Merging the online offering and physical experience for customers is a challenge this dealer group is resolutely tackling through investment in digital technology and fresh thinking.
Arnold Clark Automobiles has the scale and profitability (£4.2 billion revenues and 2.7% return on sales) that most other motor retailers can only dream of and this gives it the capability to trial new ideas and develop solutions to the problems its employees and customers encounter in the car purchase and repair processes.
Its submission detailed numerous examples of how the dealer group is driving forward. Since 2018 it has trialled an app, which lets customers get an Arnold Clark price for any car and manage their finance information, documents and service reminders after purchase.
It has also trialled a priority check-in service for aftersales, created an online ‘deal-builder’ finance tool delivering rapid quotes from four lenders, linked online service booking into internal diaries to let customers book at their convenience, and launched EasyPay interest-free payment plans for when big repair bills crop up.
It’s not all about technology, of course. The group invests in giving its 13,000-strong workforce the skills it needs for modern motor retailing, takes staff wellbeing seriously, and it has improved communication and collaboration between different parts of the business. Everyone is encouraged to ‘Think Customer’.
Arnold Clark’s entry stated: “We work smarter, not harder, to save time, money and speed up processes. We work together to improve the customer journey and experience and help each other out without internal politics. We do everything we can to make it easier for the customer to transact with us and create a seamless experience for them.”
The AM Awards judges said Arnold Clark is “so structured, so comprehensive and is constantly evolving, with great strategic vision” that this kept it ahead of the two highly commended entrants in a category full of strong entries.
Highly commended: Marshall Motor Group, Steven Eagell Group
Finalists: Arnold Clark Automobiles, Marshall Motor Group, Steven Eagell Group, Swansway Group, TrustFord
Award sponsored by: heycar