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Citroën boss goes on tour to get basics right


Citroën’s leasing plan integrates the insurance, offering reduced rates for owners based on their driving habits.

Plus it offers Trafficmaster’s telematics services free of charge for a limited period, including navigation and stolen vehicle tracking. Citroën has had a relationship with Trafficmaster since the late 1990s.

“We are obviously trying to attract the younger customer to widen our customer base.” Jackson said.

“We’re the first company to factory-fit a black box in one of our cars.”

The fit is a test in one special edition to gauge customer acceptance, acknowledging Citroën once had a footprint in the teenage/early-20s market through the popularity of the Saxo among the Max Power, vehicle-modifying craze.

Dealers will have little involvement beyond the sales process.

All other elements involved in living with the black box are dealt with by the insurer.

On a more fundamental level, Jackson said there will be an emphasis on customer satisfaction.

“Obviously we’ve been working hard to improve customer satisfaction.

"We have our internal surveys that on sales see 91% of customers completely satisfied,” she said.

“But we’re going to look at recommendation as well because we think that this is psychologically a step further for a customer.

Jackson expects there will be distinctions in the scores for each.

“It’s one thing to say you are happy with a Citroën dealer, but another to say you would recommend friends or family. It’s more emotional.

“What we’re actually going to do is focus on how can we improve on our scores, because we do see a gap between satisfaction and customer recommendation.

"I don’t think you’re ever going to get recommendation as high as customer satisfaction because of your motivation.

"But we can move forward.”

To facilitate this Jackson is visiting all Citroën’s dealers: “We’re going to every single zone.

"We’re sitting down with dealer principals and saying to them, get the processes right – all of them.

“The challenge is getting customer satisfaction in the mindset of every single person from DP to valeter.

"So we’re trying to bring a whole sense of customer satisfaction/customer spirit into every single person that works in the dealership.

“There is nothing complicated about it as it’s all about human behaviour.

Treat the customer how you would want to be treated.”

Jackson’s visits will be tours of sites with staff impressing on them the importance of taking a customer eye view.

“What would a customer expect when arriving in the car park, for example? Is there parking space?

"Is there rubbish piled up against the building?

“I want every single person that works in the dealership to do this.”

She admitted this is getting into the minutiae, but Jackson defended the hands-on approach from a manufacturer.

“Certain processes drive the obvious requirements of a dealership such as repairing a car, but other behaviour needs to be as obvious.

"I’m not saying it should be a tick box or mandatory as I don’t believe people will be acc-epting if they are told to do something,”

Jackson said. “But if they experience it themselves through the tours they will understand why it’s important.”

Citroën is also advising dealers to visit a John Lewis store – to experience what is widely acknowledged as offering the epitome of customer care – or another dealer with a similar reputation.

Citroën has 193 dealers.

Ten new partners were appointed last year and two in January.

It has open points, principally around London.

Citroën is looking at the options, from private investors to its own retail group, conscious the lost opportunity in sales equates to about a 1% market share, although the challenge of filling London spots is a three-year plan. Citroën is in discussions on filling three sites outside of London.

About 75% of the network is operating in the black.

On those that aren’t, Jackson said: “You often find that running a dealership is about getting all your plates spinning at the same time.

"You only have to lose focus on one for things to go badly wrong. Those that are not profitable are probably not working their market properly, exploiting its full potential and it could be particularly in
aftersales, retail or customer retention. Every case is different.”

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  • iceage - 10/05/2013 17:16

    Dreamers... if they want to go from 3.6% to 5 or 6% who will they take the sales from? Kia? Hyundia? Honda? Coz those guys arnt going to give it up! If we added up all the manufacturers aspirations the market would total 160%!! The looser of course is the poor dealer pressured to the point of bankrupsy to invest in dud brands.

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  • CGH - 10/05/2013 17:31

    Didn't you report the M.D from Peugeot saying something similar the other day?

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