Swindon businessman shows motor industry leaders how to get the Wow Factor

By Anita Jaynes on 3 March, 2016

An award-winning Swindon businessman will be telling other leaders from his industry how to get the Wow Factor at a major conference later this Spring.

Dominic Threlfall, managing director of Hyundai and Suzuki franchise car dealership Pebley Beach, will be one of five keynote speakers at the first ever Automotive Management magazine Customer Service Summit.

Dom will be telling conference delegates how he created a customer service strategy that encourages customers to return and recommend his business to others.

He was invited to present to the industry-wide conference after winning a number of high-profile awards, including AM’s Excellence in Aftersales award 2015. The firm was also voted UK Garage of the Year by its customers on the feedback website Motor Codes.

“I believe great customer service is the key to business success – whatever business you’re in,” said Dom.

“We’re always coming up with small, simple ideas to keep our customers happy. Reserved parking bays near the main entrance for customers with an appointment are one example; having our staff walking customers back to their car is another.

“Another simple trick is to use a piece of tape to remind our technicians where the car seat was positioned. We’ve had married couples asking us to keep the tape in place, so that they know how far to put the seat back or forward for their spouse!”

Dom has even created customer interfaces to enhance customer experience at Pebley Beach. Everything from MoT and service reminders and simple online booking to being able to watch technicians work on your car via a smartphone are handled by the Hyundai 360 workshop automation platform, which Dom hopes will be rolled out nationally.

Before the summit, Dom will be travelling to Las Vegas on a fact-finding mission. Suzuki have sponsored him to attend the Nada Expo, the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association.

“No-one does customer service like the Americans,” said Dom, “and I’ll be looking for great ideas that I can adopt in the UK.

“But best practice doesn’t just come from within the industry. Every time I’m at a restaurant, book into a hotel, or even order a pizza I’ll replicate anything that’s given me a great customer experience.”

Dom will share a platform with Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service; Linda Moir, former director of In Flight Services, Virgin Atlantic; Catherine Hutt, principal consultant (automotive) at Frost & Sullivan; and Captain Gary Barrow of King’s Royal Hussars, who will tell delegates what the Army can teach them about engendering customer loyalty.

The Customer Service Summit takes place at Whittlebury Hall, near the Silverstone racing circuit, on Thursday, April 14.