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Feature: Targeting fleets - Specialist approach pays dividends

Attracting and retaining fleet custom requires a different approach to retail. Fleet customers do not see their vehicles as a luxury, but as a tool of the trade and expect a dealer to offer a level of service which reflects this.

This could mean waiting less than seven days for a service booking, and even for maintenance to be done in the evening so the vehicle is not off the road during working hours.

With the leasing company, business and driver all involved, it is important for the dealer to identify which is the paying customer so repairs are not delayed through talking to the wrong person.

Nevertheless, it essentially boils down to delivering customer satisfaction. That means excellent communication. Just as a retail customer will be happier if kept informed, for the business user it is crucial to know why the vehicle is having work done, when and how long it will take.

John Lewis, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, said: “In essence, the work dealers do when they service and repair a vehicle is very good and as a trade association we get few complaints from customers saying the work was not done properly.

“People complain that dealers never tell them what they have done and the work is often not done on time, but the quality is good. We rarely have a complaint about the work a dealer has done, but have many about lack of communication.”

To read the full report, including the case study on Lifestyle Ford and Honda please click here.

Tops Tips

  1. Don’t make promises you cannot keep.
  2. Always look after the customer because there is always someone else they can go to.
  3. Always be as informative as you can.
  4. Never try to sell a product that won’t do the job to a customer because they won’t return.
  5. Never pressure anyone into making a decision.

From Paul Turner, business centre manager for Ford dealer Gordons in Bolton, offered the following advice to dealers regarding fleet sales.

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