Gilders uses an external agency to ask its customers seven questions, such as did you get good value for money, and were you kept informed about progress? The key question is: Would you recommend the dealership? Towards the end of last year 74% said they would, but that increased to 82.2% in the second quarter of this year.
Garry Straw, Gilders aftersales manager, says: “We’re not where we want to be yet, we are heading in the right direction. One of the things we are doing differently is when a customer phones in to report a problem with their car, rather than book them in for a couple of hours in, say, three or five days’ time, we get them in straight away so we can diagnose the problem. That has improved our customer satisfaction, because when customers have a problem they want to be attended to immediately, not in several days’ time.
“Often the diagnosis only takes 20 minutes, and sometimes we can even fix the problem in that time. If we can’t, we can usually at least reassure the customer that the car is roadworthy and that the problem is not safety-related. So we will book the car in for the next available day and we can have all the parts ready by then. This approach also frees up more time to work on the cars that are booked in, and to do any additional work on them which the technicians have identified.”