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View from the top: CSR helps Vauxhall give better service

Vauxhall says it is on target to have 100 of its franchised dealers participating in its new Centralized Service Reception programme by the end of the year.

The number of dealerships participating in CSR has doubled to 12 since launch last month. Another 30 have committed to going operational with it this summer, according to Paul Daly, aftersales director.

CSR allows customers to phone a central call centre and book a service at their regular Vauxhall dealer. The centre then ensures that the dealer is prepared and has the necessary parts available.

“It really came from looking at our retailers and realizing that there’s often a bottleneck at service reception,” says Daly.

At peak times, staff were juggling taking service bookings by phone with receiving customers at the service desk and providing information about the services on offer.

“It frees up their time to help them do a better job with their other duties,” he adds.

Daly is already seeing an improvement in dealers’ CSI ratings. Daly is charged with improving retention of customers with cars aged 4-7 years, which he sees as a key growth area for franchised maintenance and repair. CSR is one tool in his armoury. Others include selling a complete monthly plan to new and Network Q car buyers for two or three years servicing, and providing a data cleansing service for dealers, where it will check customer data is up to date and prepare a mailing for the dealer to send out.

“We’re having to try various initiatives as the industry becomes more competitive,” Daly adds. “Traditionally, aftersales used to account for 50% of revenue, now it’s dipped to around 45%.”

Longer-lived vehicles and lengthening service intervals have all impacted on aftersales business.

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