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Mazda dealers praised for aftersales customer retention - but problems highlighted in answering the phone

David Wilson-Green

Mazda dealers have managed to increase the number of owners they retain for aftersales business from 10% to one in three in the last five years, according to figures released by the brand on five-year old cars.

“I think it should be even higher but I'm really impressed with the focus in the dealer network to keep customers,” said Mazda UK aftersales director David Wilson-Green (pictured).

“A lot of this has been down to how we’ve encouraged the use of Mazda Vantage Point over the past two years.”

Mazda Vantage Point is a software programme that allows dealers to generate bespoke marketing text messages and emails to selected customers at a fraction of the cost of printing and posting letters.

New car sales growth totalling some 60% since 2013 means there are now some 120,000 Mazdas on the road in the UK that are less than three years old following the slump after the recession.

Mazda’s new UK parts centre becomes fully operational on April 1, guaranteeing overnight delivery of replacement parts.

It means dealers will no longer have to wait to get their deliveries from Belgium which has often resulted in delays because of problems at Calais.

The new warehouse, just off junction 18 of the M1 in Northamptonshire, is already providing pre-delivery inspection packs and brochures to dealers.

The UK warehouse will take a daily feed from Belgium.

Both centres are operated by Mazda Europe but Mazda UK has made a significant investment in the Northamptonshire site.

“It ensures we can deliver a more consistent and reliable service to all UK dealers with our overnight service,” said Wilson-Green.

Unanswered phone calls

A further development is aimed at boosting customer satisfaction, and tackling the problem of unanswered phone calls to dealers.

A month-long audit revealed that there were 1,500 missed calls across five Mazda centres.

“Those who took part in the trial were gobsmacked when they found out,” said Wilson-Green. 

Solutions such as rescheduling lunch breaks has helped address the issue.

Mazda has also teamed up with telephone answering service Moneypenny to make sure that no call from a customer is missed.

The move coincides with Mazda UK taking its own customer call centre in-house as part of 2016’s focus on customer service.

“We’ve got the right product, the right network so now we need to make sure we have the right people who can really make a difference,” said Wilson-Green.

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