cover if you are going to be selling prestige or luxury cars, in comparison to older models which will require much less cover. If you don’t get your indemnity amount quite right, you can always make it higher should you need to.

Type of work carried out

If you are a mechanic or valeter, then you will undoubtedly be working with a wide range of vehicles. Therefore, it is advisable to get a higher indemnity so that you are covered should you have to work with a valuable car. Additionally, the owner of such a car may want to see evidence showing the level of your cover so they know that their vehicle will be protected should anything happen to it. Third party insurance is not necessarily relevant for everyone. If you work in the breaker or salvage industry, you won’t be needing this type of insurance on your policy as the vehicles you work with won’t be worth a great deal.

Suitable for your requirements

The most important aspect of purchasing insurance is that you get the type of cover that suits you and your situation. It is more beneficial to you to spend a little more on your insurance policy and being covered for all events. If you get a policy with a lower level of cover than you need, you may find that you will have to pay out even more should you make a claim.

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Top Tips to Keep Your Car Safe

Make sure that your car stays safe with our tips to protecting your vehicle.

Always lock your doors. You would be surprised how many people do not, or forget to lock their doors when they leave their car. Geoff Tristram’s case is a prime example of the dangers of leaving your car doors unlocked.

Never leave spare keys in the car. Leaving a set of spare keys in the car makes it that much easier for a thief to steal your vehicle. Ensure that you store your spare set in a safe place outside of your car.

Make use of your garage. If you own a garage, make sure to use it. It is an additional barrier between a thief and your car.

Leave your glove box open. Make sure that your glove box is empty, and leave it open. This will show any thief that you have nothing of value inside.

Use a steering wheel lock. Using a steering wheel lock will prevent a thief from getting away with your car. Ensure that you make it visible and they won’t bother trying in the first place.

Park in a busy area. When you park your car, ensure that you park in a busy and well lit area that has CCTV. In a crowded area, a theft or vandalism is less likely, however, should such an event occur, there will be footage of the crime on the CCTV camera. Ensure that you leave all your windows tightly closed when away from the car.

Make disguising more difficult. To make it more difficult for thieves to disguise stolen cars, have the registration or the last seven digits of the Vehicle Identification Number etched to your windows, headlights and windscreens.

Security accessories. Installing security features in your car is a beneficial method of protection. Depending on the accessories, should your car be stolen, they will draw attention to the theft or they will help track the vehicle once it has been stolen. It is advisable to ensure that the accessories you buy are from a reputable source.

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