December 6 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
A Norfolk businessman with a passion for motorcyles has launched a comparison website for motorcycle dealers.
Robin Plaster, 51, who lives in Wroxham and employs nearly 40 people at his corporate insurance broker KTIB, on Broadland Business Park in Norwich, said the inspiration for his new business venture had come from websites such as TripAdvisor.
“The advent of the internet has allowed people who could not be heard to voice their opinions and views,” he said.
After a successful pilot involving six dealers the website - www.gooddealerscheme.co.uk - is going live today and early feedback has been “overwhelmingly positive”.
Mr Plaster, who frequently rides his Ducati Monster 11000 into the office, said: “We are employing two people at the launch but I am hoping we can increase that number to six. We are looking to sign up at least 2,000 dealers to the scheme within the first year.”
Customers will rate their dealer using a star system, sharing their feedback and experiences with other people looking to use the services of a motorcycle dealership.
Mr Plaster said: “The benefits to motorcyclists are obvious. It will enable them to make more informed choices about where to buy or service their bikes, where to get the best range of spares and accessories – pretty much anything but the choice of coffee.”
He said the Good Dealer Scheme would drive more business to members who provided excellent customer service so it was a “win for the customer and a win for good dealers”.
The website is free for customers to use, with dealers being charged £120 per annum to be a member.
He said: “We have pitched the cost of membership low because we want the majority of dealers to sign up. Dealers will also get a wealth of other benefits including free roadside and national recovery for one vehicle and access to an exclusive trade insurance scheme with preferential terms.”
He said it was an opportunity to raise the standards of the industry. Dealers who were already good now had a platform that would broadcast their success; dealers who were falling short of the mark had an incentive to improve.
“Member dealers have the ability to respond to feedback which is particularly important when any negative feedback has been posted which the dealer feels is unfounded,” he said.
Mr Plaster said there was clearly potential for other similar websites, perhaps to compare caravan or boat dealers.
Two hundred jobs are set to be created after one of west Norfolk’s largest businesses was granted permission to expand its King’s Lynn facilities.