An inventive initiative by Motus Kia Edenvale not only takes customer service to a new level, but also ensures the workshop remains busy.
The dealership has established a mobile servicing unit that will go to customers’ homes or businesses to service their vehicles at no extra cost.
“We focus on vehicles still under warranty and with a service or maintenance plan. As the mobile unit can only accommodate a certain amount of technical equipment, we concentrate on the standard services needed in terms of the service and maintenance plans,” says Ronnie Smith, Workshop Manager at the dealership.
“Vehicles with 30 000 km or more on the clock might require new brakes, and we will add them to our service items bin. If it is not covered by the plan, we will communicate beforehand with the customer regarding the price and payment,” Ronnie tells Dealerfloor.
He says if a problem or something else is picked up when they preform the service, the customer will be informed, and the vehicle would be booked in at the dealership itself as the mobile unit does not carry any diagnostic equipment at this stage.
“We started about two weeks ago and can do 3 to 5 services a day. We operate in a 15 km radius from the dealership and as demand grows, we will consider expanding the number of mobile units. The average time a service requires is roughly 45 minutes and in one instance it nearly took longer to get access to a housing complex than the service itself.
“Our mobile unit has a crew of two trained technicians, a generator for some power tools, a fully equipped toolbox, jack, the necessary parts and ground cover sheets to keep everything clean. All COVID-19 protocols are followed and before handing the vehicle over, we sanitise it,” says Ronnie.
Asked about the reasons for this initiative, Ronnie says it is a mixture of circumstances that lead to the creation of the mobile unit. “We have a large workshop with 18 lifts. Before COVID, you could have as many as 40 vehicles while these days we average about 25.
“You know new vehicles sales took a tumble during the first stage of the pandemic. Now sales are limited because of worldwide stock shortages that hamperthe business of all manufactures. Fewer sales mean fewer vehicles in the workshop.
“The nature of COVID-19 makes people careful to go out, and clients welcome this plan as it creates more safety for all involved. Also keep in mind people drive less than before. Several people work from home and their vehicles do not accumulate the same milage as before. Some do not realise it, but even with fewer kilos, the vehicle still needs to be serviced according to the time intervals of the service or maintenance plan.
So where did the idea stem from? “Our Foreman, Leon Steyn, came up with the idea and with the assistance of our Dealer Principal, Scott Skinner, we made it happen and we are very optimistic about it and the possibilities it presents,” Ronnie tells Dealerfloor.
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) kept the wheels rolling this year with the opening of five new dealerships in four provinces.
The latest addition to the Stellantis dealer network is a large, new Super Group multi-franchise facility in Jacaranda Street, Hennopspark, Centurion, for Jeep, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot and Citroën.
We can overcome all the hurdles placed in front of us if we recognise our biggest asset in business is our people, says Rob Downs the Dealer Principal at CMH Nissan and Mitsubishi Pinetown.