Servicing and maintaining a vehicle are necessary but can often be viewed as a grudge purchase.
Keeping an open line of communication with the customer is critical, especially when the repairs or service costs seem to disappear under a car’s bonnet with little to show for it.
“This is what makes my job critical to act as the link between the customer and dealership or to be more specific, the workshop,” says Chantel Botha, Service Adviser at Motus East Rand Mitsubishi & Honda in Boksburg.
Chantel recently made the headlines after she was awarded the best Service Adviser for Mitsubishi Motors South Africa and third best in the sub-Saharan region for Mitsubishi Customer Service.
This high praise was bestowed on her after a rigorous evaluation process by an independent company. During this process, all the clients she dealt with were asked about their experience. This evaluation was done every month for a whole year and Chantel got the nod from Mitsubishi customers about her commitment to service excellence.
“I must say the award means a lot. It is like the cherry on top of the cake and recognition of an accomplishment, a goal achieved. Customers trust us to keep one of their prime possessions in tip top condition and they need to be involved in the process. Not all repairs and service adjustments or parts are visible at first glance.
“Sometimes, especially with older vehicles that were not necessarily serviced by us, more needs to be done to a vehicle than a customer was expecting and of course that involves cost implications.
“I communicate with customers via phone, e-mail or WhatsApp to keep them informed about the process, costs and timeframe. Where needed, we work with the client to prioritise the most important repairs and schedule the less crucial work for a later stage,” Chantel tells Dealerfloor.
“I must say, you do get your difficult customers but by far most of them understand and appreciate our efforts to give the best possible service. Dealing with clients, their vehicles and their money means you need to know your business and be passionate.
“The aim is to get the customer back, not to rectify a mistake we made but because of our good service in maintaining his or her vehicle. We also know that the new Right to Repair legislation might have an impact on the OEMs, but we are ready, and our facilities, technicians and workmanship are self-evident.
“Talking about facilities, we are combining the Mitsubishi and Honda dealerships and at this stage, we are still in the process of completing the operation and renovation. I will be one of three Service Advisers working with both the Mitsubishi and Honda brands,” she says.
Chantel says they are all sad to bid farewell to the stalwart Mitsubishi Pajero with production that came to an end, but excited about the expanding range of vehicles from the brand. “The Pajero was a no-nonsense, utterly reliable vehicle with a reputation as a solid car with no problems over many decades.”
Asked about her passion for the motoring business, Chantel says her father was a Director at Ermelo Toyota where she started her career 17 years ago. After years of learning from her father, she also had a stunt at GWM and has been with Mitsubishi for the last three years. “I have learned so much here and enjoy my daily interaction with customers immensely,” she concluded.
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.