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Citroen acts over poor CSI results

Citroen is launching a service reception programme across its retail network following disappointing CSI results on aftersales. The company has also unveiled details of an online training scheme, claimed to be a UK first, which will minimise the amount of time dealer staff spend away from the dealership.

The service reception programme will address perceived shortages relating to customer handling.

Citroen aims to improve customers’ knowledge of the repair process and thereby reduce the number of complaints. Presently too many customers are unhappy about the cost of repairs, it admits.

“The key to solving this is at the reception – explaining the job and the cost so the customer understands what is going on,” says Alain Favey, Citroen UK managing director. “The culture in the reception is not right. We need to go around the car with each customer and go through the work that needs to be done in a professional way.”

Favey believes this is the role of the technician, although he concedes that receptionists could be trained to perform a similar function. The programme will assess the whole aftersales process, with training on how to carry out the work appraisal and inspection.

“We will provide the paperwork, the training and the process and then it’s up to the dealership to organise itself – there will need to be internal reorganisation to make this happen,” says Favey.

Citroen’s new online sales training scheme, developed by automotive training specialist Autavis, forms part of its direct learning initiative. It covers the full sales process from the initial meeting to hand-over of the vehicle, and involves interactive tutorials and videos.

Bill Jeffries, Citroen UK training manager, has high expectations of online learning. “We are excited to be leading the way for what I believe is the future of training within the automotive industry,” he says. Citroen is working with Autavis to develop a similar package for F&I.

Meanwhile a statement issued by Citroen to its retail network has caused confusion over the level of freedom retailers have when dealing with their local press. Citroen says “any press release you issue which involves the Citroen marque should also be approved prior to publication”, although a spokesman told AM this relates to corporate issues and new models, not information on dealerships or events.

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