Ford Retail is the UK retail division of Ford Motor Company which trades under various brands including Dagenham Motors and Polar Ford. In spring 2010 it became the first auto retail group in the UK to achieve TrainingMark accreditation from the Institute of Customer Service. Accreditation was achieved following an in-depth assessment of the company’s ‘Moments of Truth’ customer service initiative – a £1.2 million training investment aimed at helping Ford Retail to deliver the best service experiences to customers throughout the industry.
Moments of Truth, launched at the start of 2010, involves all 3,000 Ford Retail staff in 74 UK locations working to achieve a formal qualification in customer service. In addition to Dagenham Motors and Polar Food, other trading names to benefit from Training Mark accreditation include Lindsay Ford (Northern Ireland), Heartlands Ford (Birmingham) and Brunel Ford (Bristol).
Achieving Training Mark accreditation for our customer service training programme Moments of Truth demonstrates that we provide excellent service (chairman and chief executive, Ford Retail). The programme involves every employee attending a launch event and on-site workshops and working towards an NVQ qualification or equivalent in customer service.
This is the first industry initiative of its kind on this scale; members of the Ford Retail board and senior management team are completing the training themselves. Everyone works through a series of exercises to understand what it means to deliver excellent customer service and how they can provide it themselves in their own areas.
The Ford Retail view is that a ‘Moment of Truth’ occurs every time an employee has contact with a customer, from a salesman at the point of sale to a technician ensuring a vehicle is clean following a service.The programme measures how satisfied customers are with the service through an online survey. Follow-up calls are recorded and played back to staff to monitor their performance.… the whole dealership team needs to be involved – not just customer-facing staff. Everyone plays a part including those who are behind the scenes such as administrators, cleaners and technicians Mark Knapton (general manager, Polar Ford Huddersfield).
Polar Ford in Huddersfield is thought to be the first car dealership in the UK where every member of staff has achieved a formal customer service qualification through in-depth training and on-the-job development. The 60 people concerned, including behind-the-scenes and other back room staff, play a vital role in delivering the overall customer experience. They gained either an NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service or accreditation from the Institute.
Other Ford Retail dealerships and support sites have also taken up the challenge to drive service excellence and are following the lead set by PolarFord.