We make promises to commit ourselves in making a significant improvement, and although it may be a challenge, dedication is rewarded with trust – the basis for any successful relationship. This is what encapsulates the Renault Customer Promise – Renault dealers have made a public pledge to their clients to convey the utmost commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Have they kept their promise? Finweek talks to the face of the Renault dealer network and chairman of the Renault Dealer Council, Clive Thompson, to get the inside story. “There has been a tremendous improvement in the level of service provided by Renault dealerships across South Africa,” says Thompson, who, as the chairman of the dealer council, keeps a watchful eye over the operations. “Over the past three years in particular, I can honestly say that the dealers, together with Renault, have done their absolute best to improve the level of service and attention given to clients.”
According to Thompson, the dealer network firmly believes in, and promotes, the Renault Customer Promise.
“I have immense confidence in the Renault brand,” he says. “Renault’s dealer network now covers more than 90% of the market and figures show that unit sales have more than doubled between 2009 and 2012 with a double-digit increase year on year.”
Thompson Motors is a well respected name in automotive circles and Clive Thompson’s success with the Pietermaritzburg franchise has allowed for his expansion into Shelly Beach and Port Shepstone.
Thompson’s countless years of industry experience as an independent operator has earned him a wealth of knowledge and his understanding of the highly challenging and competitive automobile industry makes for a good fit as leader of the Renault dealers.
“Each and every person is a representative of the brand,” explains Thompson. “Quality means consistency and this is achieved by following correct policies and procedures 100% of the time.”
The dedication and loyalty made by the dealer network’s customer-focused initiative are publicly and prominently displayed for customers and employees alike at all dealerships. The launch of this initiative aims to make its promises to customers meaningful and quantifiable.
What comes of making a promise to your customers? “Trust,” says Thompson. “Statistics show that where a high level of trust exists within an organisation, communication and relationships with all stakeholders are improved. It makes customers, employees and investors want to stay longer.”
He adds: “Both as chairman of Renault’s Dealer Council and as a franchise holder, I have to say that the relationship our dealers share with Renault is built on trust, transparency and respect.”
According to Thompson, this is implemented through admirable leadership. “Wim van Schie, vice President of Quality and Service at Renault SA, is passionate about attention to detail and improving service levels.” In 2012, over 94% of individuals who purchased a Renault freely declared they would recommend that particular Renault dealership to a family member or friend.
“I firmly believe in Renault dealers,” says Thompson. “Through my interaction with them, I’ve come to see that they‘re a great band of people. I am confident in any further investments I make in the brand.”