Back to basics: Customer service reform seeing Busseys through Brexit
PUBLISHED: 16:22 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:22 13 August 2019
A family-run car dealership company is proving that economic uncertainty can't hold it back, as it posted a £77.8 million turnover for 2018.
Bussey and Sabberton Bros. is a Ford and Peugeot dealership selling new and used cars across the region - and has recently won the regional contract to be the Ford Parts Plus provider.
Being named as a Parts Plus franchise has meant the company has had to invest £400,000 into its Whiffler Road site, as well as hiring three new members of staff and one part-time member.
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"You can't stop looking at opportunities because of Brexit," said Bussey's managing director Paul Bussey.
"We're looking at how our business may be impacted after October 31, but we don't believe the parts business will be impacted by this particularly."
Mr Bussey added that in the face of economic uncertainty, he had taken the business back to basics when it came to service.
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"For the past 12 months we've really focussed on our customer service. So many businesses talk about customer service but it's all buzzwords as opposed to actually thinking about what you can do to improve customer experience," he said.
As a result management have invested in a new phone system which flags when a call is missed, with a target set to return the call within ten minutes.
"I've talked to companies and they think it's alright not to call someone back," he said. "We won't have that here. If someone is calling us and can't get through then it's on us to get back to them.
"Another thing is as simple as making sure no one walks into our showroom and is ignored. Even if it's a bit of eye contact or letting them know someone will be over soon, no one should ever feel uncomfortable when they walk in."
This has resulted in customer satisfaction levels rising to Bussey's highest ever level at 95%.
But it has not been an easy year for the business, with the industry as a whole seeing new car registrations down 4.6% in May.
Mr Bussey said that although an operating profit of £1.3m was better than a loss, it was far from the company's best performance.
"We've found it difficult, just like everyone else in this industry," said Mr Bussey. "It's the nature of it at the moment. We just have to keep doing what's working."