Frothy coffees and full English breakfasts may not be the first things that spring to mind when customers want their vans serviced, but that's exactly what they can get when they visit Volkswagen Van Service Durham.
The ultra-modern site has its own café with wi-fi and it offers courtesy cycles. And its customer satisfaction scores are placing it well ahead of the rest of the network. We spoke to Head of Business, Michael Lines, about the new customer experience his business provides.
“This site was built last spring and has given us the opportunity we knew it would. The main reasoning behind the café is they allow customers to spend more time here. We have longer to get to know them, and develop relationships. Our lead time went from one and a half weeks in the old premises to one day here. Customers come in, work in the café and wait for their services to be completed.”
Michael explains how many customers are using the facilities, and how the offer of a free breakfast or lunch in the café improves the overall experience.
“For fleet customers in particular, our convenient facilities make it easier to reduce downtime,” says Michael. “Once local customers have used the café once or twice, they sometimes pop in at the weekend, just to have a coffee. You can’t buy that sort of customer engagement.
“We can keep customers informed personally face to face, and the large windows at the back of the café look directly into the workshop, so you can sit and work on a laptop and see what’s happening to your vehicle while enjoying a snack or drink. It’s completely transparent. People feel looked after, comfortable and totally at ease with our service."
Moving to a new site has also allowed the business to create a team dedicated to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Michael says: “My team are really friendly and focused. We have really invested in training, and everyone is enthusiastic about the qualification journey. Their knowledge and adherence to the Service Core Process makes a huge difference to the output and attention to detail of every job.”
Communication tools create customer delight
Service Manager Danny Martin says the team also totally embraces CitNow videos and Vehicle Visuals for customer communications. “We’ve just signed up to another 12 months of Vehicle Visuals because we found it really useful – particularly for things such as cambelts,” said Danny. “We’ve seen a real benefit to using the texts, and we often use these for follow-up communications.
“Although a bit shy at first, the technicians are now excellent at CitNow. Their commentaries are second to none; even our apprentice is absolutely outstanding at them. Using video is now just second nature.”
Area Service and Parts Manager, Dan Gibson, explained why he thought Durham was ahead in customer service. He said: “The customer experience here is second to none, and the passion for commercial vehicles is clear. Their ambitions are big and it’s refreshing to see their dedication and focus.”
Volkswagen Van Centre Durham ranked number one for customer satisfaction in the second quarter of 2017 and remains several points clear of its nearest rivals. It’s clear to see that this modern, focused and passionate team is up for maintaining its award-winning status.
To book in your van for a service, MOT or repair visit www.pulmanvans.co.uk