The manufacturer-owned dealership, which serves the City, Docklands and Central London area from its site in Commercial Road, has added extra technicians, advisors and apprentices to its 50-strong workforce this year, and has doubled its training investment compared with 2003.
“We are making a considerable investment in our staff – both new recruits and experienced employees – which is necessary to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change,” says general manager Ian Plummer. “The investment is reflected in increasing customer satisfaction levels, with more than 90% of our service customers remaining loyal to us.
“We’re among the best improvers in the Renault customer satisfaction league table, but still have some way to go to get everybody totally satisfied. It’s all about getting the basics right – keeping customers informed and making sure we get the jobs done on time.”
Aftersales capacity is a network-wide issue because of the sales increase Renault has achieved in recent years. Plummer says his dealership is currently servicing about 40% of Renault customers in the area, which is one of the better performances in the network.
He added: “We want to get some of the profitable wear and tear work back into the dealership, and we are looking to increase our capacity so we can reduce our lead times – the main thing that turns off wear and tear customers.
“At the moment it is running at around two days for MoT and service work – slightly more where there is diagnostic work involved.”
The new staff include three apprentices – two in the first year, and one in the second year of a three-year modern apprenticeship programme, leading to an NVQ.
Renault apprentices go on six, two-week residential courses each year at Renault’s Nottingham training centre, and in fact two of the dealership’s apprentices were among the first to graduate from the Centre earlier this year.
The dealership is now looking for more applications from would-be technicians to join the apprenticeship programme this summer. It is also advertising vacancies for an experienced service advisor to assist in the workshop and an experienced bodyshop estimator.