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Shell to train franchises to maximise aftersales

The company says its Helix Training Academy sets out to build a structured sales process and culture by developing the skills of aftersales managers and their teams. It also warns that franchised dealers who fail to respond to the challenges opened up by block exemption revisions will see customers, and profits, disappear in the direction of independent retailers.

Tony Short, general manager at Shell Automotive Lubricants, accuses some retailers of failing to understand the importance of aftersales.

"The parts and service department is a critical point of contact between the customer and a franchised dealership," he says. "Yet too often it is not taken as seriously as the apparently sexier sales side of the business.

"Under the new block exemption regulations, well trained aftersales staff are vital - but they need to become more than just booking clerks and develop a sales skill and culture."

Courses offered through Shell Helix Training Academy - tailored to improve customer satisfaction and retention levels as well as boost revenue through the workshop - are NVQ recognised.

One of the paybacks for Shell is that trained operatives will encourage customers to buy Shell Helix Top-Up packs. According to company research, more than 70 per cent of motorists who buy oil do so for a top-up, but only four per cent purchase from a franchised dealer workshop.

Short says this market alone, representing one in two UK motorists, is worth £84m a year. Shell's top-up pack can be Velcro-fastened inside a car's boot and consists of one litre of Helix, gloves, a funnel and oil wipes.

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